Abuse substantiated – Senate Committee hands down report into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities

November 26, 2015

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) welcomes the report delivered by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability on 25 November 2015.


The Committee made powerful recommendations with respect to areas including, access to justice, housing, protective policy and national safeguarding. A key recommendation from the Committee was a call for a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. Nathan Kennedy, President, ALHR said “ALHR strongly supports these recommendations and calls for immediate implementation”.


Consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities the Committee comments that moving forward to fix the issues in the disability sector and ensure legal frameworks protect people with disabilities, the approach must “… [go] beyond considering the rights of people with disability, [but] it means putting people with disability at the centre of decision making not just in their own lives, but also in amending policies and laws.”


The Committee revealed that “…the evidence presented from people with disability, their families and advocates, showed that a root cause of violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability begins with the de-valuing of people with disability.” Mr Kennedy commented “it is horrifying to hear that people with disabilities in Australia are having their human rights denied in everyday life”.


“ALHR applauds the Committee for investigating and bringing attention to this serious and abhorrent situation that has happening in homes and communities around Australia. The violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities violates the most fundamental human rights of people with disabilities” stated Mr Kennedy.


Media Contact:   Natalie Wade, Chairperson, Disability Rights Subcommittee

M: 0413174195      E:  disabilityrights@alhr.org.au