About the Commission
Human rights: everyone, everywhere, everyday.
Lead the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia by:
- making human rights values part of everyday
life and language
- empowering all people to understand and
exercise their human rights
- working with individuals, community,
business and government to inspire action
- keeping government accountable to national
and international human rights standards
- securing an Australian charter of
We do this by:
listening, learning, communicating and
- being open, expert, committed and
- fostering a collaborative, diverse,
flexible, respectful and innovative workplace.
Established in 1986, the Commission is a statutory organisation that exercises functions under the:
- Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
- Age Discrimination Act 2004
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Racial Discrimination Act 1975
- Sex Discrimination Act 1984
We have statutory responsibilities under these laws, including to investigate and conciliate complaints of alleged discrimination and breaches of human rights recognised under international conventions to which Australia is a party and to promote and protect these human rights generally.
We also have responsibilities under the Native Title Act 1993 and the Fair Work Act 1996.
The Commission has one outcome on which it is bound to report:
- An Australian society in which the human rights of all are respected, protected and promoted.
There is one output for the Commission’s outcome:
- Australians have access to independent human rights complaint handling and public inquiries processes and benefit from human rights education, promotion and monitoring and compliance activities.
We regularly review the human rights situation in Australia to determine where we can take practical action and make a positive difference.
We do this by listening to different groups and communities, undertaking research, analysing the complaints we receive and talking with our partner organisations.
This coordinated approach helps us identify emerging issues and develop integrated and strategic responses.
Between 2010 and 2012, we are prioritising work that:
- builds understanding and respect for human rights
- tackles violence, harassment and bullying.
The work we do is guided by four strategic goals
- Building understanding and respect for human
- Ensuring human rights are respected and
discrimination is addressed
- Leading and influencing advocacy for human
- Organisational excellence
The Commission is a national independent statutory body established under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986.