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Understanding Rights

This page provides an overview of general rights


What are rights?

All people have rights.  A right allows you to have or do something.

Rights of People with Disability

People with disability have all of the same universal human rights as people living without disability. To understand many of the broad human rights that apply to all people, it can be helpful to understand the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is the international standard of human rights. 



Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Around the world many countries follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which outlines what rights people have. In Australia, we have not formally agreed to the UDHR, but Australian law does follow many of its rules. Human Rights include people with disability, they are rights for "everyone", and without discrimination of "any kind".


Basic human rights state that everyone has the right to freedom:

Human rights also state that no one shall be subjected to:

Living Arrangements - Everyone has the right:


Marriage - All people:

Law - Everyone: 

Work - Everyone:

Education :

For more information on disability rights in Australia visit the Australian Human Rights Commission website click here, or download their brochure click here





Disability Discrimination

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) protects individuals across Australia from unfair treatment in many parts of public life and ensures that their rights can be followed.  The Act makes disability discrimination unlawful and promotes equal rights, equal opportunity and equal access for people with disabilities.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 has as its major objectives to:


If you have a disability, the Act protects you against discrimination in many areas of public life, including:

The Act also protects you if you are harassed, because of your disability, in employment, education or in getting or using services.

For more information on the Disability Discrimination Act the Australian Human Rights Commission has many resources on thier website click here, or to download thier brochure on your rights in Australia click here.

If you experience discrimination you can complain in writing to the Australian Human Rights Commission.  If you are unsure if you can make a complaint about something, you can contact the Commission's Complaint Information Service by phone on 1300 656 419 or by email to complaintsinfo@humanrights.gov.au

You can also contact Australian Human Rights Commission via the Translating and Interpreting Service: 131 450 or www.tisnational.gov.au or the National Relay Service: 1300 555 727 (Speak and Listen) or www.relayservice.gov.au


For more information on finding help for discrimination go to the My Rights Help - Discrimination section of this guide.




United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD)

The Convention states that:


What countries should do to support the UN CRPD

All countries should make sure that people with disability get treated equally, by:

Countries should give people information and agree to do things to make everyone else aware that people with disability have the same rights as everyone else and to show them what people with disability can do by:


To access an easy read version of the UN Convention (UN CRPD) click here.