Rights-based solutions to critical social issues set to take centre stage at landmark forum in Sydney

With a plethora of issues currently impacting significantly on the rights of people across Australia, an upcoming landmark national conference during the Vivid Sydney festival is set to explore a range of new approaches to protecting and promoting human rights in Australia.

Concerns about racism and freedom of speech stemming from the impact of the war in Gaza; Australia’s domestic violence, youth justice, immigration and housing crises; discrimination against First Nations and transgender people; addressing the recommendations of the recent Disability Royal Commission – these and many other issues will frame discussions at the Free + Equal Human Rights Conference over 6 and 7 June.

Presented by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the conference is set to attract hundreds of delegates from across Australia’s human rights, civil society, legal, justice, government and business sectors to discuss a range of human rights and social justice issues, including paving the way for the introduction of an Australian Human Rights Act and reforming Australia’s Race, Sex, Disability and Age Discrimination Acts.

A week before the conference, the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights is set to release its highly-anticipated report into the elements of a new national human rights framework, including whether an Australian Human Rights Act should be enacted and if Australia’s suite of anti-discrimination Acts should be updated.

Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher said: “Human rights are at the forefront of many issues which feature in today’s headlines, so our conference couldn’t be timelier in terms of exploring how we can improve how people in Australia experience justice, equity, compassion and respect.

“An Australian Human Rights Act as well as proposed updates to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws would be major reforms that would have a significant impact on Australia’s legal, justice, government, civil society and business sectors, so understanding the trajectory of these proposals is vital for people working across these areas, including students of law, politics, business and culture.”

“Coming hot on the heels of the PJCHR’s inquiry, the Free + Equal Conference is a not-to-be-missed gathering for anyone with an interest in human rights to be involved in a very timely discussion about how we can advance human rights in Australia and build momentum for a revitalisation of our human rights framework with an Australian Human Rights Act at the centre.”

More than 60 eminent experts, thought leaders, social justice advocates and community heroes will provide a lively and inspirational blend of views, insights and perspectives at what promises to be Australia’s premier human rights event for 2024.

/Public Release. View in full here.