National Human Rights Consultation
Participants at the Big Issue Workshop, March 2009
Between March and May 2009, the HPLC held 18 workshops at homelessness specific service providers in Victoria to ask people experiencing homelessness what they think about human rights in Australia. The purpose of conducting these workshops was to promote the right to participate by informing homeless people in our community about human rights and engaging them in the National Human Rights Consultation process.
In total, the HPLC consulted with 145 people who were experiencing homelessness, or who had formerly experienced homelessness, about human rights in Australia. Over 25 people wrote their own submissions to the National Human Rights Consultation Committee. The collated survey results and the views and comments put forward by participants at these workshops also formed the entirety of the HPLC’s first submission in response to the National Human Rights Consultation, Promoting and protecting the Human Rights of People Experiencing Homelessness in Australia.
The HPLC considered that it was important to provide the views and comments of workshop participants in a separate submission in order to appropriately capture the extent of participants’ concerns about human rights issues in Australia. That first submission encapsulates the voices of the voiceless in our community.
The HPLC’s second submission – Righting the Wrongs of Homelessness – focussed on those issues on which the HPLC is in a unique position to comment namely, the legislative mechanisms that the Australian government must adopt to ensure the most effective response to tackle the homelessness crisis in Australia. This submission was also informed by the HPLC’s consultations with people experiencing homelessness. The HPLC proposed the enactment of Federal Human Rights Act that effectively promotes and protects the human rights of all Australians.
The HPLC also produced a mini-documentary entitled Below the Poverty Line: Below the Human Rights Line, about the human rights workshops.
Watch the video here
If you would like further information about the HPLC’s response to the National Human Rights Consultation, please contact Amy Barry-Macaulay at firstname.lastname@example.org