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Race and disability discrimination account for 60% of complaints

Commission Commission – General

Complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) account for the majority of complaints lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2012/13, according to the Commission's 2012/13 annual report.

Tabled this week in Federal Parliament, the report shows that of the 2,177 complaints lodged with the Commission during the year, 500 complaints (23%) were made under the RDA and a further 793 complaints (37%) were made under the DDA.

Racial hatred was cited in 192 of the RDA complaints. This represents a 59% increase over the previous year, when 121 complaints were made on the grounds of racial hatred.

A large quantity of the racial hatred complaints relate to material on the internet. Alleged cyber-racism accounted for 41% of racial hatred complaints. This is a significant increase from the previous year where only 17% of racial hatred complaints related to internet material. The increase is from 22 complaints to 79 complaints.

The Commission received a further 417 complaints under the Sex Discrimination Act, 310 complaints under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act, and 157 complaints under the Age Discrimination Act.

57.5% of complaints under the Age Discrimination Act related to employment.

The Commission successfully resolved over 1,079 complaints through its conciliation process. 

Several case studies are included in the 2012/13 annual report, providing examples of the ways in which the Commission builds an understanding of and respect for human rights in Australia.

Key achievements include the Commission’s review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force; the roll-out of national campaigns targeting racism and bullying; initiatives to encourage business to hire older Australians; and increased awareness of the rights of children and asylum seekers.

In May 2013, representatives from the Commission and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples presented a historic joint statement to the United Nations, confirming Australia’s support for the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Download a copy of the report.

Media contact: Dominic O’Grady (02) 9284 9861 or 0419 258 597.