Do you want your kids to be stopped, questioned and photographed by the police?
Do you know what happens to such photos?
Can you be sure that such photos will be safeguarded?
And if your kids can be stopped, questioned and photographed at whim like this, can the same be done to you as well – without reason, explanation or safeguards?
Those are questions being asked by the Australian Privacy Foundation – Australia’s privacy advocate – after reports that Queensland Police are stopping and photographing young people in that state.
We should all trust our police forces, so a bout of tropical over-enthusiasm on the part of the boys and girls in blue is worrying. It is a reminder of the need to strengthen privacy law and have meaningful enforcement of that law. We expect government to respect the law.
What’s happening in Queensland is also a reminder of the need to establish a Human Rights Act for all Queenslanders. Everyone is entitled to human rights – irrespective of age, colour, income or gender. The Foundation endorses calls for human rights – rights now, not in the indefinite future.
The Foundation also endorses questions about policing practice. Queensland Police are reported as claiming that there is no problem, because the children ‘consented’ to being stopped and photographed. That is legal nonsense and likely to erode the trust placed by some communities in our law enforcement people.
Few children take a barrister or solicitor when they go for a walk. Few children – and few adults – know their legal rights and legal responsibilities. Children cannot consent and are not in a position to ensure their rights are respected if stopped by an adult in a blue uniform.
Dr Monique Mann, Co-Chair APF Surveillance Committee
(07) 3138 7104
The Queensland Government held a Human Rights Inquiry in 2016 and, at the end of 2016, committed to introducing a Human Rights Act for Queensland.
During 2017 civil society organisations continued to lobby the government, asking them to put their commitment into action and to introduce a human rights bill that provides enforceable rights.
When the election was called the Government promised that if it was re-elected it would introduce a Human Rights Act.
Civil society organization want to see a human rights bill introduced by June 2018 to ensure that an act is in force by the next election.
More information is at http://www.humanrights4qld.com.au