Today I announce the appointment of Hon Philip Ruddock MP as Special Envoy for Human Rights.
Australia has a strong record of promoting and protecting human rights, at home and around the world.
As a distinguished member of the Australian Parliament for over four decades, the current Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, and a longstanding member of Amnesty International, Mr Ruddock is well-qualified to advocate and represent Australia’s human rights views and record.
As Special Envoy, Mr Ruddock will focus on advancing Australia’s human rights priorities of good governance, freedom of expression, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, and national human rights institutions.
Mr Ruddock will actively in promote Australia’s candidacy for membership of the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the 2018-20 term. He will represent Australia at international human rights events and advocate our HRC candidacy in selected countries.
Mr Ruddock’s role will be consistent with the practice of past governments in approving Special Envoys to support our international campaigns, for example the United Nations Security Council bid.
He will also promote our broader human rights agenda, including global abolition of the death penalty, for which he has worked tirelessly over many years.
Mr Ruddock will be Australia’s first Special Envoy for Human Rights, reflecting the Government’s commitment to further strengthening Australia’s contribution to advancing human rights.