Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Government welcomes convention on disabilities

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Robert McClelland MP, Attorney-General

The Rudd Government today welcomed the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“The Convention is designed to ensure that universal human rights and fundamental freedoms are available to the world’s estimated 650 million people with disability,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith said.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said, “Australia has undertaken a leading role in the negotiations for drafting this Convention and remains at the forefront of upholding the rights of people with disability.”

The Convention removes barriers faced by people with disability and enhances opportunities to participate in social and political decision making processes. It also recognises their rights to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement and equal recognition before the law.

“Supporting the Convention is part of the Rudd Government’s commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities are not subject to treatment like they are second class citizens,” Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services Bill Shorten said.

Australia was among the first to sign the Convention and the Rudd Government is committed to becoming a party to it as quickly as possible. A National Interest Analysis will be tabled in the Parliament in the coming months.

The Rudd Government will also soon begin consulting the States and Territories on the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

For more information on the consultation and the Convention, visit the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities consultation website