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Supporting participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights

Disability Disability Rights
Saturday 2 February, 2019

Program information



Supporting disability peak and advocacy organisations to participate in international forums on human rights


The Department of Social Services (DSS) has funding available to support recognised disability peak organisations (DPOs) and disability advocacy organisations (DAOs) to participate in key international meetings on human rights. The aim of the program is to support participation by representatives from DPOs and DAOs through their attendance at key international forums on human rights, including support for domestic preparatory processes and feedback activities within Australia. The Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is supporting the program by managing the application process for this funding.

Applications will be considered for funding to assist with costs associated with:

  • attendance at ‘approved events’; and
  • activities to develop capacity to participate in, and represent DPOs, DAOs and the Australian disability rights sector generally at relevant events.

This page includes information about:

  • criteria for approval of events for funding;
  • how to nominate an event for approval;
  • how to apply for funding to attend an approved event; and
  • reporting requirements for successful applicants.

Approved events

The Commission will maintain and publish on its website a calendar of approved events. The calendar will be updated from time to time if and when new events are approved for funding and will be updated annually.

The calendar of approved events will aim to

  • encourage the widest participation of people with disability in key human rights international forums
  • contain information about events deemed eligible, and ineligible, for funding following the nomination process outlined below.

If you wish to apply for funding to attend (or for other preparatory activities associated with) events listed on the calendar, please submit an application. More information on this process is outlined below.

If there is an event for which you wish to seek support that is not already listed on the calendar you can nominate it to be considered within funding constraints and priorities, and it may be added to the calendar. For more information about nominating events for approval, see the following ‘Nominating an event’ section.

Please note that successful nomination for an event does not mean the nominee is also successful for funding. The nominee of an event would still need to submit a separate application for funding to support attendance at the approved event.

What will be funded

Funding will be provided primarily to support attendance at United Nations events that are directly related to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (UNCRPD), such as the annual Conference of States Parties, interactive dialogues and themed discussions.

Consideration will also be given to funding to support participation in other complementary activities, including:

  • networking/capacity/capability building events that are designed to reinforce the ability of DPOs and DAOs to promote the work of the UNCRPD and/or meet Australia’s obligations under the UNCRPD.
  • attendance at multi-dimensional disability and disability rights forums which are demonstrably relevant to the UNCRPD

Funding may also be utilised to support domestic preparatory processes leading up to approved events, or for post-attendance feedback activities. Examples of domestic events might include:

  • UNCRPD reporting and ‘shadow reporting’ as might be required under the convention; and
  • post-forum events that promote learnings from event participation, with a focus on key UNCRPD issues.

Nominating an event

Criteria for approval of an event

Factors that are considered in the approval of an event include:

  • satisfies at least one of the criteria listed above
  • has a demonstrable connection to the UNCRPD
  • attendance and participation in the event could positively impact on the work of Australian DPOs and DAOs, and progress the agenda to promote and protect the rights of people with disability in Australia.

How to nominate an event

Nominations must be received at least six months and no more than 18 months prior to the event.


Please submit completed nomination forms to:

Applying for funding to attend an approved event

Please read the information below before submitting an application.

Who can apply for funding?

DPOs and DAOs can submit applications individually or jointly.

Size and composition of delegations

Opportunities to participate will be open to all without bias in relation to gender, race, ethnicity or disability type, amongst other variables etc.

In the event that participants are selected from multiple disability peak bodies and advocacy groups, the organisations and nominated delegates may be expected work collaboratively to form a united delegation. A collegiate approach is to be reflected from the domestic preparatory processes through to the completion of feedback activities. Please note that in order to facilitate such collaboration, all successful applicant organisations will be advised of the names and contact details of all other successful applicant organisations.

Funding for additional support

Additional funding may be provided if the person(s) nominated require(s) additional support, such as the assistance of a carer, or other aids or equipment.

The particular needs of the nominated person will be considered in determining an appropriate amount to be provided for additional support, for example travel, accommodation, and conference costs for a carer.

Determination of applications

The applications process is to be conducted by the Commission, which will then make recommendations to DSS. All funding decisions will be made in consultation with DSS.


Applications will be considered and funding allocations determined as follows:

Funding round
Application deadlines
Deadlines for advice to applicants of outcome
Earliest event that can be approved
February / March 2019 10am Monday, 25 February 2019 Monday, 11 March 2019 June 2019 Conference of States Parties (COSP) 12

Applications can be submitted at any time but will be considered according to the schedule above.

Factors considered in funding decisions

Depending on demand, it may not be possible for all eligible applications to be successful and/or partial funding of an application may be offered. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Factors that will be taken into consideration include:

  • applications are only accepted from DPOs and DAOs
  • applicant meets criteria for attendance at the event, for example they have the necessary documentation or UN passes required to attend the event
  • demonstrated connection to UNCRPD
  • willingness of applicant to co-contribute
  • clear outline of how attendance and participation in the forum will positively impact on the work of your organisation and progress the agenda to promote and protect the rights of people with disability in Australia and/or develop delegates’ capacity to contribute to international forums
  • prior successful application of funding under this program
  • number of other applications received for attendance at the same forum
  • relative numbers of male and female delegates with disability funded in current annual cycle
  • capacity to disseminate outcomes.

Amount of funds and acceptable uses

The amount to be provided to support participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights:

  • will be decided on a case by case basis by DSS
  • may be limited by the numbers of approved events in any funding period and/or the numbers of eligible applicants
  • preference will be given to those applicants proposing to make a co-contribution
  • may be used for pre-event preparation and post-event feedback
  • may include consideration for items such as:
    • for the participant:
      • air fares — for return economy airfares with a quality airline that has a track record in providing appropriate support to passengers with disability; or return business airfares, where necessary
      • accommodation — for the duration of the event within a reasonable proximity to the event centre, a minimum of 3-star quality, and has accessible rooms
      • a stipend or daily allowance for incidentals
      • miscellaneous expenses such as transfers and taxi fares for travel to and from airports
      • conference fees
    • for additional support, if required.

The Commission will consider the needs of the nominated person in determining an appropriate amount to be provided for additional support, such as travel, accommodation, and conference costs for a carer.

Applications for funding will be considered for organisation of, and participation in, pre-event and post-event feedback meetings for the delegates in Australia. Email, video- and telephone-conferencing, web hosting and online captioning services should all be used as far as possible to promote a low-carbon footprint and represent value for money for such domestic activities.

Indicative funding caps have been nominated to maximise the equitable distribution of funds across delegations and across meeting events. They are as follows:

  • $7,000 (GST inclusive) for a successful applicant without the need of an attendant
  • $11,500 (GST inclusive) if an applicant is also bringing an attendant carer or requires other specialised supports.

How to apply for funding

Guidance on Information required in general applications can be found here.

Guidance on the emerging young leaders (18 – 30 years of age) funding and application process can be found here.

Please submit applications for funding to:


Requirements for successful applicants

Collaboration with other organisations

Funded delegations (both the sponsoring organisation(s) and the delegates) will be expected to actively engage and collaborate with other Australian disability peak and advocacy organisations to seek their input and advice regarding issues for discussion at the international forum they are funded to attend.

Financial declaration

DSS will require a financial acquittal report to be received no later than 30 November of the relevant year and that details how the funds provided have been spent.

Post-event report

A post-event report will be required, which includes a brief statement about:

  1. the event
  2. who the funded participants were
  3. what (if any) presentations were delivered or matters raised by the delegation
  4. any outcomes
  5. relevance, usefulness and benefits of the event for Australia
  6. information presented at the event that may inform Australian disability policy development, and
  7. issues that Australia needs to be aware of/consider.

It might also include discussion on:

  1. the benefits/shortcomings of this funding initiative, and other issues that may need to be considered in the funding arrangements, such as pre event preparation information that may assist future participants.

The Commission or DSS may conduct simple, in-confidence peer review feedback sessions with participants of the delegation in order to assist with mentoring and leadership development. These sessions would be held in confidence.

Cancellation of attendance

If the delegate cancels attendance at the international event, the Commission and DSS will consider a nominated replacement from the same organisation or from an alternative organisation, but may decide to leave the place unfilled.

In such circumstances, if the delegate spot is not filled then the grant recipient must seek to obtain refunds from travel and accommodation and conference providers and return unspent funds to DSS.

Breaching obligations

Funded delegates who breach any of their funding obligations by failing to fulfill the pre-event obligations, participation or inappropriate behaviour, or failing to acquit their grants may be required to refund grants to DSS and may be ineligible for future grants. Such obligations are detailed in the Letter of Offer.

Contact details for further information

If you have further questions about this program, please email: