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Most Complaints to Human Rights Commission on Disability Discrimination


Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at 3:46 pm
Lina Caneva
The Australian Human Rights Commission has confirmed in a Senate estimates hearing that disability discrimination received the highest level of complaints across the board to the commission.


Tuesday, 18th October 2016
at 3:46 pm
Lina Caneva


3 Comments


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Most Complaints to Human Rights Commission on Disability Discrimination
Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at 3:46 pm

The Australian Human Rights Commission has confirmed in a Senate estimates hearing that disability discrimination received the highest level of complaints across the board to the commission.

Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs and disability commissioner Alistair McEwan told the hearing that disability complaints were on the rise and now made up the highest number of all complaints received, particularly around employment, and goods and services.

“The most recent percentages for complaints about discrimination in employment for people with disability is 35 per cent,” Triggs said in answer to questioning from Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

“With goods and services it is at 33 [per cent]. So you can see we get to 68 per cent which pretty much reflects the kind of balance of the work of the commission.

“[The number] isn’t decreasing at all.”

triggs at senate hearing

Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs (centre) and Disability Commissioner Alistair McEwan (left) at senate estimates hearing

The human rights commissioners were also asked about complaints about the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“We have received a small number of complaints [about the NDIS] but it is too early to comment about the nature of those complaints,” McEwan told the hearing.

Siewert said after the hearing: “Almost two-thirds of complaints received to the commission are either related to employment or goods and services.

“This percentage is reflected in the disability space, but the numbers are much higher than other cohorts, with no signs of decreasing. This must be urgently addressed.

“Discrimination is a serious barrier to employment that restricts opportunities available to people with disability. This makes it more difficult for people to pursue opportunities and makes secure employment much harder to retain.”

She said the government was intent on dropping people off the Disability Support Pension when they must know full well the discrimination that people with disability faced in obtaining employment.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.


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3 Comments

  • Avatar Stephen says:

    The AHRC works hard to shut down rather than support disability discrimination complaints. Mine is now off to the CRPD Committee.

    • Avatar Donna McAleese says:

      Unfortunately, the AHRC and DDC are currently tied by the AHRC Act to only being able to offer conciliation conferences. The Act needs to be changed so AHRC and the Acts that they administer need to be able to allow their officers to make binding decisions and determine a remedy for that discrimination. They also need a low cost method of independent review such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for objections to findings by either party of a complaint. It is a situation that needs to be corrected urgently.

  • Avatar Darren says:

    I wonder when equality and inclusion will be words heard in the commissions submissions Ive lived with disability since birth and found that corporate would prefer to to categorize and remove anything that is not the norm in 30 plus years no welfare checks have been made and isolation is the key to the dysfunction the older generation whom had a conscience and a brain established the foundations of true humanity the unfortunate part is that it construction never took place to big of job

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