People with disability will be supported to attend international human rights forums over the next three years, thanks to an investment by the Government.
A total of $100,000 per year will allow people with disability and their representatives to take part in important conversations and advocate for disability rights on the international stage until the end of 2021.
Minister of Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher recognises the important role people with disability play in these discussions.
“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring people with disability play a key role in international discussions on disability issues.”
He says a portion of this funding will also be used to send a youth delegation to the United Nation’s annual Conference of States Parties (COSP) in New York.
“The youth delegation will provide a younger perspective to the COSP, as well as being an educational experience for the group.”
Mr Fletcher says great feedback was received from a previous youth delegation attendance in 2014, with hopes to achieve the same outcome this year.
Co-Chief Executive Officer of People with Disability Australia Therese Sands welcomes the Government’s commitment to continue to provide funding support for people with disability to participate in international human rights forums.
“This funding is vital to assist in building the leadership capacity of people with disability, particularly young people with disability and emerging leaders.”
“Many of these people with disability have gone on to take up prominent roles on the boards and staff of representative organisations of people with disability as well initiate other leadership activities.”
Ms Sands says previous iterations of this funding allowed representatives of Disabled People’s Organisations Australia to attend the 11th Session of the COSP in New York last year.
“The annual conference brought together countries that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and representatives from representative bodies and civil society organisations to discuss implementation of the convention.”
She says including people with disability and their representatives in these international conversations has implemented change not only overseas but on home soil, with the establishment of the National Disability Strategy and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“We have a critical role to play in driving and leading change for people with disability in Australia, in our region and globally.”
Assistant Minister of Social Services, Housing and Disability Services Sarah Henderson also recognises the importance of people with disability being given equal opportunity to participate in society.
“Australia is recognised internationally for its high level of engagement with and inclusion of people with disability and their representatives.”
She says the funding will enable these vital contributions to take place.
The Australian Human Rights Commission will manage the administration of the funding.