Australia signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2008. This means Australia has made a commitment to protect and promote our rights. The main way that Australian Governments are doing this, is through the National Disability Strategy.

Every four years, Australia has to report to the United Nations (UN) and be reviewed on what it has achieved.  A committee of independent experts, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) does this review. Australia was first reviewed by the Committee in September 2013.

People with disability, through their representative organisations, can also report to the UN to help the Committee review Australia.  This report is known as a civil society Shadow Report. See the bottom of this page for more on the 2012 civil society Shadow Report, Disability Rights Now.

2019 CRPD Review

In September 2019, Australia will be reviewed for the second time by the Committee. The Australian Government has provided its report to the Committee.  This report is Australia’s response to a List of Issues that the Committee want to know about.

Along with a number of other disability organisations, we have prepared a Shadow Report called “Disability Rights Now 2019” – you can download the full report at the link, including translations into Plain English, French and Spanish. This report tells the Committee some of the experiences of people with disability and the barriers we face. The report has been sent to the United Nations Committee and will be read by the Committee before Australia appears before it in September.

Thanks to the Deaf Society for this Auslan translation of the Shadow Report’s Executive Summary.

Survey Results

DPOs, disability representative and advocacy organisations are encouraged to consult with people with disability in the community to help prepare the Civil Society Shadow Report, and a consultation guide [DOC] was been written to support organisations with this process.

We asked people with disability about their rights in an online survey. In total, 892 people completed the survey.

Overall the findings highlight:

  • A majority of survey respondents are unable to access the support they need (61%)
  • 44% of respondents do not have access to the healthcare they need
  • A majority of survey respondents believe that healthcare workers do not understand their needs (55%)
  • 76.5% of respondents have experienced discrimination because of their disability
  • 61% of respondents cannot afford to cover their basic needs on their current income or support
  • Almost one third of respondents have experienced violence or abuse because of their disability (33%)
  • High volume of respondents with ME/CFS, with many free text comments highlighting the acute lack of support, services and research

Beyond the direct data insights from the questions, the free text comments highlighted some key themes including:

  • Issues with the NDIS
  • Issues with housing
  • Social isolation
  • Mental Health and suicide ideation

Find out more on the DPOA website.

Previous Australian Civil Society Report To The United Nations CRPD – August 2012

In 2012 PWDA was part of the NGO CRPD Shadow Report Project Group, made up of leading disability and human rights organisations, to provide an NGO perspective on Australia’s implementation of the Convention. This Project Group receives significant pro bono support from DLA Phillips Fox and has undertaken consultations throughout Australia with the support of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).

This Civil Society Report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) presents the perspective of people with disability in relation to Australia’s compliance with its obligations under this convention. The Report has been compiled from consultations with people with disability and their representative and advocacy organisations, evidence from government and community initiated inquiries and various reports and submissions produced by Civil Society involved in the protection and promotion of human rights for people with disability.

NGO CRPD Shadow Report Group Communique

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