For outcome 3.1
Participants and stakeholders, in our consultations, research and education and informing activities experience participation, empowerment and benefit
Ensuring authentic and inclusive participation in our programs and initiatives is an important Commission value. Achieving it also strengthens the credibility and influence of the reports and other products that projects culminate with. This statement provides:
- Examples* of initiatives that have achieved inclusive participation strategies that attracted a diverse range of stakeholders to activities and in turn receiving feedback on the authenticity of the Commission’s leadership and independence in that activity.
- Examples* of initiatives that demonstrate the performance expectation through the empowerment and benefit of more vulnerable participants in consultations, research and education and informing activities. Several of these initiatives describe activities that build on the empowerment through participation providing real time participant feedback, such as consultation results presented as word cloud resources that can be shared among the community or community versions of the reports. In the coming period, several will develop education and advocacy resources for communities to use by and for themselves.
*Free and Equal: an Australian conversation on human rights, Human Rights and Technology, OPCAT implementation in Australia, Business and Human Rights Dialogue, Respect@Work, Sharing the stories of Australian Muslims, Wiyi Yani U Thangani (women and girls).
For outcome 3.2
Our activities with stakeholder organisations lead to systemic and sustained action, including changes to organisational policy and practice, to protect and promote human rights in their context
Our activities with Australian business increase their capability to identify, prevent and address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.
Our regional technical cooperation activities increase stakeholder capacity to advance national reform in partner states.
In this period, most initiatives working directly with partner organisations have met or progressed this expectation.
Examples in the statement demonstrate foundational results across these expectations through activities that have first increased participating organisations understanding of the impact of their systems and operations on human rights and then gone on to collaboratively deliver activities that turning human rights from legal instruments into effective policies and practical realities.
The benefit from initiatives undertaken with several partners is also illustrated by the renewal of multiyear funding arrangements by partners.
The activities of our business and human rights strategy evidence how we have met this expectation through the collective results of multiyear activities in which business participants report an increased understanding of their role in preventing modern slavery and greater capacity to take practical action address it.*
*Commission-Defence Collaboration to support and improve cultural reform across Defence (2014–2024), Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunity for women and girls in golf, Annual Business and Human Rights Dialogue – 2014 to 2019, KPMG partnership on modern slavery.
Regional technical cooperation programs
These programs work in a long-term multiyear context where this expectation is progressed within the challenges of international work. This statement demonstrates progressive results towards this expectation that include the strengthening of relationships between the Commission and the key implementing State partners, positive learning outcomes from the annual programs of human rights educational and knowledge exchange events and the commencement of technical information resources.
With the onset of the COVID-19 these programs pivoted to blended learning models. This combination of online modules and interactive sessions allows the capacity-building work to continue, despite the travel restrictions. The value of these initiatives to both the regional countries and the Australian Government is further illustrated by the extensions to the scope of programs in both countries.*
*Vietnam Human Rights Fund 2017–2021, Human Rights, Technology and Cyber Security in Vietnam, Lao PDR-Australia Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program.
Critical to achieving this goal is the development of effective partnerships at the community level and with sectors of society, such as sporting organisations and the business community. The Commission is currently revamping its national anti-racism strategy which has the potential to foster many partnerships across different sectors, and provide a basis for greater collaboration across sectors.
The Commission has formed effective partnerships with sporting organisations through its work on child safety, as well as sports specific guidance to assist compliance with discrimination laws and in assisting cultural reform initiatives. The challenges to undertaking this work relate to our small staffing footprint to progress partnerships and the need for individual activities to be fully funded (requiring us to be agile and flexible in staffing projects at short notice).
Effective community partnerships also enable the Commission to access members of the community who may be distrusting of government or otherwise difficult to access.
The Commission has a high degree of trust at the community level which can assist this work. It means that we are able to engage in dialogue that would not always be achievable for mainline government departments. For example, the Commission’s Wiyi Yani U Thangani project is a joint initiative with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, which has assisted this government department to understand issues faced by indigenous women and girls. Our capacity building potential is often recognised by government but is under-utilised to investigate complex human rights challenges that exist in Australia. The challenge we face is to build awareness of our processes and to promote of this function.