On 29 September the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability’s final report was released. This brought to an end over four and a half years of this important investigation into abuse, neglect and exploitation for people living with Disabilities. Covering 12 volumes and 222 recommendations, the report is a serious and lengthy read. We are indebted to the Commissioners for their thoughtful responses to the evidence they heard and the reports they considered.
The Royal Commission provided opportunities for people with disability to describe their experiences, identified where services have fallen short, and shone a light on times when people have been subject to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in service settings and the community.
The yard stick used by the Royal Commission in considering what it heard was the UN Convention in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This international convention provided an important tool against which to assess performance, and helped to identify ways in which we can improve services, legislation and policies relating to people with disability, their inclusion in communities and their supports.
It will take some time to fully consider the insights and recommendations of the Royal Commission. However, Flourish Australia’s commitment to full inclusion and people with disability being active and valued members of their communities, as outlined in our Social Citizenship Framework, will go a long way to creating the environments and opportunities called for by the Royal Commission, and, notably, its focus on ending segregation.
Protecting and promoting people’s human rights and a strong focus on safeguarding are fundamental to contemporary mental health and disability supports. The Royal Commission has re-emphasised that, and encourages the whole community, all of us, to take up the challenge.
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