The Victorian Charter of Human R

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					Race Relations and Human Rights – The
Victorian Experience

NZ Diversity Forum 2009
Te Papa National Museum of NZ

24th August 2009
The Victorian Charter of
Human Rights
Rights protected by the charter
FREEDOM                                                       RESPECT
s-11 Freedom from forced work                                 s-9 Right to life
s-12 Freedom of movement                                      s-17 Protection of families and
s-14 Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief      children
s-15 Freedom of expression                                    s-19 Cultural rights, including
s-16 Right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association    recognition of the distinct cultural
s-20 Property rights                                          rights of the Aboriginal people of
s-21 Right to liberty and security of person
s-24 Fair hearing                                            EQUALITY
s-25 Rights in criminal proceedings
                                                             s-8 Recognition and equality
s-26 Right not to be tried and punished more than once       before the law
s-27 Protection from retrospective criminal laws             s-18 Entitlement to participate
DIGNITY                                                      in public life (including voting)

s-10 Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
s-13 Protection of privacy and reputation
s-22 Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
s-23 Appropriate treatment of children in the criminal process
The Commission’s Charter
Recognition of Aboriginal

    Human rights have a 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 lands and waters.

•   Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) - Preamble.
Recognition of Aboriginal

Aboriginal persons hold distinct cultural rights and must not
  be denied the right, with other members of their
  community –
      •    To enjoy their identify and culture; and
      •    To maintain and use their language; and
      •    To maintain their kinship ties; and
      •    To maintain their distinctive spiritual, material and economic
           relationship with the land and waters and other resources with
           which they have a connection under traditional laws and customs.

•   Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) section 19 (2)
Muriel Bamblett

From our perspective as Aboriginal peoples we
  tend to see everything from the framework of our
  stories and our relationships.
And it is not just our stories concerning the creator
  spirits but our stories of resistance which define
  our world along with our relationships to family,
  kith and kin, and the land.
So the human rights story is not a dry story of law
  books and diplomatic memos and resolutions – it
  comes from a lived experience of what happens
  when individuals and minority groups’ rights are
Muriel Bamblett

There are dire consequences when the state and
  the whims of the majority are seen as absolutes.
And central to that story is the realization of the
  notion of self-determination for all people and all
So the story of human rights is basically about
  creating a platform for how we relate to each
  other as individuals and as peoples.[1]

  [1] Bamblett, M. The Right’s Approach to Closing the Gap: How
  Human Rights is Good for Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.
International Students
International Student Task
Force Report
Martin Luther King Jnr

It may be true that the law
  cannot make a man love me,
  but it can stop him from
  lynching me, and I think that's
  pretty important.

 Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights
             Commission (VEOHRC)
        3/380 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
• Enquiries      9281 7100
• Toll Free 1800 134 142
• TTY            9281 7110
• Web-site:  

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