Human rights is about how we treat each other. It is about what we are entitled to have because we are human beings.
We need to treat each other with:
We cannot deny anyone their freedoms.
Some examples of what we have the right to include:
- To Live independently
- To Participate in the community
- Good standard of living (food, clothing, housing, clean water)
- Not to be tortured and treated cruelly
People with disability have the same rights as everyone else.
All our human rights are written down in some important documents.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - is an agreement across many countries around the world to protect the rights of all people. This agreement says that all people have the same human rights which no one can take away. This is the basis of freedom, justice and peace in the world. This Bill of Rights was made and agreed to after the atrocities of World War 2.
The International Bill of Human Rights was the name given to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966) with its two Optional Protocols and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966). The two covenants entered into force in 1976, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified them.
More recently in 2006, the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was created and agreed to. This is an agreement across many countries around the world specially recognising and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. This agreement confirms that persons with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else.
This means that persons with disabilities should have:
- The same opportunities as everyone else
- The same access as everyone else
- The same respect for who they are as everyone else.
All countries who sign up to the International Bill of Rights and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, commit to making sure their citizens rights are upheld.
- Making rules and laws to give persons with disabilities their rights
- Making sure government and authorities do the things listed in the agreement
- Making sure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against (treated unfairly and have their rights denied) by others.
In Australia, we have laws such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and more recently we also have the National Disability Insurance Act 2013 that recognises the Convention and the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory organisation created by legislation to lead the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia.
The Western Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity through the Equal Opportunity Commission is responsible for the administration of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. The main objective of the Act is to:
"promote equality of opportunity in Western Australia and to provide remedies in respect of discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, family responsibility or family status, race, religious or political conviction, impairment, or age, or involving sexual or racial harassment or, in certain cases, on gender history grounds."