We then set out key areas of concern, including:
- the significant disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability;
- the indefinite detention without conviction of people with disability, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability in prisons;
- the high rates of violence, exploitation and abuse experienced by people with disability, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with disability;
- the lack of incorporation of CRPD and other human rights obligations into domestic law;
- the effect of the recent delay in reforming anti-discrimination law;
- the lack of an effective framework for engagement with people with disability and their representative organisations;
- the hindered reform in relation to supported decision-making, mental health laws and migration law and policy as a result of the interpretative declarations made by Australia in relation to Article 12, 17 and 18;
- the existence of institutions and the redevelopment of institutions where people with disability may be required to live in order to received support;
- the ongoing practice of involuntary or coerced sterilisation;
- the removal of children from parents with disability, on the basis of disability;
- the segregation of some people with disability in segregated employment where they are subjected to lower wages and work conditions than other people;
- the use of restrictive practices, such as chemical, mechanical and physical restraint and seclusion, including the use of these practices on children with disability in both segregated and mainstream schools.
CRPD Committee members asked over ten questions aimed at clarifying issues contained in our submission as well as raising other issues regarding voting access, inclusive education, access to justice, disaster management and issues for children with disability. Some CRPD Committee members also met with us briefly after our session to clarify points in our submission to the List of Issues as well as Disability Rights Now
Following the side-event, the CRPD Committee commenced its closed morning session to consider the list of issues for El Salvador, Austria and Australia. This will be the focus of the CRPD Committee’s work for the rest of the week.
The CRPD Committee commenced its half-day of general discussion on women and girls with disability in the afternoon. The general discussions of the CRPD Committee allow Committee members to consider specific CRPD rights in greater depth, in this case article 6, Women with Disabilities.
The discussion was divided into three sessions - intersectionality, violence against women and sexual and reproductive rights.
The discussion included formal presentations from UN agencies, International Disability Alliance (IDA)
, CRPD Committee members and non-government organisations, as well brief statements from DPOs and organisations from the floor.
- direct interference with women’s bodily integrity through forced sterilisation and coerced abortions;
- the removal of children from mothers with disability based on assumptions about parenting capacity; and
- the systematic exclusion of women and girls with disability from reproductive and sexual health information, education and support based on assumptions that women with disability are asexual or oversexed and are not capable of or should not be parents.
WWDA asked the CRPD Committee to develop a general comment on women and girls with disability that comprehensively clarifies the obligations of States Parties in relation to sexual and reproductive rights.
As part of the general discussion, a side-event on the rights of indigenous women and girls with disability was co-hosted by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF)
. Gayle was a member of the panel of speakers and she highlighted key concerns regarding the higher incidence of violence experienced by Aboriginal women and girls with disability. Olga Montufar
from Mexico and Doreen Demas
from Canada also presented on this panel.
On behalf of the Australian CRPD Civil Society Parallel Report Group