Skip to main content

Important COVID-19 information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Attorney-General’s Department: Find out how our services are being delivered and how you can access them. For the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from the Australian Government, visit Australia.gov.au

Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission is Australia's national human rights institution. The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory authority, established under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986. The Commission has a range of duties, functions and powers with respect to human rights, including undertaking inquiries, intervening in court proceedings, examining enactments and conducting educational programs and public awareness campaigns. It is accredited as an A-status national institution under the Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles).

The Australian Human Rights Commission also has the power to investigate and attempt to conciliate complaints of unlawful discrimination under Australia's anti-discrimination legislation. If you believe you have been unlawfully discriminated against, you may wish to consider lodging a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission. If the conciliation is unsuccessful, in certain circumstances, you may commence legal proceedings regarding the complaint in the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court.

Further information about the commission can be found on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report

In June 2018 the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, and the then Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer, announced the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.

The world-first inquiry examined the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces and made 55 recommendations.

Commissioner Jenkins consulted broadly across Australia. This included with government agencies, business groups, community bodies and, above all, people who have experienced workplace sexual harrasment. Find out more, including a copy of the final report, on the Respect@Work Inquiry website.

As part of the second Women's Economic Security Statement, the Australian Government committed $2.1 million in the 2020–21 Budget to fund the development of practical support for employers and employees to address sexual harassment in the workplace. This funding will also be used to establish a Respect@Work Council to promote safer workplaces.