Human Rights Charter

Human rights are essential in a democratic society – they are entitlements that belong to every human being regardless of age, sex or culture.

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities is an Act of Parliament which came into effect on 1 January 2007. The Charter contains 20 rights that reflect four basic principles: Freedom, Respect, Equality and Dignity.

The Charter aims to improve service delivery and ensure transparent decision making by promoting a human rights culture across government in Victoria.

From 1 January 2008 all Victorian government departments and public authorities must act compatibly with the Charter and take human rights into account when making decisions, providing advice or services, or taking action in their day-to-day work.  Government schools, school councils, Department corporate staff, statutory authorities and private sector organisations carrying out public functions on behalf of government, are all public authorities under the Charter. 

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Training Module for all Department staff

The Charter of Human Rights Training Module has been designed to assist all Department staff in understanding their responsibilities and their rights under the Charter.  The Module takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes to complete including the short quiz which must be completed with the Module.  As part of our commitment to the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities all Department staff are expected to complete the Training Module. 

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Implementation Guide for Department Policy Officers

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Implementation Guide for Department Policy Officers has been developed to assist policy officers to identify the impact of the Charter on policy development within Department. Specifically, the Implementation Guide has been designed to equip policy officers with the necessary information to integrate human rights considerations into policy development.  They are also intended to assist program managers to assess whether their programs are delivered in a way that is consistent with the Charter. 

If you are interested in training in the use of this Implementation Guide please contact the Legal Division on ph: 9637 3146 or email

Indigenous Rights

The Charter is founded on the principle that human rights have special importance for the Aboriginal people of Victoria, as descendants of Australia’s first people, with their diverse spiritual, social, cultural and economic relationship with their traditional land and waters.

The Department has a number of strategies to support Aboriginal children and young people.  Information on these strategies can be found at: Aboriginal children and young people

Other Resources

Policy and Guidelines

  •  Human Rights Charter Implementation Guide for policy officers  (PDF)


Useful links


Legal Division