Through our extensive research, corporate knowledge exchange, and our role advising government on addressing human rights abuses in commercial operations, we're changing the way Australia does business.

The Institute's work on human rights due diligence to prevent modern slavery is already generating impact, with a review of Australia's Modern Slavery Act recommending many of the changes advocated for by the Institute and its research collaborators in a series of reports released in 2022.

The Institute has been on the frontline of advocacy for legislated changes to government appointment processes, with a successful campaign to change how Australia selects its human rights commissioners in 2022 – one of the first pieces of legislation introduced by the new Attorney-General, the Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC, MP.

Our 2023 national conference will bring together leading thinkers on accountability to work on how to combat the rise of impunity in politics, business, media and civil society, featuring a keynote address by the Attorney-General.

In the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021, the Institute hosted a global conference showcasing the research and practice of experts in the fields of public health, climate science, law and human rights to support global developments to address climate change.   

We are now prioritising two areas of work, including one focused on the impacts of climate change in the Pacific, utilising air pollution data to improve the health outcomes of Pacific communities. The second project, the Australian Climate Accountability Project, aims to accelerate the phase-out of Australia’s coal and LNG exports to slow global warming, protect human rights and deliver a just transition to a sustainable future.  

Many research studies do not take sex and gender into account, leading to substantial evidence gaps and serious consequences for clinical care and public health, as well as human rights violations around non-discrimination, health and bodily integrity.​

Our three-year philanthropically-funded research project, co-led by The George Institute for Global Health, will help ensure that Australian health research and science continues to be world leading, prioritises human rights, provides better healthcare outcomes for all Australians, and will demonstrate a reduction in the economic health burden on Australia’s economy.​  

The Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to address sexual violence in Australian universities. In 2015, we were commissioned to lead a major research project to ascertain the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment on Australian campuses.

The first national student survey was implemented in 2016, with 30,930 students from 39 universities participating. Following the survey, we released the On Safe Ground: A Good Practice Guide for Australian Universities report, which – strongly grounded in student experience and the survey results – developed a good practice framework.  

The Institute aims to now conduct further research and advocacy that will establish measures to create sustainable and long-term changes to address sexual violence on campus.   

Nurturing a new generation of human rights defenders is central to the Institute's mission.

Through our Global Student Fellowship program, we're giving students the opportunity to experience paid work in human rights in Australia and internationally with a leading international development or human rights-based organisation.

The fellowship provides students with experience in building a career pathway into human rights and development, and to grow their network. Students will be actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the organisation, with a focus on research and/or policy development.