Australians with disabilities facing high rates of abuse, exploitation: report

by IANS |

Canberra, Sep 29 (IANS) Major reforms are needed to make Australia an inclusive society for people with disabilities, a landmark report revealed on Friday.

The federal government in Parliament tabled the final report of the independent Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, reports Xinhua news agency.

After a four-and-a-half-year inquiry, the commissioners concluded that people with disabilities continue to experience high rates of violence and abuse, multiple forms of neglect, and sexual and financial exploitation.

"The social transformation needed to make Australia truly inclusive requires us to take account of the history of exclusion that has shaped the settings, systems and daily lives of people with disability through to today," the report said.

"Inclusion involves social transformation that enables people with disability to live, learn, work, play, create and engage alongside people without disability."

The 12-volume report made 222 recommendations for change, including that the government establish a Disability Rights Act that would embody the principles of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It calls for segregated employment to be phased out by 2034 and the end of segregated education by 2051.

"The human rights of people with disability have informed all our work and underpin a great many of our recommendations," Ronald Sackville, chair of the commission, wrote in the report.

"Transformational reforms cannot occur without fundamental changes in community attitudes towards people with disability."

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