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The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is a government body that develops policy on discrimination and human rights, and can hear complaints under the federal discrimination laws – the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), and the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth). The AHRC is established under the AHRC Act 1986, which also establishes its powers to investigate and conciliate disputes on the grounds of discrimination. Although employment is a major area in which discrimination occurs, the AHRC can investigate and conciliate disputes that arise in other areas, such as:

  • Rights to equality before the law
  • Access to places and facilities
  • Land, housing, other accommodation;
  • Provision of goods and services;
  • Education;
  • Media;
  • Neighbourhood disputes, and
  • Internet

The AHRC Act sets out the complaints procedure through which people may make complaints to the AHRC for violations of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA), the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), and the Age Discrimination Act (ADA). See AHRC Complaints for a full discussion of the complaint process.

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