Summary publication

 21 Years of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2007)

Human Rights 21 (2007)

Who we are

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (now known as the Australian Human Rights Commission) was established in 1986 by an act of the federal Parliament.

Our goal is to foster greater understanding and protection of human rights in Australia and to address the human rights concerns of a broad range of individuals and groups.

We are an independent statutory organisation and report to the federal Parliament through the Attorney-General.

What we do

Our responsibilities include:

  • education and public awareness
  • resolving discrimination and human rights complaints
  • promoting human rights compliance
  • supporting policy and legislative development.

We do this through:

  • developing human rights education programs and resources for schools, workplaces and the community
  • conciliating complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights under federal laws
  • holding public inquiries into issues of national importance
  • providing independent legal submissions to courts in cases that involve human rights principles
  • providing advice and assistance to parliaments and governments to develop laws, programs and policies
  • undertaking research into human rights and discrimination issues.

We also work closely with other national human rights commissions, particularly through the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, to address major human rights issues in the region.

For more information about the Commission see

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