In 2017–18 we continued to provide information and assistance to Victorians, as well as working on a range of projects designed to protect human rights and eliminate discrimination in the community.
Every day at the Commission we hear stories of discrimination, harassment and exclusion. This year we received more complaints and enquiries than any other time in recent years, with a 31 per cent increase in complaints of sex discrimination and an almost 20 per cent increase in complaints about sexual harassment.
Over the past year there has been a 20 per cent increase of complaints including, most noticeably, an 88 per cent increase in the number of complaints about race. We have also seen an increase in the number of people contacting the Commission to make enquiries about discrimination.
We continue to research and review organisations to identify systemic inequalities and make recommendations for change. In 2017–18 we completed Phase 2 of our Independent Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour, in Victoria Police, which was an audit of the progress made on the landmark Phase 1 of the review, released in 2015.
Embedding a human rights culture in our own workplace and across the Victorian public sector has been a major endeavour in the past year, with our new Charter Education Project set to make dedicated human rights training accessible to almost 300,000 public sector employees.
We have also intervened in legal cases that will have significant impact on decisions across education (Arora v Melton Christian College), housing (Owners Corporation v Anne Black) and the justice system (Cemino v Cannan).
While we are proud of our achievements in the 2017–18 financial year, we are deeply aware that new challenges will always arise in our efforts to eliminate discrimination and we must always strive to further our impact.
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