Simon Corbell has announced the launch of a report (not yet online): Australian Capital Territory Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Research Project Final Report, and a plain english discussion paper to inspire your thoughts on the subject.
“The project team concludes that it would be desirable to include most economic, social and cultural rights, based on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the ACT’s Human Rights Act.”
“It made 15 recommendations about the particular rights that should be added, including rights to adequate housing, health, a healthy environment, education, work and the right to take part in cultural life.”
Mr Corbell said the government was keen to canvass views from right across the ACT community over the next month before making a final decision.
Personally I’d like for documents announced in a media release to actually be available.
UPDATE: ANU has announced the findings of their research on this:
Co-author of the report Professor Hilary Charlesworth from ANU said the researchers also examined the impact that inclusion of such rights in the Act would have.
“The HRA has been in operation in the ACT for seven years and, during this time, it has not led to a flood of litigation,” she said.
“Its major impact has been in ensuring that government, the Parliament and the courts give regular and more focused attention to the human rights issues raised by specific laws, policies and proposals.
“Our research found that there is every reason to expect that inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights in the HRA would have a similar impact, and would represent a further stage of evolution of human rights protection in the ACT.”
The report recommended that the HRA include the right to housing, the right to health, including food, water, social security and a healthy environment and the right to education. It also recommended inclusion of the right to work and the right to take part in cultural life.
The ACT Government is currently preparing its response to the recommendations in the independent research report. To inform this response, we would like to know what you think about the possible inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights in the ACT.
This paper provides information on the scope and potential application of economic, social and cultural rights. It considers the possible inclusion of the rights in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights with the Human Rights Act 2004. It also details how you can get involved.
In addition to responding to the focus questions within this paper, you can also participate in the online survey. You can access the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JJY8366.