Human rights are about recognising and respecting the inherent value and dignity of all people. Human rights standards are contained in internationally agreed human rights instruments recognised in Australian law. People with a disability have the same rights as other people in their community. They have the right to freedom, respect, equality and dignity. They have the right to fulfil their potential, to exercise control over their own lives, and to live free from abuse or neglect. People with a disability are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, therefore specific laws are in place that protect the rights ofpeople with a disability.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 and is generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law. Australia was a founding member of the UN and played a prominent role in the negotiation of the UN Charter in 1945. Australia was also one of eight nations involved in drafting the Universal Declaration. It represents the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone, and that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights. Whatever our nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2007
Throughout history, persons with disabilities have been viewed as individuals who require societal protection and evoke sympathy rather than respect. This convention is a major step toward changing the perception of disability and ensures that societies recognize that all people must be provided with the opportunities to live life to their fullest potential, whatever that may be.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has responsibilities for promoting and encouraging protection of human rights in Australia. The Commission was established in 1986 by an act of the federal Parliament. It is an independent statutory organisation and reports to the Parliament through the Attorney-General. The AHRC leads the implementation of the DDA
The Victorian Charter of human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 became law on 25 July 2006. The preamble to the Charter Act outlines its founding principles, recognising that all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The Charter Act aims to ensure human rights are valued and protected within government and the community.
The Victorian Disability Act 2006
The Victorian Disability Act 2006 is the new legislation for people with a disability in Victoria. It replaces the Intellectually Disabled Persons’ Services Act 1986 and Disability Services Act 1991. The Disability Act provides for a stronger response to the rights and needs of people with a disability, and a framework that helps service providers to deliver high quality services and supports for people with a disability. The Act sets out principles for services who are registered under the Act to provide disability services.
The Human Rights Commission of Victoria
The Commission’s role is to educate people about the rights and responsibilities contained in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and to report annually to the government about the operation of the Charter. The Commission does not handle complaints related to the Charter.
Office of the Public Advocate
OPA is an independent statutory body established by the Victorian State Government. OPA works to protect and promote the interests, rights and dignity of people with a disability. It has information about how you can decide who can help you make decisions if you are no longer able. The OPA has information, forms and fact sheets in regard to Administration and Guardianship, medical consent, Powers of Attorney. For further information you can follow this link.
Hello, my name is Laurie Harkin. I am the Disability Services Commissioner. This edition of DSC Speaking Up is about what happens to complaints. Sometimes people are not happy with their disability service. It is OK to make a complaint. A complaint is when you speak up about something you are not happy about.