The latest round of hearings in the Disability Royal Commission, this time into the experience of people with disability in the criminal justice system, will wrap up today. Over the past seven days, the Commission’s heard of the shocking situation many people, particularly those with cognitive disability, face in jails and other places of detention.
The disability royal commission needs a dedicated First Nations hearing to investigate the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system, Indigenous leaders say.
‘Everything about us, without us’: Only 15 per cent of disability royal commission witnesses have lived experience
The lack of testimony from people with disabilities comes amid ongoing concerns over the way the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has been managed, including calls for greater privacy safeguards.
The UN has twice called on Australia to dismantle its indefinite detention system for people with cognitive impairments and mental illness, which disproportionately affects Indigenous people. Indefinite detention is what happens to defendants in criminal cases when they are deemed unfit to stand trial.
Melanie’s story was revealed as part of the disability royal commission’s examination of the experiences of people with cognitive disabilities in the criminal justice system who are locked in indefinite detention in forensic mental health facilities.
The Third Progress Report summarises the work carried out by the Royal Commission during the period 1 July to 31 December 2020 including conducting six important public hearings, despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the use of remote technology The Progress Report notes that the Chair of the Royal Commission wrote to the Prime Minister on 30 October 2020 requesting a seventeen-month extension to the Royal Commission. If the request is granted, the Final Report and recommendations will be due by 29 September 2023.
The Australian Government welcomes the COVID-19 report of the Disability Royal Commission. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen significant challenges in the way all Australians live our lives, however, the Government recognises the unique factors that need to be considered when managing the health care needs of people with disability.
Closing date: February 26, 2021
The Disability Royal Commission is considering all forms of violence and abuse in the home (often referred to as domestic and family violence) inflicted by intimate partners, other family members and First Nations kinship networks as well as support workers, professionals, housemates, and co-residents in shared accommodation and group homes. The issues paper on Violence and abuse of people with disability at home is asking the public to share their views about how people with disability experience violence and abuse where they live. The issues paper asks 13 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses.
Closing date: February 1, 2021
This consultation is investigating how people with disability experience safeguards, what promotes quality in services, and how these may prevent and reduce exposure to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. An issues paper has been developed and includes 11 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.
The Disability Royal Commission’s issued a scathing report into how government agencies failed disabled Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings point to failures by government officials to consult with people with a disability in the early stages of the pandemic and to even consider what was needed to protect them from the virus. And that left people with disability feeling anxious and stressed, and forgotten by both governments and wider
It was a “serious failure” that no Australian Government agency with responsibility for disability policy, including the Department of Health, made “any significant effort” to consult with people with disability or their representative organisations during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by the Disability Royal Commission says.
The report makes 22 wide-ranging recommendations in light of evidence from people with disability, advocates, experts and government representatives during the Royal Commission’s fifth public hearing held in August. Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said it was clear that official lines of communication had failed between decision-makers and people with disability, leaving them feeling “forgotten and ignored”.
Disability, domestic violence a ‘catch 22’ as Indigenous children removed from mothers, royal commission hears
Babies are being removed at birth from First Nations mothers living with disabilities, the disability royal commission has heard. Giving evidence in Brisbane, Ms Schwartz said she had witnessed the removal of Indigenous babies first hand. “I would call it a heinous practice,” she said.
“We are among the most seriously disadvantaged members of the Australian community, and are also experts on the impact of policies on us,” says First Peoples Disability Network Chief Executive Officer Damian Griffis. “This week, a number of First Nations people with disability will give evidence about the different racist and ableist systems that harm our children.”
The essential functions and value of advocacy and representation in the protection and advancement of rights are described throughout the report and evidenced through The contribution advocates made at hearings, and submissions received from advocacy organisations.