Why human rights complaints rose in Qld

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KEY POINTS FROM THE QUEENSLAND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION’S ANNUAL REPORT:

* 369 formal human rights complaints were made about public entities with 344 finalised in 2020/21

* 151 complaints were accepted, while 193 were withdrawn or rejected to due to no prior internal complaint being made or a lack of detail or substance.

* 47 of the accepted complaints were resolved via early intervention or conciliation and 34 were withdrawn.

* Common resolutions included an apology, a promise to train individuals or workforce, compensation or policy change or review.

* 70 complaints remained unresolved after conciliation with 26 referred to tribunals, 42 not referred and two reported on by the commission.

* 34 accepted complaints had not been finalised at the time of the report.

WHAT THE COMPLAINTS WERE ABOUT:

* The three most common complaints related to the rights equality before the law, humane treatment when deprived of liberty and freedom of movement.

* Complaints about the right to equality before the law likely related in all cases to discrimination.

* The right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty usually relates to prisons and other closed environments, but COVID-19 has resulted in a “significant number of complaints made by people in hotel quarantine”.

* The right to freedom of movement complaints were also higher due to restrictions such as lockdowns and border closures due to COVID-19.

WHO MADE THE COMPLAINTS:

* 50.57 per cent were men and 49.2 per cent were women, while 0.23 per cent didn’t identify as either gender.

* The biggest proportion of enquirers were aged between 35-54.

* About 74 per cent of complainants were born in Australia and 26 per cent were born overseas, mostly New Zealand and the UK.

* 10.5 per cent of complainants were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, which the commission said was is “significant” given Indigenous people make up 4.0 per cent of Queensland’s population.

Source: Queensland Human Rights Commission

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