Commissioner aims for National Anti-Racism Framework

Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Chin Tan, has announced plans to develop a National Anti-Racism Framework and is calling on the Federal Government to support the framework, fully resource it and implement it.

In February 2020, the Australian Human Rights Commission recorded more complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) than at any time over the previous 12 months. COVID-19 appears to have exacerbated racial abuse experienced by people of Asian descent, and the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the ongoing discrimination experienced by First Nations peoples and people from diverse backgrounds.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has prepared an overview of the framework, which describes key components of what a national strategy to address racism and social cohesion must include. In his speech, the commissioner identified eight priority outcomes:

  1. understanding the nature, prevalence, and incidence of racism in Australia
  2. an effective legal framework to protect people from racial discrimination and racial hatred
  3. commitment from all governments to eradicating racism and racial discrimination through their actions
  4. national anti-racism campaigns to build community understanding of racism and how to counter it
  5. commitment from all sectors of Australian society to countering racism, and the formation of community partnerships
  6. commitment from all sectors of Australian society towards adequate representation and participation of culturally diverse communities in all areas of public life
  7. commitment from Australian governments to address racial inequality, with the adoption of specific targets and measures to address it
  8. complimentary measures to strengthen multiculturalism, social inclusion, and Indigenous reconciliation.

Over the coming months, the commission will engage with the community sector to obtain feedback on this overview. Consultation will include workshops with peak bodies and government, and the opportunity to provide public comment through the commission’s website.

For more information, see the commission’s announcement from 16 March.

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