The Commission has two major roles under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Firstly, we help people in Victoria understand the rights and freedoms set out in the Charter and what they can do to make them an everyday reality. To do this we:
- provide information and answer questions about the Charter through our Enquiry Line. We do not handle complaints related to the Charter
- provide education and training about the Charter rights and responsibilities to the community, government, local councils and other public authorities
- run innovative community education programs about human rights and the Charter, such as Everyday People, Everyday Rights, and education campaigns such as Protecting Us All.
Secondly, we provide a regular and independent assessment of the steps taken by the Victorian Government, local councils and other public authorities to meet their responsibilities under the Charter. To do this we:
- prepare a report annually on how the Charter is operating, which is presented to the Attorney-General and tabled in Parliament
- provide advice to help government, local councils and other public authorities comply with the Charter
- intervene in court and tribunal proceedings that raise human rights questions related to the Charter on behalf of the Charter
- conduct human rights reviews at the request of public authorities and the Attorney-General
- provide information and resources for people who are working to bring about change through advocacy.
We will also assist the Attorney-General with formal reviews of the Charter, the first of which was the four-year review held in 2011. The next review is due in 2015.
The Commission does not handle complaints related to the Charter. Charter complaints can be made to the Victorian Ombudsman in relation to most public authorities or to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission in relation to police misconduct.