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Building partnerships How we work together to achieve human rights and equality.

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Presentation on theme: "Building partnerships How we work together to achieve human rights and equality."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building partnerships How we work together to achieve human rights and equality.

2 Building partnerships Advocates and advocacy organisations play an important role in improving the lives of people with disabilities and in bringing to public attention issues affecting people with disabilities.

3 Program outline Brief overview of the legislative framework What the Commission does Most importantly, HOW we do it

4 The rights framework The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body with responsibilities under three laws: Equal Opportunity Act 2010 Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

5 Equal Opportunity Act The EOA 2010 aims to: eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation encourage the identification and elimination of systemic causes of these behaviours promote and protect right to equality in Charter of human rights and responsibilities facilitate the progressive realisation of equality as far as reasonably practicable.

6 18 protected attributes 1.Disability 2.Sex 3.Race 4.Employment activity 5.Age 6.Physical features 7.Carer status 8.Sexual orientation 9.Parental status 10.Pregnancy 11.Religious belief/activity 12.Marital status 13.Industrial Activity 14.Personal association 15.Gender identity 16.Lawful sexual activity 17.Political belief/activity 18.Breastfeeding

7 Areas of public life Employment Goods & Services EducationLocal government Accommodation Sport Clubs & Club Membership Disposal of land

8 The EO Act covers: Direct discrimination Indirect discrimination Sexual harassment Victimisation It contains the ‘Positive Duty’: the law requires that you must reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate that discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation as far as possible.

9 Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities sets out the basic rights, freedoms and responsibilities of all people in Victoria. It is about the relationship between government and the people it serves. requires public authorities, such as Victorian state and local government departments and agencies, and people delivering services on behalf of government, to act consistently with the human rights in the Charter

10 The Charter in action

11 What the Commission does Media and campaigns Training Complaints Legal interventions and reform Research and policy

12 Media and campaigns


14 Training Equal Opportunity Act Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Equal Opportunity and Human Rights and Disability A human rights approach to disability advocacy (more to come)

15 Complaints Disability was the largest attribute of enquiry and complaint in 2012/13 Areas of focus included education, accommodation and access to premises.

16 Complaints Designed to facilitate resolution of disputes under the Act and does so through a conciliation model. Is timely, efficient, flexible and fair service which is provided in a manner which is appropriate to the nature of the dispute. Parties given the opportunity to explore resolution of the issues raised in the complaint which is not a court hearing. Parties decide the terms upon which they agree to resolve a complaint and no outcome can be imposed on them.

17 Why make a complaint? Case studies

18 How to make a complaint  You can make a complaint to us by sending us a letter or email, or filling in our online complaint form:  You can make a complaint in your preferred language or you can call us and we can help you write the complaint down.

19 The advocates role in complaining at the Commission VEOHRC can accept a complaint from a person or a representative body on behalf of a named person or group of people, where: – Each person in the complaint is entitled to complain under the EOA; – Each person in the complaint has consented to the complaint being made; – The representative body has “sufficient interest” in the complaint, and – Advise your client realistically about the process, what it can deliver and the time frames of the Commission

20 Legal interventions The Commission intervenes in court and tribunal proceedings that raise questions of law related to equal opportunity laws or the Charter. We also make recommendations to government bodies, agencies and inquiries about how to better protect human rights and achieve equality.

21 Legal research and law reform legal research law reform submissions conduct public legal education seminars develop legal resources for community use

22 Research and policy Research function under the EO Act, and Charter responsibility How do we decide what work to do? Building the evidence base System reform

23 Working collaboratively Guidelines under the Equal Opportunity Act Submissions Reports Stakeholder engagement

24 Held Back This research report gathers information about the issues and challenges experienced by students with disabilities in the Victorian schools Identifies potential solutions to improve access to education for students with disabilities.

25 Desperate Measures The issues faced by families relinquishing children with disability into state care

26 Current project: Reporting crime People’s experiences of reporting crime To identify the barriers To work with Victoria Police and others to improve the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime

27 Disability Reference Group The role of the Disability Reference Group is to: help the Commission to identify priority systemic discrimination issues affecting people with disability, taking into account the diversity of people in Victoria provides guidance to the Commission on human rights issues including the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and advice under Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and ResponsibilitiesConvention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesCharter of Human Rights and Responsibilities provide advice and assistance to the Commission on the development of policies and procedures with the aim of ensuring the delivery of appropriate and effective services to people living with disability provide a user perspective on the ongoing implementation of the Commission’s Strategic plan.Commission’s Strategic plan

28 Overview Train! Work with us to promote rights talk Utilise the complaints function Keep abreast of policy and law reform Get involved in projects and policy Nominate!

29 Contact details VEOHRC, Level 3, 204 Lygon St, Carlton. Enquiries1300 292 153 Interpreters1300 891 858 TTY1300 289 621 Email

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