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Victorian Charter of Human Rights

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter) is legislation that protects the human rights of all people in Victoria.  The Charter ensures that when the government makes laws and delivers services, it does so with civil and political rights in mind.

The Charter also protects and promotes human rights by placing an obligation on public authorities to act in a way that is compatible with the human rights set out in the Charter

The Charter provides equal protection to all people including yourself, your family, your neighbours and your friends, but does not confer rights on corporations.

The Charter contains 20 rights which reflect four basic principles.  These principles are:

  • freedom
  • respect
  • equality
  • dignity.

Freedom

  • freedom from forced work
  • freedom of movement
  • freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief
  • freedom of expression
  • right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association
  • property rights
  • right to liberty and security of person
  • right to a fair hearing
  • rights in criminal proceedings
  • right not to be tried and punished more than once for the same act.

Respect

  • right to life
  • protection from retrospective criminal laws
  • protection of families and children
  • cultural rights, including recognition of the distinct cultural rights of the Aboriginal people of Victoria.

Equality

  • recognition and equality before the law
  • entitlement to participate in public life (including voting).

Dignity

  • protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • protection of privacy and reputation
  • humane treatment when deprived of liberty
  • appropriate treatment of children in the criminal process.