The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body with responsibilities under three laws:
- Equal Opportunity Act 2010
- Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 makes it against the law to discriminate against people on the basis of a number of different personal characteristics.
The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 makes it against the law to vilify people because of their race or religion.
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001, the Commission helps people resolve complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and racial or religious vilification through a free, fair and timely dispute resolution service with the aim of achieving a mutual agreement.
The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter) means that government and public bodies must consider human rights when making laws and providing services.
The Commission’s role is to educate people about the rights and responsibilities contained in the Charter and to report annually to the government about the operation of the Charter. The Commission does not handle complaints related to the Charter. Complaints about breaches of the Charter can be made to the Victorian Ombudsman in relation to most public authorities and to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission in relation to police misconduct.
Services provided by the Commission include:
- A free telephone Enquiry Line
- A free, fair and timely dispute resolution service
- Information and education about equal opportunity, racial and religious vilification and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
- Education, training and consultancy services
This information has been sourced from the Victorian Equal Opportunities website and was current at the time of publication.