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Disability discrimination tops Commission complaints

Disability Disability Rights
Woman with cerebral palsy using a wheelchair to get onto the bus

New figures from the Australian Human Rights Commission show discrimination on the ground of disability was the leading area of concern for people lodging complaints about discrimination in 2018-19.

In 2018-19, the Commission received 891 complaints about disability discrimination; accounting for almost 44% of all complaints received by the Commission last financial year.

The number of complaints to the Commission about disability discrimination has gone up every year over the last five years.

“Australians with disability continue to experience unacceptably high levels of discrimination, especially in relation to employment and the provision of goods and services,” said Commission President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher.

The Commission received a total of 2,037 complaints about discrimination and breaches of human rights in 2018-19. The organisation also conducted 1,396 conciliation processes in that period with 72% of these complaints successfully resolved.

Ninety-eight per cent of surveyed participants to complaints that were conciliated reported they were satisfied and 83% rated the Commission’s service as ‘very good‘ or ‘excellent’.

“The Commission’s conciliation service delivers practical, cost effective complaints outcomes that can provide significant benefits for the parties to the complaint as well as the community at large,” said Commission President Rosalind Croucher.

“For example, the Commission resolved a number of disability discrimination complaints this year, which included agreements to modify buildings and adjust services so that people with disability can now access those services and buildings with ease,” Professor Croucher said.

The Commission has published its 2018-19 complaints data alongside its 2018-19 annual report and
you can see both documents here

The Australian Human Rights Commission is Australia’s national human rights institution. It operates under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) as well as federal laws that seek to ensure freedom from discrimination on the basis of age, disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, intersex status and gender identity.