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Human rights spotlight: cultural rights


VIDEO: ATSILS CEO Shane Duffy puts cultural rights into context and talks about the impact on mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

18 Dec 2019

Queensland’s new Human Rights Act will protect 23 human rights from 1 January 2020 and will make Queensland the first Australian jurisdiction to protect cultural rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Examples of practicing culture include:

  • maintaining and using Indigenous languages
  • maintaining kinship ties
  • Having freedom to teach cultural practices and education to children
  • Having the right to maintain distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationships with land, water and other resources that there is a connection with under traditional laws and customs.

Other human rights enshrined in the Act include surround:

  • education
  • health services
  • criminal proceedings (including for children)
  • protection of families and children.

The Queensland Human Rights Commission will continue to be responsible for administering the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, which covers areas such as:

  • race
  • age
  • relationship status
  • family responsibilities
  • sexuality.

Read more about the protection of cultural rights of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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