Human Rights Week 2020: Rights in recovery
In a year like no other, the unfamiliar environment and extreme circumstances Victorians have experienced have raised public consciousness and discussion of human rights. Existing structural inequalities have been highlighted and in some cases exacerbated, while ‘COVID-normal’ is asking us to take radically different approaches to the ways we live and work. Human Rights Week this year is an opportunity for Victorians to reflect on the lessons from the year that was, and explore how a human rights led recovery could help us create a more equal, sustainable and resilient future.
About the week
Human Rights Week 2020 was a virtual program of human rights related events and activities, beginning on Thursday 3 December and ending on Thursday 10 December – International Human Rights Day.
The theme for Human Rights Week 2020 was ‘Rights in recovery’ which encouraged Victorians to consider human rights – both the protection and application of rights – in the period of recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and how we – as different communities and a single country – can ‘build back better’.
All Victorians were invited to participate in Human Rights Week. Organisations, community groups and individuals across Victoria were invited to host a virtual morning tea or lunch for their staff or community, a picnic in a park, organise a film screening or invite a guest speaker, or run a workshop or training session to help their others build their understanding of human rights.
Our Equality Talks events
Equality Talks is series of public events focused on equality, discrimination and human rights. During the week, we hosted two Equality Talks events that focused on ‘building back better’ in the COVID-19 recovery.
Part 1: First principles focused on issues of democratic accountability and participation, policing and justice and navigating the balance between rights and restrictions.
Part 2: New frontiers explored new and emerging human rights issues and how we should respond.
The Human Rights Oration
The Oration is an annual event where leading thinkers are invite to share their perspectives on human rights. It is a free public event and an excellent opportunity to be involved in conversations about human rights. The Hon. Julia Gillard AC delivered this year’s oration, the 20th in our series.
Martin Bean CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University, provided a special address.