Friday, December 4, 2009

The Primate: Human Rights

From Australia-

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Phillip Aspinall has written to the Prime Minister commending him for the establishment of the Human Rights Consultation process and welcoming the resulting show of support from Australians for the protection and promotion of human rights.

Dr Aspinall said the Anglican Church of Australia was impressed by the depth and range of the Committee's enquiries. “We were delighted with the fair, balanced and comprehensive consideration of the numerous, often complex issues involved.

“Anglicans hold a variety of views on the best way to protect human rights. In particular, views differ on whether an Australian Human Rights Act is the best way to proceed. However, there was unanimous support from the Church’s General Synod Standing Committee, evident in its submission, for some form of legislative protection of human rights.”

Dr Aspinall said the need for human rights legislation is evident from the substantial experience of the agencies of the Anglican Church across Australia as they work to address the needs of the most vulnerable including refugees and asylum-seekers, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, children and the aged, prisoners and the mentally ill.

The Primate said while human rights education was important across the community so too was the development of a culture of understanding led by regulation and example, not just by governments but religious bodies like the Anglican Church.

In the letter to the Prime Minister Dr Aspinall urged the government to give particular attention to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, especially Articles 18 and 20(2) regarding the right to freedom of religion. “We believe that the right to freedom of religion should include the right of a religious body to determine the requisite qualifications, including religious belief, for employees and volunteers who carry out its work, in accordance with its religious doctrine and practices.”

More here-

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