Recognise and Respect Rights

65 schools and early learning services have added this Action to their RAP.

Recognising and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is important to reducing discrimination and promoting equality and equity in the educational and wider community.

The State of Reconciliation in Australia report defines ‘equality and equity’ as one of the five key dimensions of reconciliation. 

According to the report, equality is defined as “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples being in control of their life choices—enabling them to participate fully in the social, cultural and economic opportunities enjoyed by the wider Australian community.” 

It is important to acknowledge not just equality, but also equity. Equity refers to the unique rights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians hold by virtue of being Indigenous, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ ability to freely exercise these rights. The United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples affirms that Indigenous peoples are no less equal to all other peoples and recognises the rights of all peoples to be different and to be respected as such.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are co-constructive frameworks which sanction the simultaneous importance of humanity and diversity. Recognising and respecting these declarations helps to promote equality and equity and will help to shape learning environments that are cross-culturally accommodating, and free of discrimination.  

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