Human Rights

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: 

  1. Your right to recognition and equality before the law
  2. Your right to life
  3. Your right to protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  4. Your right to freedom from forced work
  5. Your right to freedom of movement  
  6. Your right to privacy and reputation  
  7. Your right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief  
  8. Your right to freedom of expression  
  9. Your right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association  
  10. Your right to protection of families and children  
  11. Your right to taking part in public life  
  12. Cultural rights
  13. Property rights
  14. Your right to liberty and security of person
  15. Your right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty
  16. Rights of children in the criminal process
  17. Your right to a fair hearing
  18. Rights in criminal proceedings
  19. Right not to be tried or punished more than once
  20. 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.