The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a major three year project on the intersection of human rights and new technologies. Focusing on responsible innovation, the project will explore the challenges and opportunities that technology poses to our human rights. The Commission is interested in hearing the views of members of the public, business, government and academia on the human rights impacts of new technologies.

As new technology reshapes our world, we should pursue innovation that reflects our national values, equality, fairness and liberal democracy. And we must also address the challenge that new technology could worsen inequality and disadvantage.

The impacts of new technologies are not experienced equally by all parts of the Australian community. New technologies may advance, or limit, one or more human rights.  

Some of the human rights that may be engaged by new technology include:

  • The right to equality and non-discrimination
  • Freedom of expression
  • Right to benefit from scientific progress
  • Freedom from violence
  • Accessibility for people with disability
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to education
  • Access to information and safety for children
  • Right to a fair trial and procedural fairness

The Australian Government has committed to respect, protect and fulfil these human rights, which are outlined in international human rights treaties.    

The Australian Human Rights Commission Issues Paper outlines a number of human rights that are affected by different types of new technology including artificial intelligence-informed decision making and disability accessibility. It includes a number of questions about human rights and new technology.

Human rights and new technology consultation questions

What types of technology raise particular human rights concerns? Which human rights are particularly implicated?

Noting that particular groups within the Australian community can experience new technology differently, what are the key issues regarding new technologies for these groups of people (such as children and young people; older people; women and girls; LGBTI people; people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples)?

You can make a submission here