ACT Human Rights Commission welcomes progress towards discrimination reform

Media Release: 10/06/16

The ACT Human Rights Commission welcomes the introduction of important proposed reforms to the Discrimination ACT tabled recently in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

These ground breaking reforms increase the scope of the Discrimination Act and include new protected attributes that will provide additional safeguards against discrimination on the basis of a person’s accommodation status, employment status or status as a victim of domestic or family violence.

“Discrimination law is about ensuring the most vulnerable in our community are protected and provided with full opportunities to reach their potential,” Discrimination, Health Services, Disability & Community Services Commissioner, Graeme Innes said today.

“The ACT Human Rights Commission is pleased to see such significant progress towards strengthening the ACT Discrimination Act that will see the ACT to continue to be the nation’s leader in Human Rights protection,” Mr Innes said.

These reforms are a part of a series of recommendations made by the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council (LRAC Review) in 2015.

“The LRAC Review recommended a comprehensive change to the operation of the Discrimination Act and we look forward to hearing more from the government about the next stage of reform that will implement those expert recommendations,” ACT Human Rights Commission President and Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Helen Watchirs said today.

“These reforms recognise the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that face people experiencing homelessness, unemployment and family violence.

“They will help reduce the stigma often experienced by these often marginalised communities by strengthening protections against vilification and victimisation and making it easier for those affected by discrimination to make complaints to the ACT Human Rights Commission.

“We are proud of how the ACT is leading the nation in human rights protection and discrimination reform and we look forward to working with the ACT Government to implement more of the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council recommendations in the near future,” Dr Watchirs concluded today.