Human rights training

Use these training materials to help you apply the Human Rights Act 2019 in your workplace.

Complete the Queensland Human Rights Commission’s (QHRC) free online training course, Introduction to the Human Rights Act 2019.

This training includes:

  • what human rights are
  • a brief history of human rights and how they are protected in Queensland
  • responsibilities of public entities, courts, tribunals and Parliament
  • human rights complaints processes.

Additional training courses are available on the QHRC website.

Log in to For government to watch a recording of our human rights 101 session. This is an initial awareness session for Queensland Government employees. It’s not an online training module or in-depth human rights seminar.

You’ll discover the modern system of human rights, Queensland’s Human Rights Act, and how to apply the Act in your work as a Queensland Government employee.

Visit our Human rights resources page and read our fact sheets and guides. They have information about:

  • human rights law in Queensland
  • individual rights and what they protect
  • human rights complaints
  • making decisions that are consistent with human rights law
  • reviewing and developing policy and legislation that is consistent with human rights law.

Read our hypothetical case studies to help you think about decisions when human rights are affected:

Read our hypothetical scenarios below to see when and how human rights might be affected in the workplace:

Using an interpreter

You’re a front counter employee and serve a non-English speaking member of the public. They’re having trouble filling in a form and can’t understand what you’re saying. Agency policy is that the form must be completed and it’s only in English.
Do you send them away with the form? Do you organise an interpreter?

Consider the customer’s human rights. They have the right to:

  • recognition and equality before the law which means they should be able to use a government service, even if they have different needs.
  • privacy and reputation which could be affected by using an interpreter. The interpreter might find out private information.

Giving out personal information

You’re an administrative officer and a customer asks you for a copy of a document that contains personal information about their mother.

Do you give them a copy of the document?

You need to follow your work processes, but also consider the human rights of the customer and their mother.

If the customer is asking for a document that contains information they legitimately need, and you don’t provide it, this decision could interfere with their right to freedom of expression. The right to freedom of expression includes the right to ask for information from the government.

If the customer is asking for a document that contains personal information about their mother and you provide it, this decision could interfere with the mother’s right to privacy.

Flexible work arrangements

A new employee asks for flexible work arrangements. They need to leave early each day to collect their child from school. You already have one employee leaving early each day for health reasons. Having another person in the team leaving early could impact your team’s coverage during business hours. 

Do you approve the flexible work arrangement?

You need to consider your employee’s human rights. They have the right to:

  • protection of families and children. Their children have the right to protection that is in their best interests.
  • recognition and equality before the law. If you treat them differently to other people at work because they’re a parent, it could be discrimination.
  • take part in public life, which includes the right to access the public service without discrimination.

Moving freely in Queensland

You’re a park ranger who has found a member of the public off-trail in a national park. There is a fire nearby and you’re concerned they may get lost or injured. They insist they have a compass and know where they’re going.

Do you insist they return to the trail or leave the park? Do you ask for their personal details so you can follow up with them and make sure they get to where they intend to go?

You need to consider this person’s human rights. They have the right to:

  • freedom of movement, which includes telling people where and how to move or stop
  • privacy, which is engaged if you ask someone for their name, identification, or other information
  • life and security of person, which includes their physical safety.

Dress codes

You work in an agency that regularly meets with clients. As part of the leadership team, you’re tasked to consider introducing a dress code. Someone suggests restricting religious and cultural clothing, or things with political slogans, so as not to risk offending some clients.

Do you support this?

You need to consider the affected human rights. Employees and customers have the right to:

  • freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. People can believe what they want and can demonstrate their belief.
  • freedom of expression. People can have an opinion and express that opinion the way they choose. This includes how we express ourselves in the way we dress, as well as slogans on t-shirts.
  • enjoy their identity and culture
  • recognition and equality before the law. Everyone should be able to use a government service, even if they have different needs or believe different things.

Taking submissions

You’re overseeing a redevelopment project for a popular park. You want to find out what people would like as part of the park’s redevelopment. Your co-worker suggests placing a submission box at the park. That way you’ll get feedback from the people who use the park.

What approach do you take?

You need to consider the affected human rights. Queenslanders have the right to:

  • participate in public affairs without discrimination. Your decision could affect the rights of some members of the public to take part in the submissions process.
  • freedom of expression. Everyone has the right to seek, receive, and share information and ideas of all kinds.
  • recognition and equality before the law. Your decision could restrict some people with certain attributes from being able to participate in the process, or favour certain people over others.