ACDA Submission to Senate Inquiry into Indefinite Detention of People with Cognitive and Psychiatric Impairment in Australia

In late April 2016 the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) made a submission to Senate Affairs References Committee Inquiry into Indefinite Detention of People with Cognitive and Psychiatric Impairment in Australia. The submission provides an overview of the circumstances leading to and consequences of indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychosocial disability in Australia. In doing so it uses information previously published in Disability Rights Now, the civil society report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2012. Disability Rights Now was compiled from consultations with people with disability and their representative and advocacy organisations, evidence from government and community initiated inquiries, and various reports and submissions produced by civil society involved in the protection and promotion of human rights for people with disability. It was primarily drafted by eight DPOs and disability advocacy organisations and received over eighty endorsements.

The submission also incorporates the work of ACDA members on issues pertinent to indefinite detention of people with disability including the Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Violence against People with Disability, ACDA 2015; the Shadow Report to the Committee Against Torture (CAT), PWDA 2014; Submissions to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Inquiry into Equality, Capacity and Disability, PWDA 2014; representations made during the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Australia, ACDA 2015; and the report, The Plight of People Living with Disabilities within Australian Immigration Detention: Demonised, Detained and Disowned, NEDA 2015.

In the submission, the ACDA made twelve recommendations including a recommendation that the Australian Government urgently ratify and ensure domestic implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the establish an independent national preventive mechanism to monitor places of detention, including where people with disability are detained, such as immigration detention centres, prisons, forensic facilities, juvenile justice detention centres, disability justice centres and mental health facilities.

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