Skip to main content

Search

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Disability Rights
A close-up view of one wheel of wheelchair. A person is holding the wheel.

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Australian government announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission) on 5 April 2019. This was in response to community concern, reflected in various inquiries, about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability.  

The Disability Royal Commission’s final report will be delivered to the Australian Government by 29 September 2023.  

More information is available on the Disability Royal Commission website.   

Engagement with the Disability Royal Commission 

The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett has led the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (the Commission’s) engagement with the Disability Royal Commission. 

To date, the Commission has provided five written submissions to the Disability Royal Commission. These submissions include:  

  • Inclusive Education for People with Disability (19 December 2019)    
  • People with Disability and the Criminal Justice System (20 March 2020)    
  • Employment and People with Disability (24 September 2020). 
  • National Preventive Mechanisms: A formal safeguard for people with disability (September 2022)
  • Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (December 2022)

Commissioners have appeared as witnesses at Disability Royal Commission Public Hearings and the Commission has participated in roundtable consultations on supported decision-making and air travel.

Written submissions

Inclusive Education for People with Disability  

In response to the Disability Royal Commission’s Education and Learning Issues Paper, the Commission has provided a written submission on 19 December 2019.   

The submission outlines 12 recommendations to improve implementation of the right to inclusive education for people with disability in Australia.   

People with Disability and the Criminal Justice System  

In response to the Disability Royal Commission’s Criminal Justice System Issues Paper, the Commission provided a written submission on 20 March 2020.   

The submission outlines 21 recommendations to improve Australia’s compliance with its international obligations and protect the rights of people with disability who interact with the criminal justice system.   

This submission is available here.  

Employment and People with Disability  

In response to the Disability Royal Commission’s Employment Issues Paper, the Commission has provided a written submission on 24 September 2020.   

The submission makes 22 recommendations to improve Australia’s compliance with its international obligations and protect the rights of people with disability in an employment context.  

This submission is available here.  

National Preventive Mechanisms: A formal safeguard for people with disability

The Commission provided a written submission on 23 September 2022 in relation to the Disability Royal Commission’s Public Hearing 27 on Conditions in detention in the criminal justice system. The submission is on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). 

The submission makes 11 recommendations to promote better adherence to OPCAT to ensure it operates as a safeguard to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in situations of deprivation of liberty. 

The submission is available here

Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  

The Commission provided a written submission on 23 December 2022 on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Australia.  

The submission makes 28 recommendations to advance Australia’s compliance with international human rights obligations.  

The submission is available here (PDF or WORD). 

Attendance at the Disability Royal Commission  

Public Hearing 9: Pathways and barriers to open employment for people with disability

On 11 December 2020, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett appeared as a witness to the Disability Royal Commission’s Public Hearing into pathways and barriers to open employment for people with disability. 

At the hearing, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner spoke about his lived experience with disability and the barriers he experienced in the workplace. He also addressed the recommendations provided by the Commission’s written submission on employment and people with disability.  

A transcript and video of this Public Hearing is available here.

Public Hearing 29: The experience of violence against abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse communities 

On 27 October 2022, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Chin Tan, appeared as a witness to the Disability Royal Commission’s Public Hearing into the experience of violence against abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).  

At the hearing, the Race Discrimination Commissioner spoke about the importance of an intersectional approach, ensuring culture safety, respect, and inclusion for people with disability of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds when they engage with support services, and gave an overview of the Commission’s work on a national anti-racism framework, and the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign. 

Transcripts and video of this Public Hearing are available here.