NSW Council for Civil Liberties celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Due to the historic vote on 10 December 1948, today is known as Human Rights Day.

President of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) Pauline Wright said, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a seminal declaration by countries across the world, that human rights are fundamental, intrinsic, and inalienable. Nations across the globe saw the horrors of World War II, and determined to establish a new world order, based on respect for political, civil, social, economic and cultural rights.”

“Since 1948, we have seen international covenants covering issues like torture, discrimination, the right to seek asylum, and other human rights, inspired by the foundational principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Numerous countries have embraced progressive constitutional and legislative protections for human rights over the last 70 years. Unfortunately, Australia has been left behind. We conspicuously remain the only Western democracy lacking a national bill of rights.”

“We at CCL believe that Australia can best honour the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by institutionalising our own protections for human rights. Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have shown the way with their own Charter and Act and Queensland is going through a considered process right now. New South Wales should be next. Ultimately, we want to see legislative protections guarding the rights of everyone subject to Australian law,” said Wright.


Contacts in relation to this statement.

Pauline Wright



0418 292 656


Simon Bruck

Convenor of Civil and Human Rights Action Group