What does the law say?

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was Australia’s first anti-discrimination law. This law protects everyone in Australia from discrimination on the basis of race. Under the law, discrimination is defined as:

"a distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of any human right or fundamental freedom in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life"

Since 1995, the Racial Discrimination Act has also protected people from racial hatred. Section 18C of the Act states that any act that is reasonably likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person or group on the basis of race is prohibited, unless it falls under one of the exceptions in Section 18D.

More information can be found here:

Know Your Rights: Racial Discrimination and Vilification

What does the law say?

You can also take a look at our conciliation register for examples of complaints that have been made under the Racial Discrimination Act.

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