Dear <<Given Name>>,
We invite you to be part of an exciting new initiative building greater respect for human rights in this country. Australia has a proud history of involvement in establishing the United Nations and universal human rights laws. But in recent decades, Australia has committed gross and systematic human rights violations with flagrant disregard for the UN's views on its conduct.
People are often surprised or disappointed to learn that the UN can't enforce its own decisions, but the fact is public pressure is needed to ensure human rights are respected. The UN provides authoritative decisions on Australia's human rights performance, and it's up to us to ensure they're implemented. It's time to support the UN, hold Australia to account and ensure violations are remedied. It's time for Remedy Australia.
Remedy Australia is launched today with a very specific mandate: to get Australia to comply with UN decisions on human rights complaints, both past and future.
Today is a special anniversary for Australians and millions of people around the world. Today is the 20th anniversary of Toonen v Australia.
Nick Toonen's was the first Australian case won at the UN back in 1994. Toonen and his then-partner, Rodney Croome, were at the forefront of the gay rights movement in Tasmania, the last Australian state where consenting sexual contact between adult men in private remained a crime. Toonen argued that the legislation infringed his right to privacy and the UN agreed with him. Twenty years on, the Toonen case represents a human rights victory not just for Nick, but a legal precedent cited around the world. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights describes it as 'a watershed with wide-ranging implications for the human rights of millions of people'. Nick Toonen is co-founder of Remedy Australia and Rodney Croome serves on its Advisory Council, along with Elizabeth Evatt, Sarah Joseph, Nick Poynder and Chris Sidoti.
To launch Remedy Australia, we have sent a report to the UN following-up all Australian cases to date and assessing Australia's progress in remedying each violation. The results are not good. Australia has remedied only 18% of complaints upheld against it so far. Will you help people like Patrick Coleman (right) obtain justice?