Edward Santow, the Australian Human Rights Commissioner, is leading the Human Rights and Technology Project. 

The Project aims to advance human rights protection in the context of unprecedented technological change. It considers how law, policy, incentives and other measures can promote and protect human rights in respect of new and emerging technologies. 

The Commission is currently the only independent Australian government body, and one of the only organisations globally, using a human rights approach and public consultation to address the impacts of new and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence. 

The Commission also seeks to collaborate with and support concurrent inquiry processes relating to new technologies in Australia and internationally.

To date, the Project has:

  • reached an audience of over 13,000 people across 70 of the Commissioner’s speaking events, nationally and internationally 
  • undertaken research and consulted with several hundred stakeholders from government, business, civil society and academia on how best to respond to the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by new and emerging technologies
  • identified significant ways in which our human rights are affected by new and emerging technologies, particularly in the area of AI-informed decision making and accessibility technology for people with disability
  • proposed legal and policy areas for reform. This will be the subject of further public consultation in early 2020.

A Final Report is due in 2020, following which the Commission will work with the Australian Government and other stakeholders to support implementation of its final recommendations. 


2020-2021 Implementation of Final Report

2020 Final Report

Early 2020 Phase two consultation

December 2019  Discussion Paper

September 2018 to April 2019 Phase one consultation Issues Paper submissions  and White Paper Submissions

January 2019 White Paper (PDF, DOC) on AI Governance and Leadership 

July 2018 Issues Paper (PDF, DOC)

July 2018 Human Rights and Technology Project Launch and Conference