Today is Human Rights Day

Today marks the United Nations’ International Human Rights Day, observed each year on 10 December.

It commemorates the day – in 1948 – when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. The UDHR sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

This year’s Human Rights Day theme is ‘Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights’ and draws on UDHR Article 1, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

Today also marks the final day of ‘Human Rights Week 2021’, an initiative of the Queensland Human Rights Commission to provide opportunities to learn about equality through information sessions and webinars on Queensland’s human rights and anti-discrimination laws.

The commission’s 2020-21 annual report identifies COVID-19 as the largest single cause of human rights complaints to the commission throughout this time period. It also found around 80% of health service complaints were COVID-related, with most being directed at public entities due to the imposition of restrictions. Read more on the report’s findings.

QLS Proctor released a number of articles with a human rights focus throughout Human Rights Week to mark this important event.


A little bit of human rights history repeating takes a closer look at Queensland’s Human Rights Act 2019 (HRA) and its impact, as many realise for the first time how government decision-making and actions affect their rights.

Restricted prisoner declarations – a flagrant breach of human rights shares how new Queensland legislation – which enables the detention periods of certain prisoners to be extended by 10 years – contravenes the HRA.

No place like home: Housing, homelessness, and the Human Rights Act considers the HRA’s limits and potential to deliver improved housing outcomes for people in Queensland, while also making suggestions for future action.

How to tell your disability story discusses the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, which will provide recommendations to government to improve laws, policies, structures and practices to ensure a more inclusive society.

Finally, The UQ/Caxton human rights case law database reports on a year’s findings from a team who have monitored all Queensland cases mentioning the HRA, the aim being to allow practitioners, researchers, students and members of the public have easy access to all published cases referring to the HRA.

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