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Minister supports racial hatred awareness campaign

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Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600--------Telephone (06) 277 7860; Facsimile (06) 273 4144

MPS 47/96


A campaign to ensure migrant communities are aware o f their rights and responsibilities under the Racial Hatred Act is being launched today by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock.

The awareness campaign has been developed by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) as part o f a public education campaign on anti-racism.

"This campaign through the multicultural media will play a significant role in helping people understand that they can take positive action to counter racist attitudes and practices," M r Ruddock said.

"The Racial Hatred Act provides protection for people who are publicly humiliated, vilified, intimidated or offended on the basis o f their race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin.

"Australia prides itself on being at the forefront when it comes to tolerance, harmony and respect for individual differences. However, we should also recognise that some pockets o f racism still exist.

"Mainstream and community based media need to keep a careful watch on how they report events concerning communities both inside and outside Australia.

"The multicultural media has an especially important role in ensuring their own communities have an understanding o f the Act by spelling out both the protection it provides and responsibilities it carries."

The month long campaign will provide information in a number o f languages and will involve a joint effort by the media and community groups.

Community leaders will be provided with information so that they can assist in the process o f ensuring that the information is distributed as widely and effectively as possible.

Sydney 9 August 1996

Media contact: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715

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