The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory organisation, established by an act of Federal Parliament. We protect and promote human rights in Australia and internationally.
What we do
- The Commission is Australia’s National Human Rights Institution.
- We investigate and conciliate discrimination and human rights complaints. Our complaints process is free and confidential and allows individuals to resolve disputes quickly and effectively.
- We advocate to government and others for human rights to be considered in laws and policy making, and we also provide advice, review laws, and make submissions to parliamentary inquiries.
- We promote and raise awareness of human rights in Australia through education and training, events and discussion, media outreach, digital resources and social media communication.
- We undertake research into human rights and discrimination issues in Australia – and sometimes we hold national inquiries to examine human rights issues in more detail (you can have your say on our current inquiries and projects).
- We also provide legal advice on human rights obligations to courts and appear as an amicus curiae – or ‘friend of the court’ – to provide specialist advice in discrimination cases.
- We produce guidelines for employers, and provide training and resources to assist organisations in embedding and supporting diversity and inclusion, and addressing the risks of modern slavery in their global operations and supply chains.
- We run international education and training programs for other human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific region.
- The Commission also has a role in monitoring and scrutinising Australia’s performance in meeting its international human rights commitments. We regularly provide independent reports to the UN about this.
It is against the law to be discriminated against in employment, education, the provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, sport and the administration of Commonwealth laws and services.
You can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission if you have experienced discrimination, harassment and bullying based on your:
- sex, including pregnancy, marital or relationship status including same-sex and de facto status, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, sexual harassment, gender identity, intersex status and sexual orientation
- disability, including temporary and permanent disabilities; physical, intellectual, sensory, psychiatric disabilities, diseases or illnesses; medical conditions; work related injuries; past, present and future disabilities; and association with a person with a disability
- race, including colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, immigrant status and racial hatred
- age, covering young people and older people
- sexual preference, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion, religion or social origin (in employment only)
We can also investigate and resolve complaints about alleged breaches of human rights against the Commonwealth and its agencies.
Find out more about our complaints process.
The Commission is a collegiate body made up of a President and seven Commissioners. The President is the chief executive officer.
Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
June Oscar AO
Age Discrimination Commissioner
The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO
Disability Discrimination Commissioner
Dr Ben Gauntlett
Human Rights Commissioner
Race Discrimination Commissioner
Sex Discrimination Commissioner