Know Your Rights

Did you know that people under 18 have a series of rights as outlined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? Certain rights are also protected by state and federal law, such as the Children & Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016.

On this page, you’ll find a list of laws that affect young people, marginalised communities, and other aspects of daily life.

The Commissioner has also developed and published a series of resources highlighting the experiences and voices of children and young people who engage in civics and citizenship activities. You can find them all here.


For Children and Young People

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Every child and young person under the age of 18 years has rights that are protected by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was established in 1989.

The Convention has been signed by every country in the world (except for the USA and Somalia) with Australia one of the first countries to do so.

There are 54 articles in all. Articles 43-54 are about how adults and governments should work together to make sure that all children and young people get all their rights.

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Children & Young People (Oversight & Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016

This is the South Australian Act (2016) and accompanying Regulations (2017) under which the role of the Commissioner for Children and Young People is formally set out including the obligations and expectations of the role. It includes details of the terms of office and process of appointment along with a requirement to have two young people on the selection panel.

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South Australia’s Outcomes Framework for Children and Young People (2019)

This framework document prepared by South Australia’s Child Development Council sets out what is required of governments and the broader community to ensure that all South Australian children and young people (like you) start well, grow strong and experience a good life. Formally adopted on 14 November 2019, the framework contains five life dimensions by which the vision for all South Australian children and young people to thrive is guided and measured – health, safety, wellbeing, education and citizenship (aka preparedness for adulthood).

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CCYP Child Rights Reports

Each year the Commissioner for Children and Young People prepares a series of reports on South Australia’s progress toward meeting recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Released to coincide with International Human Rights Day (10 December) the reports examine Child Health, Child Justice, Child Protection, Education, Physical Punishment, Disability, and the Environment, measuring progress across these seven child rights areas, reviewed on behalf of more than 369,400 children and young people (under 18 years) living in South Australia.

Find out more


Anti-Discrimination Acts

Equal Opportunity Act (1984)

The Equal Opportunity Act protects you against discrimination on the basis of age, caring responsibilities, disability, whether you are discriminated as you have an assistance or therapeutic animal, your gender identity, intersex status, marital status, pregnancy, race, religious dress, sex, sexual orientation, spouse or partner’s identity or association of a child in your education, employment, in places that provide goods and services (shops, restaurants, transport, etc.), renting flats, rooms or houses or staying in other accommodation, clubs and associations and advertising that intends to discriminate.

Find out more and find out more for schools

Disability Discrimination Act (1992)

The Disability Discrimination Act makes disability discrimination unlawful and promotes equal rights, equal opportunity and equal access for people with disabilities.

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Racial Discrimination Act (1975)

The Racial Discrimination Act promotes equality before the law for all people regardless of race, colour or national or ethnic origin. It is unlawful to discrimination against people on the basis of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.

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Sex Discrimination Act (1984)

The Sex Discrimination Act protects people from unfair treatment on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status, pregnancy and breastfeeding. It also protects workers with family responsibilities and makes sexual harassment against the law.

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Other Acts

The Fair Work Act (2009)

Workers are protected by law against discrimination on a range of grounds including age, gender and race. The Fair Work Act 2009 is the legislation in national law outlining the rights of all working people. If you are a young person who is unsure what your rights at work are, this Act provides some clarity.

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The Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act (1987)

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is the national law that protects consumers from unfair and unsafe business practices when buying goods and services. The Fair Trading Act (1987) is the state legislation that protects all consumers. Businesses must work within federal and state fair trading laws to make sure they treat their customers (including children and young people) and other businesses, fairly at all times.

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Residential Tenancies Act (1995)

If you are a young person 18 years and over who is seeking to rent a property in South Australia, before you sign a tenancy agreement you need to know what your rights and responsibilities are, along with those of the property owner/manager.  These are all outlined in South Australia’s Residential Tenancies Act (1995).

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Victims of Crime Act (2001)

The South Australian Victims of Crime Act (2001) outlines the principles which govern the treatment of victims of crime in our criminal justice system. If something has happened to you and you are unsure about what their rights you have as a victim of crime then follow the link below.

Find out more