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Appendices2 - Annual Report 2009-2010: Australian Human Rights Commission

Appendices

Appendix 2 – Complaint statistics

Enquiries
and complaints received

In
2010-11 the Commission received 18 670 enquiries and 2 152 complaints which is
similar to the average number of enquiries and complaints received over the past
five years.

38% of complaints were lodged under the
Disability Discrimination Act

21% of complaints were lodged under the
Sex Discrimination Act

20% of complaints were lodged under the
Racial Discrimination Act

13% of complaints were lodged under the
Australian Human Rights Commission Act

8% of complaints were lodged under the
Age Discrimination Act.

Conciliation
of complaints

Of
the complaints finalised in 2010-11, 47% were conciliated. Of those matters
where conciliation was attempted, 64% were able to be resolved.
Complaints
under the Disability Discrimination Act had the highest conciliation rate (49%)
and a conciliation success rate of 64%.
Complaints
under the Racial Discrimination Act had a 46% conciliation rate and a
conciliation success rate of 62%.
Complaints
under the Sex Discrimination Act had a conciliation rate of 45% and a
conciliation success rate of 61%.
Complaints
under the Age Discrimination Act had a conciliation rate of 45% and the highest
conciliation success rate (66%).
Forty
percent of finalised complaints under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act
were successfully resolved.

Demographic
data

Information
on the geographical location and ethnicity of complainants is provided in Tables
7, 10 and 11.
Demographic
data obtained during the complaint process indicates that 48% of complaints were
lodged by individual males, 46% by individual females and 6% by other
categories. Other categories include intersex, sex not specified, joint/multiple
complainants and organisations/individuals on behalf of others.
Fifty
percent of complainants reported that they knew about the Commission prior to
lodging their complaint. This is the highest percentage recorded over the past
five years and may be indicative of increased community awareness of the
Commission and its work.
The
main identified referral sources for others were legal centres or private
lawyers (22%), family members or friends (19%), the internet (14%), a disability
organisation or advocate (9%) and a government agency (5%). There is also a
clear trend over the past five years for more complainants to identify the
internet as a source of information and referral.
The
majority of complainants (66%) indicated that their main source of income at the
time of the alleged act was from full-time, part-time, casual or self
employment.
Approximately
38% of complainants said they were represented at the beginning of the complaint
process. This figure has varied between 33% and 38% over the past five years. In
this reporting year, 39% of those who were represented said they were
represented by privately funded solicitors. Other forms of representation were
other advocate groups, such as working women’s centres or disability
advocacy services (23%), community legal centres, such as Indigenous or
disability legal services (17%), family members or friends (16%) and trade
unions or professional associations (5%).
In
2010-11, the main respondent organisation categories were private enterprise
(52%), Commonwealth departments/statutory authorities (16%) and State
departments/statutory authorities (16%). These have been the main categories for
the last five reporting years.

Complaint
information service

Table
1: Website enquiires
Complaint
Handling Section webpage views
326
516
Table
2: Telephone, TTY, Email, in-person and written enquiries received
Enquiry
type
Total
Telephone
14
479
TTY
13
Email
3
336
In-person
118
Written
724
Total
18
670
Table
3: Enquiries received by issue  
Issue
Total
Race
1
979
Race
- racial hatred
619
Sex
– direct
890
Sexual
harassment
1
003
Sex
- marital status, family responsibilities, parental status, carers
responsibilities, breast feeding
368
Sex
- pregnancy
510
Sexual
preference, transgender, homosexuality, lawful sexual activity
218
Disability
- impairment
2
628
Disability
- HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis
48
Disability
- workers compensation
164
Disability
- mental health
581
Disability
- intellectual/learning disability
293
Disability
- maltreatment/negligence
30
Disability
- physical feature
550
Age
- too young
157
Age
- too old
562
Age
- compulsory retirement
5
Criminal
record/conviction
364
Political
opinion
17
Religion/religious
organisations
213
Employment
- personality conflicts/favouritism
143
Employment
- union/industrial activity
60
Employment
- unfair dismissal/other industrial issues
2
020
Employment
- workplace bullying
1
564
Human
rights - children
80
Human
rights - civil, political, economic, social
772
Immigration
- detention centres
491
Immigration
- visas
334
Prisons/prisoners
202
Police
279
Court
- family court
193
Court
- other law matters
249
Privacy
- data protection
44
Neighbourhood
disputes
80
Advertising
23
Local
government – administration
77
State
government - administration
739
Federal
government - administration
716
Other
4
256
Total*
23
521
Table
4: Enquiries received by State/Territory of origin
State
of origin
Total
Percentage
New
South Wales
4
908
26
Victoria
2
731
15
South
Australia
1
306
7
Western
Australia
1
104
6
Queensland
2
384
13
Australian
Capital Territory
326
2
Tasmania
212
1
Northern
Territory
243
1
Unknown/overseas
5
456
29
Total
18
670
100

Complaints
overview

Table
5: Complaints received and finalised over the past five years
 
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-2011
Received
1
779
2
077
2
253
2
517
2
152
Finalised
1
656
1
883
2
354
2
426
2
266
Table
6: Outcomes of complaints finalised over the past five years
 
2006-07
(percent)
2007-08
(percent)
2008-09
(percent)
2009-10
(percent)
2010-2011
(percent)
Terminated/declined
48
39
34
32
35
Conciliated
38
48
48
50
47
Withdrawn
14
13
18
13
11
Discontinued*
-
-
-
5
6
Reported
(AHRCA only)
-
-
-
-
1
*
Complaints finalised under statutory
provision – 46 PF(5)(a) – Satisfied that complainant does not want
inquiry to continue.
Table
7:  Complaints received by State/Territory of complainant
State
of origin  
Total
Percentage
New
South Wales
827
38
Victoria
438
20
South
Australia
150
7
Western
Australia
191
9
Queensland
386
18
Australian
Capital Territory
65
3
Tasmania
19
1
Northern
Territory
41
2
Unknown/overseas
35
2
Total
2
152
100
Table
8: Complaints received and finalised by Act
Act
Received
Finalised
Racial
Discrimination Act (RDA)
422
472
Sex
Discrimination Act (SDA)
459
448
Disability
Discrimination Act (DDA)
823
961
Age
Discrimination Act (ADA)
175
181
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act (AHRCA)
273
204
Total
2
152
2
266
Table
9: Complaints received by Act over the past five years
 
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
Racial
Discrimination Act
250
376
396
550
422
Sex
Discrimination Act
472
438
547
532
459
Disability
Discrimination Act
802
988
980
1
057
823
Age
Discrimination Act
106
126
151
174
175
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act
149
149
179
204
273
Total
1
779
2
077
2
253
2
517
2
152
Table
10: Country of birth – complainants
 
RDA
(%)
SDA
(%)
DDA
(%)
ADA
(%)
AHRCA
(%)
Total
(%)
Born
in Australia
47
55
61
59
35
55
Born
outside of Australia
44
14
13
22
45
23
Unknown/unspecified
9
31
26
19
20
22
Table
11:  Indigenous status – complainants  
 
RDA
(%)
SDA
(%)
DDA
(%)
ADA
(%)
AHRCA
(%)
Total
(%)
Aboriginal
34
2
2

           1
2
9
Torres
Strait Islander
-
-
-
-
1
-
None
of the above
66
98
98
99
97
91
Table
12: Time from receipt to finalisation for finalised complaints
RDA
(%)
SDA
(%)
DDA
(%)
ADA
(%)
AHRCA
(%)
Cumulative
Total (%)
0
- 6 months
74
60
47
60
47
56
6
- 9 months
90
84
76
88
73
81
9
- 12 months
96
95
94
98
89.5
94
More
than 12 months
100
100
100
100
100
100

Racial
Discrimination Act

Table
13: Racial Discrimination Act - complaints received and finalised
Total
Received
422
Finalised
472
Table
14: Racial Discrimination Act - complaints received by ground
Racial
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Colour
74
9
National
origin/extraction
41
5
Ethnic
origin
102
12
Descent
9
1
Race
445
54
Victimisation
9
1
Racial
hatred
121
15
Aids,
permits or instructs
-
-
Association
2
-
Immigrant
23
3
Total*
826
100
*
One complaint may have multiple grounds
Table
15: Racial Discrimination Act - complaints received by area
Racial
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Rights
to equality before the law
-
-
Access
to places and facilities
1
-
Land,
housing, other accommodation
8
1
Provision
of goods and services
227
27
Right
to join trade unions
-
-
Employment
290
35
Advertisements
-
-
Education
7
1
Incitement
to unlawful acts
-
-
Other
- section 9
165
20
Racial
hatred
128
16
Total*
826
100
*An
area is recorded for each ground, so one complaint may have multiple and
different areas
.
Table
16: Racial hatred complaints received by sub-area  
Racial
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Media
– press/TV/radio
19
17
Disputes
between neighbours
6
5
Personal
conflict
15
13
Employment
29
26
Racist
propaganda
1
1
Internet
- e-mail/webpage/chat room
26
23
Entertainment
-
-
Sport
2
2
Public
debate
-
-
Provision
of goods and services
10
9
Other
5
4
Total
113
100
Table
17: Racial Discrimination Act - outcomes of finalised complaints
Racial
Discrimination Act
Total
Terminated
158
At
complainants request – s.46PE
-
Not
unlawful
-
More
than 12 months old
7
Trivial,
vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, lacking in substance
23
Adequately
dealt with already
-
More
appropriate remedy available
-
Subject
matter of public importance
-
No
reasonable prospect of conciliation
128
Discontinued*
40
Withdrawn
43
Conciliated
208
Administrative
closure**
23
Total
472
*
Finalised under statutory provision
– 46 PF(5)(a) – Satisfied that complainant does not want inquiry to
continue.

** Not an aggrieved party,
state complaint previously lodged.

Sex
Discrimination Act

Table
18: Sex Discrimination Act - complaints received and finalised
Sex
Discrimination Act
Total
Received
459
Finalised
448
Table
19: Sex Discrimination Act - complaints received by sex of complainant
Sex
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentages
Female
378
82
Male
78
17
Other
category*
3
1
Total
459
100
*
Includes intersex, sex not specified, joint/multiple and individual/organisation
on behalf of other
Table
20: Sex Discrimination Act - complaints received by ground
Sex
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentages
Sex
discrimination
324
37
Marital
status
18
2
Pregnancy
165
19
Sexual
harassment
265
30
Parental
status/ family responsibility
43
5
Victimisation
50
6

Aids, permits, instructs
9
1
Total*
874
100
*One
complaint may have multiple grounds.
Table
21: Sex Discrimination Act - complaints received by area
Sex
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Employment
770
88
Goods,
services and facilities
72
8
Land
-
-
Accommodation
2
0.5
Superannuation,
insurance
-
-
Education
10
1
Clubs
-
-
Administration
of Commonwealth laws and programs
18
2
Application
forms etc
-
-
Trade
unions, accrediting bodies
2
0.5
Total*
874
100
*
An area is recorded for each ground, so one complaint may have multiple and
different areas.
Table
22: Sex Discrimination Act - outcomes of finalised complaints
Sex
Discrimination Act
Terminated
142
At
complainants request - s.46PE
-
Not
unlawful
-
More
than 12 months old
10
Trivial,
vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, lacking in substance
15
Adequately
dealt with already
-
More
appropriate remedy available
1
Subject
matter of public importance
-
No
reasonable prospect of conciliation
116
Discontinued*
38
Withdrawn
49
Conciliated
185
Administrative
closure**
34
Total
448
*
Finalised under statutory provision
– 46 PF(5)(a) – Satisfied that complainant does not want inquiry to
continue.
**
Not an aggrieved party, state complaint previously
lodged.

Disability
Discrimination Act

Table
23: Disability Discrimination Act - complaints received and
finalised
Disability
Discrimination Act
Total
Received
823
Finalised
961
Table
24: Nature of complainant’s disability
Disability
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Physical
disability
172
16
A
mobility aid is used (e.g. walking frame or wheelchair)
116

                11
Physical
disfigurement
21

                  2
Presence
in the body of organisms causing disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS)
11
1
Presence
in the body of organisms causing disease (other)
16

                  1
Psychiatric
disability
160

                15
Neurological
disability (e.g. epilepsy)
68

                  6
Intellectual
disability
45
4
Learning
disability
27
3
Sensory
disability (hearing impaired)
47
4
Sensory
disability (deaf)
80
7
Sensory
disability (vision impaired)
60
6
Sensory
disability (blind)
15
1
Work-related
injury
68
6
Medical
condition (e.g. diabetes)
88
8
Other
103
9
Total*
1
097
100
*One
complainant may have multiple disabilities.
Table
25: Disability Discrimination Act - complaints received by ground
Disability
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Disability
of person(s) aggrieved
1
968
91
Associate
91
4
Disability
- person assisted by trained animal
43
2
Disability
- accompanied by assistant
7
-
Disability
- use of appliance
16
1
Harassment
8
-
Victimisation
31
1
Aids,
permits or instructs
12
1
Total*
2
176
100
*
One complaint may have multiple grounds.
Table
26: Disability Discrimination Act - complaints received by area
Disability
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Employment
672
31
Goods,
services and facilities
769
35
Access
to premises
131
6
Land
-
-
Accommodation
60
3
Incitement
to unlawful acts or offences
-
-
Advertisements
-
-
Superannuation,
insurance
8
-
Education
188
9
Clubs,
incorporated associations
38
2
Administration
of Commonwealth laws and programs
67
3
Sport
2
-
Application
forms, requests for information
-
-
Trade
unions, registered organisations
-
-
Unlawful
to contravene Disability Standard
241
11
Total*
2
176
100
*
An area is recorded for each ground, so one complaint may have multiple and
different areas.
Table
27: Disability Discrimination Act - outcomes of finalised
complaints
Disability
Discrimination Act
Terminated
334
At
complainants request - s.46PE
-
Not
unlawful
5
More
than 12 months old
14
Trivial,
vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, lacking in substance
37
Adequately
dealt with already
7
More
appropriate remedy available
5
Subject
matter of public importance
-
No
reasonable prospect of conciliation
266
Discontinued*
35
Withdrawn
110
Conciliated
465
Administrative
closure**
17
Total
961
*
Finalised under statutory provision
– 46 PF(5)(a) – Satisfied that complainant does not want inquiry to
continue.

** Not an aggrieved party,
state complaint previously

Age
Discrimination Act

Table
28: Age Discrimination Act - complaints received and finalised
Age
Discrimination Act
Total
Received
175
Finalised
181
Table
29: Age Discrimination Act - age group of complainant
Age
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage

 0 – 14 years
3
2
15
– 24 years
23
13
25
– 34 years
10
6
35
– 44 years
12
7
45
– 54 years
44
25
55
– 64 years
39
22
>
65 years
34
19
Unknown
10
6
Total
175
100
Table
30: Age Discrimination Act - complaints received by area
Age
Discrimination Act
Total
Percentage
Employment
195
66
Goods,
services and facilities
79
26
Access
to premises
-
-
Land
-
-
Accommodation
8
3
Incitement
to unlawful acts or offences
-
-
Advertisements
-
-
Superannuation,
insurance
4
1
Education
1
-
Clubs,
incorporated associations
-
-
Administration
of Commonwealth laws and programs
8

                3      
       
Sport
-
-
Application
forms, requests for information
-
-
Trade
unions, registered organisations
2
1
Total*
297
100
*
One complaint may have multiple and different areas.
Table
31: Age Discrimination Act - outcomes of finalised complaints
Age
Discrimination Act
Terminated
55
At
complainants request - s.46PE
-
Not
unlawful
3
More
than 12 months old
2
Trivial,
vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, lacking in substance
9
Adequately
dealt with already
1
More
appropriate remedy available
-
Subject
matter of public importance
-
No
reasonable prospect of conciliation
40
Discontinued*
12
Withdrawn
29
Conciliated
78
Administrative
closure**
7
Total
181
*
Finalised under new statutory provision
– 46 PF(5)(a) – Satisfied that complainant does not want inquiry to
continue.

** Not an aggrieved party,
state complaint previously lodged

Australian Human Rights
Commission Act (AHRCA)

Table
32: AHRCA - complaints received and finalised
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act
Total
Received
273
Finalised
204
Table
33: AHRCA - complaints received by ground
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act
Total
Percentage
Race
(ILO 111)
-
-
Colour
(ILO 111)
-
-
Sex
(ILO 111)
-
-
Religion
(ILO 111)
14
5
Political
opinion (ILO 111)
3
1
National
extraction (ILO 111)
1
-
Social
origin (ILO 111)
1
-
Age
(ILO 111)
1
-
Medical
record (ILO 111)
-
-
Criminal
record (ILO 111)
68
23
Impairment
(including HIV/AIDS status) (ILO 111)
-
-
Marital
status (ILO 111)
-
-
Disability
(ILO 111)
-
-
Nationality
(ILO 111)
-
-
Sexual
preference (ILO 111)
17
6
Trade
union activity (ILO 111)
12
4
International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
153
51
Declaration
on the Rights of the Child
-
-
Declaration
on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons
-
-
Declaration
on the Rights of Disabled Persons
-
-
Convention
on the Rights of the Child
27
9
Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief
1
-
Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
4
1
Not
a ground within jurisdiction
-
-
Not
a human right as defined by the Act
-
-
Total*
302
100
*One
complaint may have multiple grounds.
Table
34: AHRCA - complaints received by area
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act
Total
Percentage
Acts
or practices of the Commonwealth
188
62
Employment
113
38
Not
act or practice of the Commonwealth (not employment cases)
1
-
Total*
302
100
*
An area is recorded for each ground, so one complaint may have multiple and
different areas.
Table
35: AHRCA - non-employment complaints received by
sub-area
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act
Total
Percentage
Prisons,
prisoner
3
1.5
Religious
institutions
-
-
Family
court matters
-
-
Other
law court matters
1
0.5
Immigration
172
91
Law
enforcement agency
-
-
State
agency
1
0.5
Other
service provider (private sector)
-
-
Local
government
-
-
Education
systems
-
-
Welfare
systems
1
0.5
Personal
or neighbourhood conflict
-
-
Health
system
-
-
Other
11
6
Total
189
100
Table
36: AHRCA - Outcomes of finalised complaints
Australian
Human Rights Commission Act
Total
Declined
102
Does
not constitute discrimination
9
Human
rights breach, not inconsistent or contrary to any human right
6
More
than 12 months old
2
Trivial,
vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, lacking in substance
37
Adequately
dealt with already
11
More
appropriate remedy available
5
Withdrawn,
does not wish to pursue, advised the Commission
13
Withdrawn,
does not wish to pursue, settled outside the Commission
1
Discontinued
- lost contact
18
Conciliated
82
Referred
for reporting*
18
Administrative
closure
2
Total
204
*Complaints
in this category were not conciliable and therefore transferred from the
Commission’s Complaint Handling Section to the Legal Section for further
inquiry and possible reporting.