Human rights are entitlements that belong to everyone and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 was enacted to protect and promote human rights. Council is committed to complying with the Act, and to ensuring that human rights are taken into account when developing policies, local laws, and also when making decisions.
The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities outlines the basic human rights of all people in Victoria. The Charter was introduced to Victoria through an Act of Parliament and came into full effect on 1 January 2008.
The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities requires public authorities such as Victorian State and Local Government departments and agencies, and people delivering services on behalf of government, to act consistently with the human rights in the Charter when developing policies, making laws. Delivering services and making decisions. It aims to build a fairer, more inclusive community by giving specific legal protection to the following 20 fundamental human rights:
- Your right to recognition and equality before the law
- Your right to life
- Your right to protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
- Your right to freedom from forced work
- Your right to freedom of movement
- Your right to privacy and reputation
- Your right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
- Your right to freedom of expression
- Your right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association
- Your right to protection of families and children
- Your right to taking part in public life
- Cultural rights
- Property rights
- Your right to liberty and security of person
- Your right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty
- Rights of children in the criminal process
- Your right to a fair hearing
- Rights in criminal proceedings
- Right not to be tried or punished more than once
- Retrospective criminal laws
Council has numerous moral and legal obligations in respect to human rights issues. These include specific human rights requirements under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, equal opportunity legislation, bullying and harassment requirements, the Local Government Act 1989 and federal legislation.
Protecting and promoting human rights is identified as a Guiding Principle in the 2019-2023 Council Plan. Council's adoption of a Human Rights Policy in June 2015 embeds the organisation's corporate responsibility to respect human rights in all operations. Council has also adopted a Child Safe Policy, reflecting our commitment to ensuring that Council is a child safe organisation.
Further details in relation to human rights are available on the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission website.