Media Release

1 December 2014

Refusal To Instigate National Inquiry into Abuse of People with
Disabilities
Communication Rights Australia, Disability Discrimination Legal Service and Villamanta
Disability Rights Legal Service reject the advice of Senator Mitch Fifield that the Government
will not hold a national inquiry into violence against, and abuse of, people with disabilities in
residential and institutional settings.
Only a Royal Commission will have the resources and powers to competently investigate the
long-standing abuse of people with disabilities by those charged with providing them with
services and support.
We note that Royal Commissions in the past have been held in to circumstances that are far
less grave, and affect far fewer people. We view the current refusal to hold a national inquiry
as further discrimination against one of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in
Australia.
It is imperative that the Australian Government demonstrates its obligations under
international law by protecting the human rights of all people with disabilities. It has failed to
do so thus far, and a national inquiry must be agreed to now.

Jan Ashford
Communication Rights
Australia
0418 371 507

Julie Phillips
Disability Discrimination
Legal Service
0417 570 197

Deidre Griffiths
Villamanta Disability Rights
Legal Service
0414 216 160