Upholding human rights in the public housing lockdown
Today around 3000 residents in public housing towers in inner Melbourne woke up to a hard lockdown – drastic action that the government has taken to protect the health of people living in those locations.
5 July 2020
It is vital that this lockdown of public housing is managed fairly and flexibly to take particular care of people’s individual circumstances and vulnerabilities – whether it be disability, mental illness, dependency on drugs and alcohol, or risk of family violence. It must be done with consideration of the needs of Aboriginal people and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
It is also vital that the government facilitates and coordinates access to essential services, including legal assistance, which is crucial to preserving rights during these measures.
During this state of emergency, Victoria’s human rights law, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, continues to operate to protect us. The Charter requires all public authorities – including Victoria Police and individuals working in public health, housing and social services organisations – to properly consider and to act in accordance with human rights as they make decisions, develop policies and deliver services.
In the days ahead, we’ll be working closely with government, public authorities and civil society to monitor and support human rights compliance, and to ensure that community members are aware of their rights. We will also be providing community leaders with information about human rights so they can support members of their communities.
If you’ve been affected by the lockdown and have concerns or questions about the impact on your human rights, contact us.