Wednesday 13 March 2019

Media Statement from Alastair McEwin, Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner

I welcome today’s release of the draft terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and the government’s commitment to establish a Royal Commission.

I am pleased that the draft terms of reference propose a broad scope for the Royal Commission, which will allow it to comprehensively inquire into all forms of violence and abuse across all settings, and consider how we can address the underlying causes of violence and abuse and promote a more inclusive society. People with disability must be involved in every stage of the Royal Commission, and I anticipate the final Terms of Reference will incorporate whatever changes are appropriate based on community feedback.

I am pleased to see that the draft terms of reference empower the Royal Commission to establish accessible and appropriate arrangements for giving evidence and sharing information.  I call on the Government to ensure the Royal Commission is adequately funded and resourced in the upcoming budget so it can meet all accessibility and support requirements of children, young people and adults with disability.  It is vital that all people with disability are empowered to tell their stories and seek justice. 

I encourage all people with disability to review the draft terms of reference.  They are available via the DSS Engage website.  To have your say on the terms of reference, you can make complete a survey via the website or Survey Hotline on 1800 880 052.  The survey will be open until Thursday 28 March 2019.  Your responses and feedback should focus on your thoughts about the terms of reference and your accessibility requirements for further participation in the Royal Commission.

The Australian Human Rights Commission looks forward to building on the current momentum to continue to work with the Government, people with disability and the broader community to inform the work of the Royal Commission, so that people with disability can have a future free from violence.