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Complaints information for young people

Complaint Information Service
Friday 14 December, 2012

Discrimination. Don't cop it!

You don’t have to put
up with being treated unfairly because you’re young. There are laws to
protect you against discrimination, harassment and bullying. These laws apply
right across Australia.

If you have a
complaint, the Australian Human
Rights Commission can look into it. We will talk to the people involved and help
you work out a solution.

Our aim is to
help you deal with your complaint quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Our
complaint handling service is free of

What can I
complain about?
speak up

The Commission can investigate
complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying that happened because of

It is against
the law to be discriminated against in employment; at school, TAFE or university; getting or using services;
going to public places, renting accommodation, playing sport and in other parts
of public life.

Here are some examples
of the complaints we receive:

Tanya works as a receptionist and claims her
supervisor constantly makes comments about her clothes and her body, leans over
her and offers to take her out for a drink. Tanya has told him she is not
interested but he keeps hassling her.

Tarik went to a local nightclub with his friends
but they were refused entry. He claims they were told that only people aged over
20 were allowed in to the club.

Michael, who is Aboriginal, was researching
information on the Internet for his university course and found an internet site
which allowed people to publish offensive comments about Aboriginal

Julie uses a wheelchair and can not get into her
local video store because of a step at the front door.

How are complaints

Complaints to the Commission are
resolved through an informal process known as conciliation. Conciliation is not like going to court. You don’t need a
lawyer and you don’t have to prove or disprove what

Conciliation allows the people
involved in a complaint to talk through the issues with the help of someone
impartial and settle the matter on their own terms. We have a good record in
helping people resolve their complaints this way.

Outcomes will vary depending on the
complaint, but they can include an apology, reinstatement to a job, compensation
for lost wages, a work reference or changes to a policy.

Find out more:

do I make a complaint?
we listen

You can make a
if you think you have been treated

Complaints must be made in
writing or by email. You can download a complaint form or complete the online complaint

A complaint can be made in any
language. Follow the link for information about making a complaint in other

The Commission can arrange an interpreter in
your language or a sign language interpreter, if required. We can also help you
write out your complaint if you need


For more information or to discuss a
complaint contact our Complaints

Phone: 1300 656 419 (local
call) or 02 9284 9888
TTY: 1800
620 241 (toll free)
Fax: 02 9284
Free Telephone Interpreter Service: 13 14 50

To see a range of Australian Human Rights Commission resources click here