On 29 August 2012, a coalition of leading disability, human rights and community organisations released the Disability Rights Now report, a comprehensive assessment of Australia’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The report makes over 130 recommendations for Australia to embed the rights, standards and obligations contained in the CRPD into all aspects of Australian law, policy and practice. The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will undertake its first ever review of Australia in late 2013 or early 2014. The report has been compiled from research and consultations with people with disability and their representative and advocacy organisations over the past three years and represents a comprehensive assessment of the lived experience of people with disability in Australia. Some of the key human rights issues highlighted in the report include:
- the lack of legal protection of human rights;
- limitations of equality and non-discrimination laws;
- inability to live independently and be included in the community;
- lack of protection from exploitation, violence and abuse;
- disproportionate impacts on particular groups, such as women and children with disability;
- difficulties accessing education and employment;
- unavailability of health services and support;
- inadequate standard of living and high rates of poverty; and
- lack of access to justice and disproportionately high rates of contact with the criminal justice system.
The Disability Rights Now report has been endorsed by 70 community organisations from around Australia.