Human Rights Day marks one of the world’s most groundbreaking global pledges, on 10 December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and today we mark its 75th anniversary.


This anniversary of Human Rights Day holds particular significance at a time when conflict and political instability is occurring across the globe. It serves to remind us all of the necessity of the inalienable human rights that everyone is entitled to.


Freedom, equality, and justice represent this year’s theme and Australia, as one of eight nations to draft the original declaration, has a significant role in promoting and upholding human rights globally, by supporting the international rules-based order and acting in the interests of international peace and security.


It is our obligation and goal as an international community to continue to secure the human rights of all peoples, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or socio-economic status.


Australia must continue to advocate for equal human rights for women and girls, people with disabilities, LGBTI people, Indigenous peoples, and others who may be in vulnerable situations, wherever they live.


The Coalition remains deeply concerned by instances around the world of arbitrary detention, and violence or discrimination against ethnic minorities, political opponents, human rights advocates and other vulnerable groups. We must continue to address restrictions on fundamental freedoms both in peoples’ daily lives.


We remain steadfast in our commitment to universal human rights – the rule of law, individual freedom and the right to dignity and respect as values that have guided Australians for generations.