Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has claimed the publication of draft terms of reference for public consultation on a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect as a win for the disability rights movement and the greens, but said certain key elements are still missing.
Senator Steele-John said he had expected redress would be explicitly mentioned in the terms of reference to provide future certainity for survivors, as it had been for Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“A clear pathway forward for survivors of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect must be included in any Royal Commission including prosecution, investigation and most importantly, redress,” he said.
The following line was included in the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission and similar language must be included in this terms of reference:
What institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions, processes for referral for investigation and prosecution and support services.
“Now is the time for this government to engage with and listen to the community so that the terms of reference and execution of this Royal Commission are what disabled people need it to be, not what politicians want us to have,” said Senator Steele-John.
“Finally, this government must stop treating disabled people as a financial burden. They must commit to covering the full cost of this investigation from the budget so that it can get underway before the election is called. Justice for disabled people must not be kept waiting whilst the government haggles over who will fit the bill.”
To have your say go to: www.engage.dss.gov.au which is fully accessible and includes Auslan translations and an Easy English guide. Open until March 28, 2019.
For further information contact the Survey Hotline on: 1800 880 052, Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm.
Photo: Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John
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