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Human rights

The department provides legal and policy information on domestic human rights matters.

We provide legal advice to government on international human rights matters, including human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. More information on these treaties is available on the Parliamentary scrutiny page.

Australia has obligations to report to United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies on human rights treaties Australia has ratified. More information on these reports is available on the Human rights treaty body reporting page.

Australia has also completed its first Universal Periodic Review which provides an in-depth analysis of Australia's compliance with our international human rights obligations. More information is available on Australia's Universal Periodic Review page.

In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race and sex.

Discrimination on these four grounds is governed by federal legislation set out in the:

The department assists the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Department of Education in the development of standards under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 concerning access to premises, public transport and education. More information is available at:

The department also has administrative responsibilities for the Australian Human Rights Commission, which is governed by the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986.

States and territories

Each state and territory has enacted anti-discrimination legislation. Individuals can lodge complaints about discrimination, harassment and bullying at the Commonwealth or state and territory level depending upon the circumstances of the complaint. For more information, please select the relevant state or territory below: