Human rights groups in Australia are making themselves heard every day to the betterment of our society, but the Australian Government needs to follow their lead if real change is to be achieved, the Australian Greens said today.
"International Human Rights Day gives us all a chance to recognise the efforts of people around Australia who work tirelessly to defend the rights of the less powerful," the Greens' Human Rights spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"Today we recognise the work of people who are speaking up for the rights of Indigenous Australians, caring for our disadvantaged youth, fighting for a safer and fairer world or campaigning for the humane treatment of refugees.
"I welcome the recognition of the work of refugee activist Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, who established the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and call on the Government to acknowledge its own failings in the same area.
"Labor and Liberals' race to the bottom is overshadowing the good work of people like Mr Karapanagiotidis who is fighting for refugees' rights while the Government dumps hundreds of people, including families and children, in island prisons.
"The last ten years have seen significant wins and disappointing losses in the fight for the recognition of human rights in Australia and it is important to remember that the moral test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.
"The inspiring work of many Australians who will be recognised today attests to the fact that we, as a nation, have both a lot to be proud of and a long way to go."
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