Wednesday, March 28, 2012

charter of human rights a core part of our democracy

The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) welcomes the Government's decision to retain the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and its commitment to protecting the rights of all Victorians.

The VLGA provided a submission to the Review of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, based on consultations with our members. The VLGA also gave evidence at the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee.

The VLGA believes that the Charter has made a real difference to the lives of many Victorians and has had a positive impact on the policies and practices of local governments. Fourteen VLGA local government members made individual submissions to the review. Their submissions included case studies that showed that human rights are at the centre of local government business from grass roots service delivery to accessible transparent governance.

Human rights cut across and underscore local government policy and programs in areas such as affordable housing, transport, environmental sustainability, people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, people with a disability and community engagement.

The VLGA has received strong and widespread support for the existence of the Charter, and a strengthened focus on human rights in local governments and local communities across Victoria. Many, including the VLGA, would like to see greater focus for resourcing grass roots measures to promote human rights.

Human rights go to the core of our place as a democratic and socially inclusive society where people and communities can thrive and flourish.

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