Melbourne Citymission: Responding to Service Provision in a Human Rights Framework l Promotes independence , human dignity, and living standards by – Delivering services in accordance with human rights principles – Considering and describing clients’ issues in human rights terms – Formulating and seeking remedies using human rights tools l Human rights are common sense and can improve lives l Charter enshrines basic principles of good policy and service delivery: dignity, respect, fairness, non-discrimination, participation, transparency and accountability) l Improved framework for design and delivery of public services
Human Rights in the Charter l Derived from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) F reedom: movement, assembly and association, expression, religion and belief, liberty, fair hearing R espect: life, protection of families, cultural rights E quality: non-discrimination, equal recognition D ignity: torture and cruel treatment, privacy and reputation, humane treatment in detention A utonomy: taking part in public life
Melbourne Citymission: 1854 l l l 700 staff members 6 different service types 72 different programs l l Most services based in the North & West Melbourne Several Statewide Services – ABI; Justice; Youth
Vision A fair and just community where people have equal access to opportunities and resources. Purpose We build inclusive communities that overcome disadvantage.
Justice Programs: In Partnership l Womens Integrated Support Program in partnership with VACRO and Jesuit Social Services (sub-contract Flat Out) l W 4 W employment program l Family Support at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre l SWEP: Social Support l Cairnlea: Social Housing l Prison Network Ministry Volunteer Coordinator
Activities of Support: Consistent with a Human Rights Approach: WISP l l l l l Accommodation Drug and Alcohol Family Reunification Employment Education and Training Financial Debt Mental Health Social Support Physical Health Disability Sexual Assault
Most Relevant Rights: UK Institutions l Right to respect to privacy and family life - 46% l Right to a Fair Hearing - 44% l Right to Liberty and security of the person – 23% l l l Prohibition on discrimination – 14% Freedom from torture and cruel treatment – 13% Right to Life – 10% Housing /homelessness l Right to privacy and family life – 80% l Right to a Fair Hearing – 40%
What Issues May the Charter Engage l l In the UK, The Human Rights Act is generally engaged in cases which raise principles of civil liberty, legality and human dignity. Judicial Review Patterns under UK (descending order by volume) Case Category % cases raising HRA Immigration/asylum 45 Housing/Homelessness 32 Prison 55 Education 22 Disciplinary proceedings 20 Mental Health 100
Public Authority and Melbourne Citymission Justice Programs l What is a ‘public authority’? (s 4) – Core public authorities – ‘Functional’ public authorities (ie, entities discharging ‘functions of a public nature’) > Public Funding > Functions connected to or identified with government l WISP and the strategic alliance is most likely to fall under the this section
Reflections from the UK: Impact on Policy and Service Delivery l Awareness-raising, education and capacity building around human rights can empower people and result in: > Better public service outcomes > Improved levels of consumer satisfaction > More flexible, individualised and responsive policies and practices l Core principles of the Charter can trigger new thinking and help decision-makers ‘see seemingly intractable problems in a new light’ l Language and ideas of rights can be used to secure positive changes not only to individual circumstances, but also to policies and procedures
Clarity Administrative Processes l l l Oo. H Segment Panel: determines whether people experiencing recurring homelessness are eligible to obtain priority public housing by being accepted on the segment one waiting list. – Right to a Fair hearing – Right to a procedural fairness – Right to legal advice and representation Social Housing providers? Child Protection Orders – Child in Custody arrangements – New regime of pre-birth notifications > Substantial/extreme risk to the child Spent convictions and disclosure of prior offences/police records Managerialism – The Charter is enabling rather than blocking
Implementation l l l PILCH Audit – Practise Manuals – Pamphlets – Client feedback – Client participation – Privacy Training Volunteers Reporting Advocacy
“ Australia remains a land respectful of human dignity, including of its prisoners Unlike the US it would never tolerate excluding millions (or thousands) of its citizens from the vote because of past convictions ” Justice Michael Kirby: Speaking after the High Court overturned the Howard Governments ban on prisoners right to vote.