top of page

Tasmanians Deserve Better on Human Rights

Societal kindness is fading, discrimination and harassment thrives, environmental issues are increasingly tarnishing Tasmania’s natural beauty and reputation.

By Tasmanian Times

May 6, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

Prisons are at capacity and recidivism is rife, highlighting the flaws in rehabilitation and integration programs.

Access to health services, support services and housing is delayed and difficult. Domestic violence, elder abuse and neglect touches the lives of too many. The escalation of the number of women murdered, maimed or tormented by partners, or former partners, is not only horrifying it is without excuse.

With that in mind it is easy to see why the shadow of pessimism is, uncomfortably, creeping over me. I have no doubt that I am not alone.

In order to escape the abyss of despondency, it is vital that we all turn our minds to the question of what we can do to inject much needed optimism and positive action into the mix.

If we want a life in Tasmania that is kind, respectful, and safe each one of us has a role to play in making it happen.

If we are going to turn things around it will take a collective attitudinal shift. It will take political commitment.

We need a Human Rights Act, and we need the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act to be updated and brought into line with other progressive states and territories.

The Office of the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner has supported the call for a Human Rights Act since the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute’s 2007 report calling on the Government to introduce a Human Rights Act. The call has gone unheeded for nearly two decades.

For the Government not to update the Anti-Discrimination Act or implement the latest recommendations of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute as a matter of priority would send the message that the human rights of Tasmanians do not matter.

The message that the Government should be sending is that human rights do matter and that every Tasmanian deserves gold standard rights protection legislation.

If positive steps were taken to address the challenges facing Tasmanians everyday, then perhaps the pendulum would swing back towards optimism.

Sarah Bolt is the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner.


bottom of page