Our commitment to human rights
Australia is committed to advancing human rights globally. Men, women and children have the right to fundamental freedoms and to live their lives with dignity. Human rights underpin peace and prosperity. Australia's commitment to human rights reflects our national values and is an underlying principle of Australia's engagement with the international community.
Australia promotes and protects human rights at home and abroad
Australia's commitment to human rights is enduring: we were an original signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. We have been a leading proponent of its consistent and comprehensive implementation.
Protection and promotion of the human rights encapsulated in the Declaration is vital to global efforts to achieve lasting peace and security, and freedom and dignity for all.
Australia promotes human rights through constructive bilateral dialogue. Where appropriate, we work with countries to advance and protect human rights through development assistance and humanitarian support. At times, and especially in the case of gross human rights violations, we will apply sanctions.
Australia is committed to a strong multilateral human rights system. We continue to support the independent mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We promote efforts to strengthen the Human Rights Council and the wider human rights system. As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018–2020 term, Australia is particularly focused on:
- Advancing the rights of women and girls
- Promoting good governance and stronger democratic institutions everywhere
- Promoting and protecting freedom of expression
- Advancing human rights for indigenous peoples around the globe
- Promoting strong national human rights institutions and capacity building
- Rights of persons with disabilities
- Abolition of the death penalty
- Equal human rights for LGBTI persons
- Freedom of religion or belief
- Strengthening civil society participation in UN processes and more generally