Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Minority Issues
Statement by Australia

18 March 2014

Australia welcomes the report of the Independent Expert on minority issues.

Australia is a multicultural country with an estimated population of 22 million people, one quarter of whom were born overseas. As a nation we identify with more than 300 ancestries, and speak as many languages, including Indigenous languages.

As a nation, we recognise the balance of responsibilities and opportunities which is fundamental to living in Australia. At the same time we support the rights of all to participate fully in Australian life, free from discrimination and vilification.

The Australian Government is committed to address the disparity faced by Indigenous Australians and recognise the importance of disaggregated data. Under the National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy, the Australian Government is undertaking a pilot project to develop statistical indicators for Australia relating to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The broad aim of the project is to identify statistical indicators to consistently assess, over time, whether racial discrimination in Australian society is improving, deteriorating or changing. The project will consider priorities for future data collection, including disaggregation.

Australia’s approach to multicultural access and equity aims to ensure that all Australians receive equitable access to Australian Government services regardless of their cultural or linguistic background. In taking this approach, we endeavour to maximise the benefits of such diversity for all Australians while identifying and addressing barriers to effective participation in Australia’s social and economic life.

Australia looks forward to continuing its engagement with the Independent Expert. We would be grateful for her guidance on measures taken to improve disaggregated data collection and utilisation.