The priorities of the AHRC

The number of times a term is mentioned on an organisation’s website can be a crude measure of their priorities. But when the gap is so large, it’s hard to ignore.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is a 100% taxpayer-funded organisation. One of its tasks is to advocate on behalf of Australians’ human rights.

But as Simon Breheny argued in The Australian recently, the AHRC really only advocates for the human rights they like – such as the right to not be discriminated against – over human rights they are less enthusiastic about, like freedom of speech and property rights.

Well, now we can quantify that gap:

  • Number of times “discrimination” is mentioned on the AHRC website: 12,200
  • Number of times “freedom of speech is mentioned: 423 (“free speech” is mentioned 226 times)
  • Number of times “property rights” is mentioned: 370
  • Number of times “right to silence” is mentioned: 41
  • Number of times “presumption of innocence” is mentioned: 80

The AHRC is not a human rights agency at all. At best it is an anti-discrimination agency dressed up in the rhetoric of human rights. At worst it is a taxpayer-funded left-wing lobby group. The AHRC only selectively defends the rights they like. It should be abolished.

UPDATE: Yet more evidence of the AHRC’s warped priorities, as we pointed out in our Hey email today.

According to the Human Rights Commission, these are the four biggest human rights issues in the 2013 federal election. No mention of freedom of speech, or laws which remove the right to silence or undermine the presumption of innocence.

And under the section of their website entitled “freedom” these are the posts that appear, along with a very strange definition of freedom.


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