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The Disability Royal Commission will look at human rights and how the rights of people with disabilities found in the Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities have been implemented to prevent violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in Australia. 

Content Warning 

Some of the stories and information below may contain details about abuse, neglect and mistreatment of people with disabilities. You can find help if you have any concerns because of this information.

How can I attend? 

The Royal Commission’s eighteenth public hearing will be held on 8 and 9 November 2021 (Public hearing 18). Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and impacts, witnesses will participate remotely and the hearing will be conducted online. The hearing will not be open to the public but will be live-streamed on the Royal Commission website.

The live stream will include Auslan, captions and audio-only options. 

What is it about?

Public hearing 18 will focus on how the rights contained in the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) can be realised in Australia to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities.

The objective of Public hearing 18 is to explore and examine:

  • the relevance and significance of the CRPD to people with disabilities in Australia
  • the nature and extent to which the CRPD rights are part of Australian law
  • the gaps in recognising and enforcing human rights for people with disabilities in Australia
  • approaches to the interpretation of the CRPD
  • the Australian Government’s approach to the CRPD
  • models existing in Australia and in other countries for realising the CRPD rights.

Public hearing 18 will build on research reports and the Royal Commission’s work to date addressing the CRPD.

What is the CRPD?

The CRPD is the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Australia ratified the CRPD in July 2008 and the Optional Protocol in 2009.

It is a complex document that outlines the human rights of people with disabilities and is an international agreement between nations to uphold these rights. 

An accessible PDF of the CRPD is available here

Live stream

This live stream/recording has closed captions and Auslan translations. In addition, there is an audio-only stream option. You can also view past recordings by clicking on the Event Posts button in the top right corner of the video panel. 

Witness List

8 November 2021

Media coverage

SBS News, 8 November 2021

People with disability face 'brick wall' in advocating for their human rights, royal commission hears

People with disability and their representatives are facing a "brick wall" in advocating for their human rights after a UN convention Australia has ratified is yet to be properly implemented into legislation, the disability royal commission has heard.

Support Services

Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free, independent legal service supporting people with disabilities to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission safely.

The Disability Royal Commission has set up support services for people with disabilities affected by or interacting with the Commission process. These supports include counselling, advocacy, financial and legal help. For more information and links, read our resource on Royal Commission Support Services.

The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline is a free, independent and confidential service for reporting mistreatment of people with disabilities. 

More Information

All our coverage of the Disability Royal Commission is here: Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability; otherwise, please choose from the list of past hearings below. 

Past Hearings

Royal Commission investigates experience of women and girls with disability
Royal Commission looks at First Nations children with disability in out-of-home care 
Disability Royal Commission investigates People with cognitive disability and the Criminal justice system and NDIS
Royal Commission looks at the Ann-Marie Smith case and continues investigating abuse in disability support services 
Disability Royal Commission looks at preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services 
Public hearing to examine the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for people with disability     
Disability Royal Commission explores education and training of health care professionals in relation to people with cognitive disability 
Disability Royal Commission explores pathways and barriers to open employment for people with disability 
Disability Royal Commission looks at First Nations People with a Disability
Disability Royal Commission explores barriers to education 
Disability Royal Commission hearing on the use of psychotropic medication 
Disability Royal Commission Hearing on Emergency Planning

Contact the Disability Royal Commission 

Phone: 1800 517 199
Web: disability.royalcommission.gov.au 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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