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Edition 481, 8 October 2012

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New resource for providers to help protect rights and needs of international students

Monday, October 8 2012

A new resource to help protect international students, Principles to promote and protect the human rights of international students has just been released by Australia’s Race Rights Commissioner Helen Szoker.

The Principles, launched at the Australian International Education Conference in Melbourne on Thursday, are for educational and other organisations and people who work with international students.

The resource is also available in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Nepali, Thai and Vietnamese.

Aimed at being as hands-on as possible, the resource is broken down into best-practice examples from education and community organisations, with practical actions to follow.

The resource is based around four core principles:

  1. Enhancing the human rights of international students
  2. ensuring all international students have access to human rights and freedom from discrimination protections
  3. understanding the diverse needs of international students, and
  4. empowering international students during their stay in Australia

By implementing the principles, education providers and other organisations would:

  • improve their services and enhance international students’ educational experience and will put in place appropriate measures to enhance their health, safety and well-being
  • ensure that international students and their family members become better informed about the rights and the protections available to them and have more opportunities to connect with the communities where they live and study
  • enable international students to better contribute to ongoing policy development and service delivery, and
  • help reinforce and build Australia’s positive reputation as an educational destination for international students.

In announcing the Principles, Commissioner Szoker stressed that people and organisations have a collective responsibility for dealing with international students’ issues.

Reflecting on the reputation suffered in recent times by the education sector as a result of difficult experiences faced by a number of international students, Commissioner Szoker emphasised the very real need of a set of guiding Principles, especially as there is no body with formal responsibility for addressing issues faced by international students.


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