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Royal Commission terms of Reference missing investigation, prosecution and, most importantly, redress for survivors of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect

Media Release
Jordon Steele-John 13 Mar 2019

Sunday, 5 March 2019

Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has claimed the publication of draft terms of reference for public consultation on a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect as a win for the disability rights movement and the greens, but said certain key elements are still missing.

This is not a moral awakening, but a government bowing to community pressure.Less than a month ago this Government voted against a Royal Commission again; today they have published a draft terms of reference which embody some of the key demands of disability advocates.

Senator Steele-John said he had expected redress would be explicitly mentioned in the terms of reference to provide future certainity for survivors, as it had been for Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"A clear pathway forward for survivors of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect must be included in any Royal Commission including prosecution, investigation and most importantly, redress," he said.

The following line was included in the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission and similar language must be included in this terms of reference: 'What institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions, processes for referral for investigation and prosecution and support services.'

“Now is the time for this government to engage with and listen to the community so that the terms of reference and execution of this Royal Commission are what disabled people need it to be, not what politicians want us to have.

“Finally, this government must stop treating disabled people as a financial burden.

“They must commit to covering the full cost of this investigation fromm the budget so that it can get underway before the election is called. Justice for disabled people must not be kept waiting whilst the government haggles over who will fit the bill."

Submissions can be made here: https://engage.dss.gov.au/royal-commission-into-violence-abuse-neglect-and-exploitation-of-people-with-disability/

Media contact:

Tim Oliver (Senator Steele-John) – 0448 316 387

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