Disabled People’s Organisations Australia undertake a range of work in the international human rights space concerning the key issues affecting people with disability living in Australia.
Australia is a signatory to seven core international human rights treaties, all of which create obligations to promote equality, denounce discrimination against people with disability; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds; and against women. As a party to these treaties, Australia has chosen to be bound by the treaty requirements, and has an international legal obligation to implement the treaty provisions through its laws and policies. Together, the seven international human rights treaties to which Australia is a party – along with their Optional Protocols, General Comments and recommendations adopted by the bodies monitoring their implementation – provide the framework to delineate the obligations and responsibilities of governments and other duty-bearers to comprehensively promote the human rights of women and girls with disability, including their right to freedom from all forms of violence.
Critically, implementation of these treaties is not mutually exclusive. They are expected to be understood and implemented as complementary mechanisms through which to create a holistic framework of rights protection and response for all people with disability.
The seven core international human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, are:
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 [2008, ATS 12].
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 21 December 1965 ( ATS 40);
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on 16 December 1966 ( ATS 5);
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on 16 December 1966 ( ATS 23);
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on 18 December 1979 ( ATS 9);
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 10 December 1984 ( ATS 21);
- Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989 ( ATS 4);
In addition to these seven international human rights treaties, in 2009, Australia also formally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) – an international human rights instrument that sets a standard for the protection of Indigenous peoples rights.
The key purpose of DPO Australia is to promote, protect and advance the human rights and freedoms of people with disability in Australia by working collaboratively on areas of shared interests, purposes and strategic priorities and opportunities. Some of the areas we work in include:
- Undertaking work in the policy priority area of the right of people with disability to freedom from all forms of violence and abuse;
- Undertaking work in the policy priority area of the right of people with disability to liberty and security of person, with a specific focus on indefinite detention.
- Undertaking work in the policy priority area of the right of people with disability to live independently and be included in the community, with a specific focus on housing.
- Advocating for the establishment of formal engagement mechanisms for people with disability to provide feedback to Government on key reform agendas.
- Engaging in policy and law reform and program design and implementation in relation to the National Disability Strategy (NDS), the Disability Employment Framework, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP).
- Contributing to relevant United Nations processes to advance the human rights of people with disability, including a focus on monitoring domestic implementation of the international human rights treaties and instruments to which Australia is party.