A Right to Birth Registration in the Victorian Charter? Seek and You Shall Not Find!
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 08:52 by Andy Gargett;Paula Gerber;Melissa Castan
Many people have placed Victoria on a pedestal because it was the ﬁrst (and still only) state in Australia to have enacted human rights legislation. The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) replicates many of the rights protected in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but notably fails to include art 24(2) which recognises the right to birth registration. This omission is likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on Indigenous Victorians, who, it has recently been discovered, are experiencing difﬁculties in their dealings with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Many Indigenous people are being denied basic rights of citizenship such as obtaining a driver’s licence or passport because they are unable to produce a copy of their birth certiﬁcate; the universally accepted proof of identity document. This article explores the problems faced by Indigenous Victorians in relation to birth registration and birth certiﬁcates, and analyses the extent to which the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) can provide redress, notwithstanding the absence of a speciﬁc provision regarding the right to birth registration.