Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Submission human rights commission regards "work for dole"

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Australian government has a policy of forcing people to do volunteer work involuntarily. In many cases, this is for long-term unemployed. In some cases, it is long term casual labour-hire workers that get hours cut due to business requirements or public holidays. If they fail to comply their welfare payments are cut. They are not paid for this work.

ICCPR Article 8 states:
  1. No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.
  2. No one shall be held in servitude.
  3. (a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour;
    (b) Paragraph 3(a) shall not be held to preclude, in countries where imprisonment with hard labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court;
    (c) For the purpose of this paragraph the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:
    (i) Any work or service, not referred to in sub-paragraph (b), normally required of a person who is under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court, or of a person during conditional release from such detention;
    (ii) Any service of a military character and, in countries where conscientious objection is recognised, any national service required by law of conscientious objectors;
    iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
    (iv) Any work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations.             

I believe the Australian government is in breach of ICCPR Article 8 by forcing people to work without reward that generally goes with such activity. Many people in this program have been supporting the very system that is inflicting this abuse upon them. Paying taxes thinking that they may one day require it's protection. The government is failing to provide sufficient work to fully employ the population.Current unemployment figures in Australia are at 6% . The figures are not a true reflection of the state of employment or nature in reality. How can a government that is failing to provide jobs lawfully legislate to enslave those affected by their failure?   I request that the human rights commission investigate this matter with a sense of urgency as many innocent Australians down on their luck are being mistreated, by the government they paid for in many cases. The work itself is not in the interests of future employment,nor is it good for the mental health of participants. Another issue the government should be accountable for.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966
entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49

The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
Article 1
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

I also believe the Australian government work for the dole scheme contravenes Article 49 Part 1 Article 1 sec 1 & 2 for the following reasons.
By being forced by the State to perform tasks as a penalty driven by an economy & policy out of their control. People are being denied the right to pursue their own economic social & personal destiny with freedom.
By being penalised with cancellation of welfare payments or held ransom to that threat, they are being bullied by the State to comply with it or else.Which both prohibits free endeavor by threatening harm. Article 1 part 2 strictly prohibits this. 

                                                                        Regards Mark Dickenson.