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Human Rights Act 2019

We support better human rights protections for people living with mental illness and problematic alcohol and other drug use.

Stronger human rights protections are vital, as people with a lived experience of mental illness and problematic alcohol and other drug use are more likely than other Queenslanders to have their human rights violated through:

  • the use of seclusion and restraint
  • indefinite detention  
  • the loss of personal and parental rights.

    2016 Parliamentary Inquiry

    In 2015–16, the Queensland Parliament Legal Affairs and Safety Committee held a Human Rights Inquiry into whether Queensland should have a Human Rights Act. The transcript of proceedings includes statements by the then Queensland Mental Health Commissioner who attended the hearings.

    The Parliamentary Committee tabled its report Inquiry into a possible Human Rights Act for Queensland on 30 June 2016.

    Our submission

    The Commission’s provided a submission to the Parliamentary Committee, A Human Rights Act for Queensland after initially developing a Background Paper on A Human Rights Act for Queensland that canvassed the views of people with lived experience and the implications and opportunities for a Human Rights Act.

    As part of our research, we invited two people with lived experience of mental illness to share their perspectives and experiences of human rights and healing.

    Human Rights Bill 2018

    Human Rights Bill 2018 was tabled in the Queensland Parliament in October 2018. In November 2018 the Queensland Parliament commenced an Inquiry into the Human Rights Bill 2018.

    Our submission on the Human Rights Bill 2018 affirms protection of human rights is fundamental to supporting recovery of people living with mental health problems, mental illness, and alcohol and other drug use.

    Respect for human rights and dignity is one of the guiding principles of the Shifting Minds strategic planThe Strategic Plan includes the following priority actions:

    • Promoting and monitoring least restrictive practices in policy and legislation, reduce restrictive practice, and improve responses to human rights complaints. 
    • Align the Mental Health Act 2016 with the proposed Queensland human rights legislation.

    Human Rights Act 2019

    The Human Rights Act 2019 commenced on 1 January 2020, further enhancing the protections for Queenslanders in their dealings with public entities. 

    The Act is overseen by the Queensland Human Rights Commission, which also handles human rights complaints under the Act. The Act protects 23 human rights in law.