The Council had endorsed a campaign by the St James Ethics Centre to promote an ethics-based complement to scripture classes in NSW schools. View the submission to NSW Education Minister Verity Firth here ethics-in-schools-submission
This was followed up with a letter to Minister Firth letter-to-minister-2-november-2009
In one of his last acts as Premier of NSW Nathan Rees announced approval for trial ethics course in NSW schools.
* * *
Frontline, an Irish international NGO working for the protection of human rights defenders asked the Council for assistance with a campaign to encourage the Australian Government to adopt a version of the European Guidelines for Human Rights Defenders. The campaign was launched at a photographic exhibition opened by Kerry Rea, the Chair of the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in Brisbane in early November. The Council’s Executive Director accompanied Frontline Deputy Director Andrew Anderson and a human rights defender from Kenya, Njeri Kabeberi to Canberra on a round of lobbying. There was considerable interest from both government and NGOs. Link to the Frontline web site:
Frontline launched an international petition addressed to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith urging him to consider following the European Union example in taking action to protect human rights defenders.
* * *
The Council was invited by the Standing Committee on Migration to make a submission to its Inquiry into Migration Treatment of People with Disabilities.Here is the submission hrca-migration-disability-submission
* * *
The International Council on Human Rights Policy called for comments on a draft paper on Irregular Migration, Human Smuggling and Human Rights. HRCA member Chris Sidoti has provided some suggestions for the draft which will be of interest to those concerned about the current treatment of refugees and asylum seekers by the Australian Government. ichrp-comments
* * *
The Executive Director is a member of a group of experts working on a Human Rights Charter/Agenda for Cities. He was invited to attend a conference finalizing the draft Charter/Agenda in Nantes. The one-day event amended the current draft of the Charter with a view to presentation at the World Forum on Human Rights in July 2010.