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Draft action plan on human rights approved.



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Joint Media Release 50/2004

Attorney-General The Hon Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs The Hon Alexander Downer MP

26 April 2004

DRAFT ACTION PLAN ON HUMAN RIGHTS APPROVED The Australian Government has announced its approval of a new draft National Action Plan on Human Rights to strengthen and advance Australia's comprehensive system of human rights protections.

The new national action plan will be finalised following consultation with State and Territory governments, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, and non-government organisations.

In 1993 Australia proposed the creation of this action plan, and in 1994 was the first State to produce a plan. Ten years on, this new plan will set out the Government's human rights priority areas for the coming decade.

The development of a new national action plan demonstrates this Government's forward-looking approach to human rights protection.

Australia has always played a lead role in the creation and enforcement of human rights standards, and the development of a new plan will ensure this role continues.

The plan highlights Australia's ongoing commitment to international human rights instruments, as well as our continuing support for peoples in developing countries to achieve higher standards of human rights.

The development of this new plan coincides with Australia's Presidency of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, as well the conclusion of the Decade of Human Rights Education (1995-2004), in which Australia played a prominent role.

The process of consulting States and Territories, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, and non-government organisations will commence shortly.

The Plan will then be finalised, published and lodged with the United Nations.

Media Contact: Mr Ruddock's office: Steve Ingram Parliament House Phone: 02 6277 7300 Fax: 02 6273 4102 Mr Downer's office: Andrew Park (02) 6277 7500 0418 253 285