Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australia contributes to draft text on convention on rights of people with disabilities

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Philip Ruddock MP, Attorney General

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced Australia has provided a written contribution for inclusion in a draft text for negotiation of a Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Australia’s written contribution focuses on accessibility – stressing the importance of taking appropriate measures to provide an environment which enables people with disabilities to access their fundamental human rights.

A UN working group, established by the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities is currently meeting in New York to prepare this text, to be negotiated by UN member states.

Australia’s continuing participation in this important process demonstrates the Government’s commitment to working towards ensuring participation of people with disabilities in all levels of society.

An Australian delegation participated in the second meeting of the UN Ad Hoc Committee in June 2003.

The delegation comprised representatives from the Australian Government, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) and the disability community. Further meetings are scheduled for 2004.

The Government will continue to consult with stakeholders throughout this process.

Australia’s contribution to the draft text can be seen at the Attorney General’s Department website.