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PWDAustralia logo   People with Disability Australia
PWDA Alert
  Monday 15 April 2013
Dear ,
Sunday 14 April 2013
From 15-19 April, representatives of the Australian CRPD Parallel Report Group which prepared the parallel or shadow report on Australia’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Disability Rights Now are at the United Nations in Geneva where the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) is holding its 9th session of meetings. 
During this meeting, the CRPD Committee will decide on  a list of issues it will provide Australia in preparation for its review of Australia in September 2013.  The Project Group representatives are in Geneva to ensure that key issues from Disability Rights Now are included in this list of issues.
Project Group representatives, Therese Sands and Damian Griffis participated in the introductory meeting held by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) on Sunday 14 April 2013.  IDA is a network of international and regional Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) and it is providing assistance to the Australian and other DPO representatives during this week.
Invitation to the side events at the United Nations in Geneva April 2013
The introductory meeting included DPO representatives from Paraguay and El Salvador as well as representatives of IDA members from the World Federation of the Deaf, World Federation of the DeafBlind, International Federation of the Hard of Hearing, Arab Organisation of Disabled Peoples and the European Disability Forum.
A summary of the activities from Therese and Damian:
“The meeting was a great opportunity to meet other DPO representatives who are in Geneva to advocate on the rights of people with disability at the UN. We had an opportunity to talk about the CRPD Committee’s week of activities and how our groups can observe or participate in these. IDA also facilitated a workshop on key elements of the CRPD to assist us in our advocacy preparations for the week.
Some DPOs are here to observe proceedings, others are here to engage in the review of their country – Paraguay – and others aim to directly influence the CRPD Committee in its decisions regarding a list of issues – Australia, El Salvador and Austria.
We will be very fortunate to observe the review of Paraguay by the CRPD Committee, as this will provide us with useful information for our preparations for the September review of Australia. The Paraguay DPOs are conducting a side-event for the CRPD Committee on their key issues and this will assist us to prepare for the Australian side-event that will take place on Wednesday.
There is also a delegation of Indigenous representatives from around the world that we will be meeting during the week. Gayle Rankine, Chair of First Peoples Disability Network Australia is part of this group. We also have a number of meetings lined up with a range of non-government organisations (NGOs) to discuss Disability Rights Now and to inform NGO advocacy.
Following the IDA meeting, we met with an international NGO, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (Global Initiative). We talked about the situation for children with disability in Australia, particularly about the harm caused by the use of restrictive practices in schools and disability service systems, the overrepresentation in juvenile justice, the lack of measures in the National Child Protection Framework and some specific issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disability”.
Therese and Damian will be providing regular updates on the week’s activities. For more information about the Australian CRPD Project Group and Disability Rights Now visit
The Submission on the List of Issues Prior to Reporting of Australia (Word, 115kb) from the Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group at the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 9th Session, Geneva, 15–19 April 2013
Therese Sands
On behalf of the Australian CRPD Report Project Group
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) (02) 9370 3100 1800 422 015