Who we are
The Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is Australia's national human rights institution, established in 1986 by legislation of the federal Parliament. The Commission’s operations are determined independently of the government through the President and Commissioners.
The Commission’s purpose is to provide independent and impartial services to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and address discrimination and breaches of human rights. The Commission engages at the policy level – encouraging government, industry and community groups alike to see fundamental rights and freedoms realised.
The Commission is accredited as an ‘A’ status National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) under the UN Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles). ‘A’ status NHRIs have independent and formal participation rights in the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on the Elimination of Race Discrimination and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The Commission also provides human rights analysis to the courts and parliamentary inquiries, conducts research and contributes to policy development.
Our expertise in human rights education and training
The Commission’s expertise lies in our human rights-based approach to our education and training activities. This approach not only increases learners’ knowledge and understanding of human rights but empowers individuals to exercise their own rights and respect the rights of others. This approach emphasises how human rights are achieved. Essentially, in our training, we convert the human rights principles and laws into effective practice.
In delivering our training we adopt the “PLANET” principles to examine human rights issues:
- Participation: Must be active, free and meaningful, and give attention to issues of accessibility.
- Legality: A human rights based approach requires that the law recognises human rights and freedoms as legally enforceable entitlements.
- Accountability: Requires effective monitoring of compliance with human rights standards and achievement of human rights goals, as well as effective remedies for human rights breaches.
- Non-discrimination and equality: All forms of discrimination in the realisation of rights must be prohibited, prevented and eliminated. It also means that priority should be given to people in the most marginalised or vulnerable situations who face the biggest barriers to realising their rights.
- Empowerment: Everyone needs to be able to understand their rights, and to participate fully in the development of policy and practices which affect their lives.
- Transparency: Decision-making must be transparent to those who are affected by the decisions. People are entitled to understand the reasons behind decisions that concern them, and the process used to arrive at the decision.
All of our training is developed and delivered based on adult learning and human rights education principles. It is highly participatory and draws on the prior experience and knowledge of the participants in facilitated discussion. It uses practical skills-based activities, videos, case studies, and good practice models.
The Commission has extensive experience in delivering training, both nationally and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, to federal, state and local government employees, other national human rights institutions and the community and corporate sectors.
Contact us for training: firstname.lastname@example.org