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Human Rights Week 2020: Rights in recovery

In a year like no other, the unfamiliar environment and extreme circumstances Victorians have experienced have raised public consciousness and discussion of human rights. Existing structural inequalities have been highlighted and in some cases exacerbated, while ‘COVID-normal’ is asking us to take radically different approaches to the ways we live and work. Human Rights Week this year is an opportunity for Victorians to reflect on the lessons from the year that was, and explore how a human rights led recovery could help us create a more equal, sustainable and resilient future.

About the week

In 2020 Human Rights Week will be a virtual program of human rights related events and activities, beginning on Thursday 3 December and ending on Thursday 10 December – International Human Rights Day.

Anyone can participate in Human Rights Week.

During this week, organisations, community groups and individuals across Victoria may host a virtual morning tea or lunch for their staff, a picnic in a park, others might have a film screening or invite a guest speaker, and some could host a workshop or training session to help their staff build their understanding of human rights.

The theme for Human Rights Week 2020 is ‘Rights in recovery’.

Join us for our Equality Talks events

Equality Talks is series of public events focused on equality, discrimination and human rights. During this week, we will be hosting two Equality Talks events that focus on ‘building back better’ in the COVID-19 recovery.

Part 1: First principles will focus on issues of democratic accountability and participation, policing and justice and navigating the balance between rights and restrictions.

Part 2: New frontiers will explore new and emerging human rights issues and how we should respond.

Attend the Human Rights Oration

The Oration is an annual event where leading thinkers are invite to share their perspectives on human rights. It is a free public event and an excellent opportunity to be involved in conversations about human rights. The Hon. Julia Gillard AC will deliver this year’s oration, the 20th in our series.

Martin Bean CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University, will provide a special address.

How do I get involved?

Organise an event

Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a virtual morning or afternoon tea, or a competition in the office, there are lots of ways to promote conversations about human rights with your friends and colleagues. You may like to invite a speaker to share their thoughts and perspective, share your own human rights story, or invite people to nominate their human rights heroes and discuss why they’re important. You could organise a human rights quiz, run a poster, PowerPoint or video competition – the only limit is your imagination.

By organising an event or activity, you show your commitment to human rights and play a part in bringing positive change. Getting others involved is fun and it’s great connecting with others and spreading the message about human rights.

Once you’ve organised your event or activity, email the Strategic Communications team with:

  • the name and description of your event
  • the name of your workplace or group
  • the date and time of your activity
  • whether it is an open or closed event
  • an email address or telephone number to contact for more details.

and we’ll upload your even to our event calendar (see below).

Then download the Information Pack to help you organise and promote your event.

Get active on social media

We’ve put together some social media messages and images you can use — you’ll find them in our Information Pack. Use the hashtags #HRWVic2020 and #RightsInRecovery to show your support.

Calendar of events

Equality Talks events and the Human Rights Oration 2020

Our events are free to attend but you need to register to book your place.

Part 1: First principles

Part 2: New frontiers

Human Rights Oration 2020: In conversation with Julia Gillard AC

Download the Human Rights Week Information Pack

Human Rights Week 2020

The information pack provides social media tiles and sample messaging so you can join the conversation online during Human Rights Week.


Level 3, 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053

General enquiries

1300 891 848

Enquiry line
1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583

1300 152 494

NRS Voice Relay
1300 555 727 then use 1300 292 153

Media enquiries
0447 526 642

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and deep connection to the land.

We acknowledge that the Commission is on the land of the Kulin Nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present.