This week the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) published its Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth reports of Australia (Advance Unedited Version) (CRC/C/AUS/CO/5-6) (2019 CRC Concluding Observations), which it adopted on 30 September 2019, in relation to the CRC Committee’s review of the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of Australia on the implementation of its international human rights obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The review of Australia was undertaken during the 2402nd and 2403rd meetings of the CRC Committee held in Geneva last month and, in addition to Australia’s State Party report and the report from the Australian Human Rights Commission, the CRC Committee also considered submissions from many civil society organisations, including All Means All.
All Means All welcomes the 2019 CRC Concluding Observations and hopes that Australia will be guided by them in ensuring the human rights of all children, including children with disabilities.
Notably in relation to the education of children with disabilities, the 2019 CRC Concluding Observations recommend as follows:
“43. (c) Ensure that all children with disabilities have access to inclusive education in mainstream schools, are provided with the support needed, and address cases of restraint and seclusion.”
The Committee also made many other recommendations in relation to the right of all children as well as recommendations that emphasise the rights of children with disabilities, in respect of the following matters:
- data collection (paragraph 11(e));
- access to services and non-discrimination (paragraph 19(a));
- meaningful and empowered participation within the family, community and schools (paragraph 22(d));
- right to freedom of expression (paragraph 25);
- access to online information through making available audio description and captioning (paragraph 27(b));
- violence including sterilization of girls with disabilities without their prior, fully informed and free consent(paragraph 30(g));
- prevention of maltreatment and abuse of children with disabilities in care (paragraph 34(e));
- NDIS eligibility criteria and the types of support covered, and ensuring the NDIS has the necessary human, technical and financial resources for its optimal and timely implementation (paragraph 35(a));
- stigmatization of and prejudice against children with disabilities (paragraph 35(b));
- disparity in health status (paragraph 36);
- delivery of mental health services (paragraph 38(b));
- disability discrimination in immigration (paragraph 45(g)); and
- over-representation and detention of children with disabilities in the justice system (paragraph 48(g)).
You can read the Concluding Observations of the CRC Committee in full here.