This statement has been issued by Disabled People’s Organisation Australia and Children and Young People with Disability Australia.
Violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability, including children with disability, is systemic. The evidence is extensive, compelling, and irrefutable. We must hold the systems and perpetrators to account for the decades of injustice.
People with disability and our allies have been calling for a specific Royal Commission into violence and abuse against people with disability for many years. Our calls have been echoed by multiple United Nations human rights monitoring bodies.
The violence occurs in a range of settings including education, the justice system, residential housing, prisons, hospitals, mental health facilities, group homes, detention centres, aged care, and in the community. The violence is interpersonal, structural and institutional.
People with disability have the right to a stand-alone and targeted Royal Commission that will interrogate and address the full scope of violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability.
We are not second-class citizens.
The recently announced Royal Commission into the Aged Care Sector is rightly focused on older people and will primarily examine violence within the aged care sector through a medical lens.
A Royal Commission into all forms of violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability must be embedded within a human rights framework and ensure that people with disability themselves are at the forefront of all decision-making.
People with disability have a right to justice. Only a targeted disability Royal Commission will deliver the change we need to stop the violence.