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Human Rights and Disability Projects 1989 -2005

Disability Rights







Human Rights and Disability

As well as performing functions under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Commission undertakes a range of projects concerning the human rights of people with disabilities by reference to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. From time to time we will publish here reports and papers relating to those projects.

Mental Illness and human rights

Not For Service
Report of consultations by the Mental Health Council of Australia and Brain and Mind Research Institute in association with the Australian Human Rights Commission: October 2005

Medicare benefits for psychiatric services
Report of an examination by the Commission under the Disability Discrimination Act of Group A8 of the Health Insurance (1996 -1997 General Medical Services Table) Regulations. This report looks at the effect on people with psychiatric disabilities of changes to the rules about the number of psychiatric consultations for which a Medicare rebate is claimable.

Living Wills
Living wills discussion Paper and public submissions on "living wills" or advance directives in the mental health area.

Report on Human Rights of People with a Mental Illness (1993)

See our mental illness page for links to the full text of the report and the findings and ecommendations chapters


The sterilisation of girls and young women in Australia: issues and progress
Report commissioned jointly by the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, April 2001. This is a follow up report from a report commissioned in 1997 by the then Disability Discrimination Commissioner:

The sterilisation of girls and young women in Australia: A legal, medical and social context. See also a recent conference paper from the principal author of these reports.

Violence, harassment and bullying

See our violence, harassment and bullying page

Young people in nursing homes

Disability and the justice system

Disabled justice: report from QAI, 2007

Human rights and disability: general

FounDDAtions: Reflections on the first five years of the Disability Discrimination Act
In this informal report, Elizabeth Hastings, the first Disability Discrimination Commissioner, outlines the history, process and progress of the major projects and activities undertaken by the Commission. The report also indicates her views on some areas where the Commission could have a constructive influence in the future.

Disability And Human Rights: Needs And Options For Further Protection (1991)

This Position Paper from the Human Rights Commissioner, prepared prior to the introduction of the D.D.A, was intended to assist in the consideration of options for national legislation against discrimination on the grounds of disability.  In addition to analysis of issues in designing Federal disability discrimination legislation, this paper examines a variety of other issues in a broader context, to promote consideration of the need for further legislative and programmatic reform to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are appropriately protected. Available in

Discussion paper: The Rights of People with Disabilities: Areas of Need for Increased Protection, 1989

A Discussion Paper prepared by the National Council on Intellectual Disability, (with the assistance of ACROD and Disabled Peoples' International) for the Australian Human Rights Commission

Sexuality and disability

Other resources

See our links page for links to some United Nations and overseas activities on disability issues.


Tags Disability Discrimination