Human Rights Week 2017

We are holding Victoria's first Human Rights Week from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 December 2017.

Text: Human Rights Week 2017

What is Human Rights Week?

International Human Rights Day is observed on 10 December every year. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Commission has celebrated Human Rights Day with an Oration since 2001. As an annual event held on or around 10 December, the Human Rights Oration aims to highlight human rights issues as they apply to the everyday lives of Victorians. Each year we invite prominent speakers in different fields to present their perspective on human rights (see a list of previous speakers).

This year we are expanding the celebrations to hold Victoria's first Human Rights Week from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 December 2017.

The theme for Human Rights Week 2017 is ‘Human rights start with you’. It's a simple but important message – each of us has a part to play in ensuring the principles of freedom, respect, equality and dignity are alive in our workplaces, schools, communities, even among our friends and families.

It's about recognising the fact that we all have rights, but we also have a responsibility to stand up for and respect the rights of others.

What's on during Human Rights Week?

The main components of Human Rights Week are:

  • the Human Rights Oration on Friday 8 December at Deakin Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne
  • an online calendar listing events that people and workplaces are holding to celebrate Human Rights Week
  • an essay competition for students in years 10 and 11 with prizes for the top three entries.

Other activities during the week will help Victorians build a better awareness and understanding of human rights, and appreciate and celebrate the many freedoms that we enjoy as Australians but especially as Victorians.

How can you take part in Human Rights Week?

Celebrate Human Rights Week with an event!

Show your support for human rights by organising an activity with your group of friends, community and colleagues.

You could:

  • Put up the Human Rights Week poster at your workplace or around your school
  • Host a morning or afternoon tea, a BBQ or luncheon
  • Organise the screening of the Oration, or a film or video over lunch
  • Study a famous Australian or international human rights activist
  • Research the history of human rights online or visit your library to find books about key human rights events
  • Hold a dress-up day
  • Make your own human rights trivia quiz
  • Run an art competition for your school or community

Download the Starter Kit (zipped folder, 330KB) and check out our online event calendar to find out more.

Take part in our essay competition

All students in Years 10 and 11 from metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria are invited to take part in our essay competition.

We'll award prizes for the best three essays.

Find out more about our essay competition.

Come along to the Oration at Fed Square or organise a screening

The Human Rights Oration is an annual event hosted by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to recognise International Human Rights Day.

The 2017 Human Rights Oration is happening on Friday 8 December. Join us there or arrange a screening for your school, workplace or community! 

It's easy to live stream the Human Rights Oration.

  1. Contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know you're planning to host a screening of the Oration. (We will add details of your event to our online calendar to help you promote it.)
  2. Closer to the date we will email you the live stream link that you'll need to receive the live video feed.
  3. At 11.45am on 8 December go to the live stream link we've sent you. You'll be asked to enter your contact number, organisation and (if possible) the number of people viewing it with you.
  4. Watch live!

We will also post the live stream link on our website and on social media. If you have any questions contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Get busy on social media!

Download and the Social media kit with resources to show your support for Human Rights Week. 

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and remember to use the hashtag #HRWVic2017

Text: Human rights start with you

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