Australia continues to have a very positive and solid human rights record and is very engaged in advocating progress on human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The main human rights challenges at domestic level remain:
The main EU actions focussed on engaging with Australian officials on human rights issues through high-level meetings/dialogues, demarches and outreach for common actions at international level. The EU engagement with Australia on human rights and development issues in the region continued, including through the EUAustralia-New Zealand trilateral dialogue on the Pacific.
The EU regularly engages with the Australian government, the country's human rights agencies and bodies, and NGOs to promote good human rights policies and support initiatives to counter racism, gender equality, and other human rights promotion activities.
Examples include support to the Australian Human Rights Commission by sponsoring its Annual Award for ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’. In 2019, the award went to documentary filmakers of The Final Quarter which uses the story of champion AFL footballer and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes to highlight the prevalence of racism in Australia. Read more about the other finalists here.
Another example is the EU Trivia Night with a fund-raising activity in favour of an organisation promoting or advocating human rights. In 2019 the funds raised went to a Not-For-Profit community organisation that provides therapeutic horse facilitated programs and activities for children with disabilities.
Australia continues to play an active part as a Human Rights Council member, following the key priorities it identified when elected to the Council (gender equality, good governance, freedom of expression, the rights of indigenous peoples, and strong national human rights institutions and capacity building). Its stance is very similar to that of the EU and the EU Member States.