PWDA has lifted its voice, urging the Australian Government to set measurable targets for its new National Disability Strategy (NDS) for the coming decade.
On behalf of our members, we wrote to Department of Social Services last Friday, 18 December 2020, urging it to set ambitious goals for the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 designed to implement Australia’s obligations under the international Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UN CRPD).
Our submission commented in depth on the government’s NDS and NDIS outcomes framework introductory paper Improving Outcomes for People with Disability under the National Disability Strategy and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
It followed a more detailed submission we made on the government’s National Disability Strategy Position Paper on 6 November 2020 urging the government to align its strategy with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the UN CRPD).
Some important rights we are fighting to be acknowledged are:
- The right to access our community.
- The right to inclusive education.
- The right to the effective enjoyment of life on an equal basis with others.
- The right to equal recognition before the law.
- The right to access justice.
- The right to liberty and security of person.
- The right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- The right to freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse.
- The right to respect for our physical and mental integrity.
- The right to living independently and be included in the community (this includes the right to choose our place of residence and where and with whom we live on an equal basis with others).
- The right to personal mobility (including access to mobility equipment and transport).
- The right to freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information (including accessible formatting of information).
- The right to respect for privacy.
- The right to respect for home and the family (this includes reproductive rights, and the right to live free of discrimination in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships).
- The right to health, including the right to live free of discrimination or denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disability.
- The right to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities, equal pay for work of equal value, and safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment.
- The right to an adequate standard of living and social protection.
- Australia needs a strong national disability strategy so more people can enjoy their human rights.
The government is still drafting the outcomes for its second 10-year National Disability Strategy and it’s not too late for it to make the strategy deeply committed to implementing all of the international human rights of people with disability have in Australia and its territories.
PWDA notes there is no comprehensive legislative, administrative, judicial or other protection of human rights in Australian domestic law, such as a Bill or Charter of Rights. This means that the NDS is the principal national strategic plan, agreed by all Australian governments, to implement the UN CRPD. The NDS is therefore critical to the realisation of the human rights of people with disability in Australia.
Our views on Australia’s NDS and implementation of the UN CRPD are based on our experiences as people with disability and our goals for living equal lives, where our human rights are fully realised.
We want to see transformation for people with disability in this country, as intended in the original strategy.
That means that all governments need to recommit to our National Disability Strategy, and it needs to be fully funded with meaningful accountability mechanisms for delivery on goals and actions.
We need a National Disability Strategy for the next decade that has teeth, so Australia can take a bite out of the segregation, exclusion and disadvantage that we, as people with disability, stomach every day.
If you have thoughts on the new strategy, we urge you to write to your local member of parliament or national Disability Services Minister, the Hon. Stuart Robert MP on firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 5500 5919, or shout out on the socials where he’s @sturobertmp on Facebook and @stuartrobertmp on Twitter and Instagram.
Read our National Disability Strategy Position Paper and outcomes framework introductory paper submissions.