The Charter Education Program: Building a Culture of Human Rights in the Victorian Public Sector is a collaboration between the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Unit of the Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation.
The program supports public authorities in Victoria make human rights part of the everyday business of government.
We recognise that meaningful cultural change is the result of sustained commitment and efforts over time. The Charter Education Program therefore seeks to:
- engage and support public sector leaders in building a culture of human rights
- develop public sector confidence and capacity to apply the Charter in practice
- have available resources to embed human rights culture in the Victorian Public Sector.
Since the beginning of 2017 the Charter Education Program has been delivering a range of education services including:
Face-to-face education sessions
The Charter Education Program is delivering face-to-face education to a variety of public authorities including across government departments, agencies, statutory authorities, local government and functional public authorities.
Education services vary in focus, including awareness raising on rights and obligations, a deeper understanding of obligations, and action planning for human rights cultural change.
Leadership support and executive briefings are often initially provided to ensure the organisation’s key messages are agreed and the role of leaders in supporting the education is emphasised.
The education services are designed in partnership with individual work areas enabling the content to specifically incorporate realistic workplace scenarios to apply the Charter in day-to-day roles.
How did the Charter Education Project come about?
The 2015 Independent Review of the Charter found that initial efforts to embed the Charter in government processes and practices had been deprioritised in recent years, which had set back the development of a human rights culture in Victoria.
The Charter Review recognised that the most significant contributor to effective human rights protection is building and strengthening a culture where human rights are respected and acknowledged, and where they underpin the day-to-day interactions between government and the people of Victoria. The Charter Review identified three key components to creating a stronger human rights culture:
- senior leadership and organisational vision
- operational capacity
- external input and oversight.
The Charter Review directed 11 of its 52 recommendations toward building Victoria’s human rights culture. In its response, the Government supported or supported in principle 10 of the 11 recommendations relating to strengthening Victoria’s human rights culture.
In response to these recommendations the Government, through the Department of Justice and Regulation, funded the Commission and the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Justice and Regulation to deliver Charter education for public authorities to build a culture of human rights.
In September 2018 the Victorian Secretaries Board agreed that each department, Victoria Police and the Victorian Public Sector Commission would co-fund the continuation of the Charter Education Program until mid-2020.
For further information regarding the Charter Education Program please contact: