Friday, 8 March 2019
With the announcement of a Royal Commission now all but confirmed, Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has reiterated the need for broad terms of reference and at least one disabled commissioner to ensure that the lived experiences of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of disabled people in institutional and residential settings is properly understood and investigated.
Senator Steele-John said he was glad to see the Government using the draft Terms of Reference he'd written and sent to the Prime Minister on Friday 15 February as the basis for consultation with stakeholders, particularly the inclusion of a focus on exploitation.
"Today, my community is waiting in hopeful anticipation for news that the road to justice is sealed," he said.
"But, it seems like finally our calls for a broad Royal Commission to be led by by disabled people are being taken seriously.
"Let us never forget that disabled people are subjected to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect not only in institutions but in our homes, workplaces, where we learn and where we receive services and support, and that the perpetrators of these crimes are often known to survivors not simply paid to help or support them.
"After 5 years of immense pressure from the disability rights movements and from the Greens, we are finally seeing the beginning of an opportunity for justice."
A copy of the letter sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Friday 15 February 2019, including the draft Terms of Reference, can be found on the Australian Greens website.