Today we recognise Human Rights Day and mark the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly.

Human Rights Day proclaims the necessity of the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being.

As one of the eight nations to draft the declaration, Australia has a strong history of promoting and protecting human rights globally, supporting the international rules-based order, and acting in the interests of international peace and security.

Dignity, freedom, and justice for all serve as this year’s theme and as an important reminder in recognising progress but also a reflection upon the challenges posed to human rights by political instability and conflict.

As an international community, our goal must be to continue to secure the human rights of all people, regardless of their 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.

However, we remain deeply concerned by instances around the world of arbitrary detention, and violence or discrimination against ethnic minorities, political opponents, human rights advocates, journalists and other vulnerable groups. We must continue to address restrictions on fundamental freedoms, online and offline.

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.