The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Charter) is a law that protects the human rights of all people in Victoria. The Charter is also a statement about the values and principles of the Victorian community. The Charter follows the adoption of the Australian Capital Territory’s Human Rights Act (2004) and the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act (1998). Victoria based many of its Charter Act provisions on these earlier Acts.

At the very beginning of the Charter is the preamble; an introduction explaining the objectives for the Charter.

This introduction recognises that 'all people are born free and equal in dignity and human rights'.

It outlines the principles on which the Charter is founded:

  • human rights are essential in a democratic and inclusive society that respects the rule of law, human dignity, equality and freedom
  • human rights belong to all people without discrimination, and the diversity of the people of Victoria enhances our community
  • human rights come with responsibilities and must be exercised in a way that respects the human rights of others
  • 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.