The impacts of COVID, and the government responses to it, have been felt by all Victorians, but no group more than those reliant on social security.
We have seen first-hand how COVID-19 has affected Victorians, especially those most affected by discrimination and injustice.
Some government measures have been vital in softening the blow of COVID-19 and the economic slowdown, others have not worked as well as they should. While some actions taken by government agencies have improved welfare and access to justice, some are pushing people further into hardship. The Federation of Community Legal Centres has now released A Just and Equitable COVID Recovery – A Community Legal Sector Plan for Victoria
which sets out our recommendations for embedding protections for those members of our community most impacted by disadvantage, discrimination and injustice. You can read the report here.
. In short, a just and equitable recovery must:
- expand and entrench vital protections for financially disadvantaged Victorians
- improve the fairness and resilience of our housing systems
- make sure no workers are left behind in Victoria’s economic rebuild
- embed access to justice for all victim-survivors of family violence and build on best practice legal supports in measures to respond to the ‘shadow pandemic’
- protect the welfare and human rights of people in prison throughout the COVID recovery, and move towards a safer prison system
- protect children and young people impacted by the crisis and keep them out of the justice system
We need to make sure no one gets left behind in the transition to the ‘new normal’.