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Tuesday, 17 August 1993
Page: 11


Senator VANSTONE —Mr President, before I give notice I should indicate that I am aware of the standing order requiring as much brevity as possible in notices of motion. I have given consideration to that, and the preamble for this is necessary. I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate—

    (a)recognises:

      (i)that everyone is entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms without distinction such as based on race, sex, religion or nationality, and

      (ii)that the child by reason of physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care;

    (b)notes that:

      (i)on 20 November 1989 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Resolution 44/25),

      (ii)on 7 November 1990 the Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs (Senator Tate) advised the Senate that it would be surprising if, when Australia ratified the Convention, a reservation was not made acknowledging the pre-eminent role of the family so that in effect the Articles of the Convention would be interpreted in a way that safeguarded the primary and inalienable rights of parents,

      (iii)when, on 17 December 1990, the Government ratified the Convention, it made no such reservation,

      (iv)on 22 December 1992 the Attorney-General declared under subsection 47(1) of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 that the Convention is an international instrument relating to human rights and freedoms for the purposes of that Act, and

      (v)in the circumstances, there has been widespread concern in the community about the potential effect of the Convention on the family in Australia; and

    (c)disallows the Declaration by the Attorney-General.