Human rights are essential in a democratic and inclusive society that respects the rule of law.

Queensland's Human Rights Act 2019, effective from 1 January 2020, aims to protect and promote human rights, and to help build a culture in the Queensland public sector that respects and promotes human rights.

The Human Rights Act 2019 intends to help promote a dialogue about the nature, meaning and scope of human rights.

The Queensland Human Rights Commission, formerly the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, handles complaints and training on discrimination, vilification, victimisation and sexual harrassment, under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. 

What are human rights?

The Human Rights Act 2019 recognises that human rights must be exercised in a way that respects the human rights of others.

The Act allows rights to be limited, but only after careful consideration and only in a way that can be justified.

Queensland's Human Rights Act 2019 protects 23 human rights.

The Act primarily protects civil and political rights drawn from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also protects two rights drawn from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (right to education and health services) on one right drawn from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (property rights).

The Act explicitly recognises the special importance of human rights to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Queensland as Australia's first people and their distinctive and diverse spiritual, material and economic relationship with the lands, territories, waters and coastal seas. It also recognises the particular significance of the right to self-determination to Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Find out more about Human rights law and download the Queensland's Human Rights Act 2019 fact sheet.

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