The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (or the “Disability Royal Commission” for short) was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. During its 4.5-year duration, its six Commissioners heard from close to 10,000 people in a number of ways, including at public hearings and inquiries held across Australia and online.
Disability Royal Commission in Parliament.
The report comprises 12-volumes and makes 222 recommendations to promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Vision for the future
The report begins by outlining a for an inclusive Australia in which:
Recommendations: a snapshot
The Commissioners’ 222 recommendations include:
While most recommendations are directed to the Australian Government, some are directed to state and territory governments and non-government agencies, such as service providers and professional associations.
New taskforce to examine the report
On the same day the report was released, the Australian Government publicly welcomed it and announced the establishment of the “Commonwealth Disability Royal Commission Taskforce” to consider its findings and triage recommendations.
This taskforce will have a budget of $4.25 million over two years and will include staff from the Health, Education and Attorney-General’s portfolios, as well as the National Disability Insurance Agency, the National Indigenous Australians Agency, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury and the Department of Finance. The composition of taskforce is intended to promote a “holistic” government response.
The Taskforce will regularly report to the Disability Reform Ministerial Council, who will initially discuss the report in October 2023. An update on progress will be published in early 2024. It’s envisaged that the Australian Government’s response to the report will be rolled out in stages.
The “digestion” and implementation of the Commissioners’ voluminous findings and 222 recommendations by government and non-government stakeholders will understandably take time. However, the process provides a structure for much-needed and lasting systemic change to ensure the safety and full inclusion of people with disability.