As an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, you have the right to be treated fairly. Discrimination may occur if you are treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of your culture, colour, descent, nationality or ethnic origin or immigrant status. It can occur directly in situations where you are denied something because you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander or indirectly where a rule or policy that is the same for everyone has an unfair effect on you because of your culture.
You also have the right to not be subjected to racial hatred or vilification. Vilification is a public act against you because of your culture, colour, national or ethnic origin that is likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate.
Examples may include racially offensive or abusive:
The Australian Human Rights Commission outlines a number of social justice rights for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This includes the right to:
There are other basic human rights outlined by the Australian Human Rights Commission that you have access to. These include the right to:
The Racial Discrimination Act makes it against the law for someone to treat you unfairly, or to discriminate against you, on the grounds of culture, colour, descent, national or ethic origin. It protects you against discrimination in public life, including:
The Racial Discrimination Act also outlines activities that are not deemed as discrimination, provided the activities are ‘done reasonably and in good faith’. These activities can include:
If you are in police custody, the police can only question you if you have a support person with you during the interview. If you are having difficulty as a result of language, educational, cultural or ethnic handicaps or differences, they should notify the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service if you are arrested. For more information, see the Criminal section.
The Australian Human Right Commission offers more information on the Racial Discrminiation Act of 1975, click here.