Some of the Commission’s major projects in 2018–19 have been discussed under Goal 1 to which they also contribute. For example, in the next year we will release final reports from our National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Human Rights and Technology project, Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) and our Free and Equal project.
Each of these projects have received widespread attention in Australia and overseas, with significant interest in our forthcoming findings.
A key element of our work is ‘walking the talk’ in how we conduct community engagement. Our children’s rights work directly engages children, including in the design of key activities, and our engagement with Indigenous women and girls has involved significant advisory support from Indigenous women as well as extensive place-based consultations.
The Commission also ensures that it routinely engages with parliamentary committees and the courts, even on issues that are difficult or highly politicised. We regularly receive feedback about the valuable contribution that we make through this engagement in highlighting the potential human rights impact of legislation in a manner that is apolitical.
This work is particularly important as the pace at which some parliamentary inquiries are conducted means that there can often be only a few human rights-focused submissions received. Many of these are on issues that are complex and yet highly significant in their potential impact on everyday Australians. For example, the Commission is one of few regular submitters of information on national security and counter-terrorism legislation, immigration and asylum seeker legislation and emerging issues such as encryption.