Our role, functions and services
Our role is to protect and promote human rights in Victoria. We do this through a range of functions and services under Victoria’s human rights laws. From preventing discrimination and harassment from occurring to dealing with it if it does, we help people understand Victoria’s anti-discrimination laws and the impact of discrimination and sexual harassment. We also undertake independent reviews, investigations and advocacy activities to address systemic issues and promote human rights.
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is an independent organisation with responsibilities under Victoria’s human rights laws. Our role is to protect and promote human rights in Victoria. We do this through a range of functions and services.
We work to prevent discrimination and vilification through our education and engagement with communities, employers, government and the Victorian public.
When things go wrong or human rights are at risk, we support Victorians to exercise their rights by helping to resolve discrimination complaints and intervening in court cases.
We strive for systemic change by undertaking investigations and independent reviews and advocating for stronger protections and greater respect for human rights and equality.
Our five-year Strategic Plan and annual Business Plan outline our projects and priorities.
We provide information about equal opportunity and human rights
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians:
You can request to speak to a staff member specifically trained to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when you make an enquiry or complaint.
Enquiry Line – 1300 292 153
Our free Enquiry Line provides information about discrimination, victimisation, sexual, harassment, racial or religious vilification and human rights in Victoria.
Throughout the year, we also host a number of speaker events and seminars. One of the major events we host each year is the Human Rights Oration, during Human Rights Week each December. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in the conversation about Human rights.
Publications and promotional material
If you want to find out more about your rights and responsibilities under Victoria’s anti-discrimination laws or promote your commitment to human rights, we offer a range of brochures, posters and other materials.
We provide education and consultancy to create fairer organisations
Training and education
To help individuals and organisations understand Victoria’s anti-discrimination laws, we run training sessions throughout the year. Our training can help you to understand your legal rights and responsibilities and provides practical information on compliance for employers, managers and teams.
We work closely with employers, community groups, sports clubs and many other sorts of organisations to help them fulfil their obligations to prevent discrimination and uphold human rights. We can help you develop policies to prevent discrimination in your workplace.
We help resolve complaints
If you’ve experienced discrimination, victimisation, sexual, harassment, racial or religious vilification, you can make a complaint to the Commission. Our free, fair and timely dispute resolution service will try to help you resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.
We manage the civil response scheme for the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021
The Act empowers us to consider and respond to reports of change or suppression practices from any person, as well as launch investigations and enforce outcomes where there is evidence of serious or systemic change or suppression practices.
We carry out research and investigations to address systemic discrimination
In some workplaces or other organisations, gender inequality, sexual harassment, or discrimination can have a negative impact on team culture and risk the organisation breaching its obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act. Working with the organisation, we can undertake and independent review, focused on examining the issues, identifying the causes and helping the organisation to develop appropriate strategies, policies and responses to create a fairer, safer and more inclusive environment.
Beyond handling individual complaints, we also work to address systemic discrimination that may exist within a particular industry or sector. Our investigations address serious issues that breach the Equal Opportunity Act and affect a group of people.
We advocate for stronger laws, and monitor and enforce existing legislation
Policy and law reform
We raise awareness across all parts of the community about the importance of equality and human rights, encouraging meaningful debate, leading public discussion and challenging discriminatory views and behaviours. We make submissions to relevant inquiries and participate in other public discussion related to discrimination, harassment and the rights of Victorians.
We monitor the operation of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and track Victoria’s progress in protecting fundamental rights.
We intervene in court proceedings to bring an expert independent perspective to cases raising equal opportunity and human rights issues.
Find out more
If you would like more information about these services, please call
Subscribe to our eNews
If you’d like to hear more about the work that the Commission does, sign up to our email newsletter.