Solicitors from Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC) will be lead an NGO delegation in Geneva at the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) next week.
The UN Committee will be reviewing Australia’s human rights performance and compliance with its women’s rights treaty obligations.
Kingsford Legal Centre coordinated an NGO shadow report about Australia’s women’s rights record with the National Association of Community Legal Centres, Community Legal Centres NSW and Good Shepherd Australia, and the findings show that human rights, including women’s rights, are not effectively protected under Australian law.
The report will provide the Committee with a current snapshot of human rights issues for women in the Australian community, and the news is not good.
Anna Cody, Director of the Kingsford Legal Centre says the Australian government must urgently enact a human rights framework to protect the fundamental human rights of Australian women.
“Violence against women continues to be endemic in Australia, with 1 in 3 women experiencing physical violence. Our report recommends that the Australian government properly fund community-led services and programs that support women, including specialist women’s and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal assistance services,” she said.
“In particular, the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to participate in public life, access basic healthcare, and enjoy family, economic and social rights are endangered in Australia by over-incarceration and endemic discrimination. We urge the government to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait.