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PWDA Alert
  Thursday 5 September 2013
Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group Delegation Daily Report - Wednesday 4 September 2013
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Geneva, Switzerland
 
Dear ,
 
Today the Australian Civil Society Delegation attended the second day of dialogue between the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Australian Government Delegation.

The Government Delegation provided responses to the questions raised by the Committee on the previous day.  The Committee then asked another series of questions on articles 21 to 33.
 
The Government Delegation responded to a number of these questions, but as there was not enough time to conclude the dialogue, it undertook to provide its final responses by 1pm on Friday 6 September.
 
The topics of these questions included:
 
 
David Heckendorf presenting at the UN in Geneva - a microphone is close to his face and he is looking down at a table.
David Heckendorf, People with Disability
Australian Capital Territory (PWD ACT)
with Australian delegation colleagues.
  • Health, welfare and justice issues for Indigenous Australians
  • Domestic violence against women and children
  • The level of resources provided by government to Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs)
  • Forced sterilisation of children and women with disability
  • Access to justice for people with disability
  • Political participation and voting rights
  • Segregated employment
  • The existence and re-emergence of institutional living arrangements
  • Poverty and disadvantage
  • Immigration practice and treatment of refugees
  • Data collection mechanisms across government
  • CRPD monitoring mechanisms and DPO inclusion
The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Graeme Innes was then invited by the Government Delegation to provide his independent closing statement.  This statement highlighted the positive reform measures that Australia had undertaken.  It also outlined key areas for improvement, particularly in relation to poverty, employment participation, access to justice, the use of restrictive practices and violence in institutions. 
 
Importantly, on many of these issues, the Commissioner endorsed the views in our parallel report, Disability Rights Now and supported our recommendations.

In the afternoon, we met with the South Korean NGO Delegation to share experiences of the review process.  The South Korean NGO Delegation is preparing its parallel report and was interested to learn about the process taken by Australian NGOs. 
 
The final meeting of the day was held with Mr Facundo Chavez, the Human Rights and Disability Officer from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Mr Chavez outlined the work of this disability focal point within the OHCHR and discussed key priorities, such as the inclusion of disability in the post 2015 development agenda. 
 
David Heckendorf
On behalf of the Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group Delegation
People with Disability Australia (PWDA)
www.pwd.org.au (02) 9370 3100 1800 422 015