Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Charter and local government report released

As part of its annual reporting on the operation of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, the Commission undertakes a survey with the cooperation of local government. The results from the most recent survey, dealing with the period 2013-14, have been released.

As the level of government most closely connected to the community, councils have a vital role to play in promoting and protecting the human rights of people in Victoria.

The report looks at the implementation of human rights in local government planning and decision making, and the outcomes it helps achieve for communities across the state.

The Commission received 77 survey responses out of 79 councils, which represents 97 per cent of local government in Victoria.

The survey showed that many councils have started to embed human rights into their day to day business, and have a deeper understanding than before of how their work affects the human rights of their communities.

However, the survey also identified that a number of councils lack resources and capability to ensure that consistent training is given to councillors and staff to understand and comply with their Charter obligations, and give them skills to build a human rights culture in their day to day activities. 

The Commission has made a number of recommendations for local and State government which are outlined in the report.

See the report: The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities > Local government and the operation of the Charter 2013-14