PWDA is leading the Australian Civil Society Delegation to Geneva to participate in the 53rd Session of the Committee Against Torture, the expert body to the UN Convention Against Torture. During this session the Committee will consider the 4th and 5th periodic reports of Australia and make Recommendations and Concluding Observations about Australia’s progress in implementing the Convention Against Torture.


People with disability in Australia are frequently subject to treatment that may constitute torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment), including persistent and severe violence and abuse, forced or coerced non-therapeutic sterilisation, long-term neglect of basic human needs, and painful and degrading behaviour modification techniques or ‘restrictive practices’. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Special Rapporteur on Torture) has expressed concern that, ‘’in many cases such practices, when perpetrated against persons with disabilities, remain invisible or are being justified, and are not recognised as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

Breaches of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including the denial of reasonable accommodation, provide evidence that discrimination has taken place for the purposes of satisfying the requirement to establish torture in Article 1 of CAT; and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Article 16 of CAT where the physical and or mental pain experienced as a result of that discrimination is not to the degree of ‘severe pain or suffering’.

Australian Delegation

Ngila Bevan, Human Rights Advisor from PWDA is leading the delegation which also includes representatives from:

Australian Delegation Daily Reports

Issues Prior to Reporting (2010)

Opening Statements

Factsheet, Case Studies and Statistics (prepared by Queensland Advocacy Inc)

Factsheets (prepared by Women With Disabilities Australia)

Media and News

Submissions and Reports

Social Media

You can contact Ngila by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or twitter @ngilapwd
Twitter #UNCAT

UN Treaty Body Webcast

You can watch a live webcast of the Committees engagement with Australia