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What are Human Rights?

Human Rights are life activities that all people should have the freedom to pursue without fear of discrimination or harassment.

 

What is the Charlottesville Human Rights Ordinance?

The Charlottesville Human Rights Ordinance is a part of City code which defines how human rights are protected within the City of Charlottesville. It also specifies the roles that the Office of Human Rights and the Human Rights Commission in enforcing those protections.

 The Human Rights Ordinance states that:

“It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article for any person, partnership, corporation or other entity to engage in discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, marital status or disability."

Under the Human Rights Ordinance, the term "unlawful discriminatory practice" includes conduct in violation of any comparable Virginia or federal statute or regulation governing unlawful discrimination.

 

What is the Office of Human Rights?

The Charlottesville Office of Human Rights (OHR) receives individual complaints of discrimination, conducts community outreach, and provides staff support to the Human Rights Commission. When addressing individual complaints of discrimination, the OHR can offer alternative dispute resolution (mediation), formal investigation, or referral to another organization. The Human Rights Ordinance defines the Office's jurisdiction and process for addressing complaints in accordance with state and federal law.

 

What is the Human Rights Commission?

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is a group of volunteers appointed by City Council to promote an inclusive, empowered, and diverse community through community education and engagement, as well as enforcement of the Human Rights Ordiance. The HRC also reviews City policies and provides recommendations to City Council for changes in policy that promote and protect human rights.

The Human Rights Commission meets every third Thursday of the month from 7pm-9pm in City Space, located at 100 5th Street N.E. The meetings are open to the public. Two hour parking validation for the Market Street Parking is available. 

 

What can the Office of Human Rights do for you?

If you believe you have been subjected to an unlawful discriminatory practice, you may do any of the following:

  • Call the Office of Human Rights at 434-970-3023 to schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns.
  • Send an email to humanrights@charlottesville.org to set up an appointment.
  • Print and fill out the Complaint Form
    • You can mail complaint forms to Office of Human Rights, PO Box 911, Charlottesville, VA 22902
    • You can submit complaint forms in-person to the Office of Human Rights, 106 5th Street NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902

All inquiries by phone or email to the Office of Human Rights are protected by law from disclosure to outside parties without your express permission.