Human rights are essential in a democratic and inclusive society that respects the rule of law, human dignity, equality and freedom. This section outlines Victoria's contribution to human rights protection, in the form of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter), which was passed by Parliament in July 2006.
Human rights are entitlements that belong to every person regardless of age, sex or culture.
Human rights are internationally recognised principles, as articulated by the United Nations and agreed to by a vast majority of nations. International human rights provide a guideline to governments on how to treat and care for their citizens.
In Australia, human rights are valued and respected with some protections offered by way of common law and legislation (for example, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010). However, there is no federal bill of rights specifically for the protection of human rights, nor is there consistent legislative protection of human rights between states.
Human Rights in Victoria
Victoria is the first Australian state to enact formal protection of human rights by introducing the Charter. The Charter ensures human rights are valued and protected within the community by placing obligations on government.