International work

Our International Work

Disabled People’s International (DPI)

DPI logo

Disabled Peoples International (DPI) is the world’s only cross-disability Global Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO). It is committed to protecting the rights of people with disability, as well as promoting their full and equal participation in society. Established in 1981, DPI is now represented in more than 130 countries.

AFDO is a Full member of DPI, and is privileged to hold the sole Australian representative vote on DPI.

Trevor Carroll is our International Representative, and holds the following positions on DPI:

  • Australia’s representative on DPI Asia Pacific
  • Chair of the DPI Asia-Pacific Executive
  • Information Officer on the DPI World Council Executive

You can find more information at their website Disabled People’s International.

Conference of State Parties

The Conference of State Parties (CoSP) to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is an annual event held at the United Nations in New York. It brings together states that have ratified the UNCRPD. The purpose of CoSP is for states to discuss the implementation of the UNCRPD with respect to a theme.

CoSP is one of the main ways the United Nations monitors worldwide disability issues and UNCRPD progress.

The conference mostly focuses on reports by government officials. People with disability are part of the civil society and can attend side events (meetings and forums) and view the conference from the gallery.

Key DPO’s, such as DPI and International Disability Alliance (IDA), which have consultative status with the United Nations can formally contribute to the CoSP after governments have spoken.

Recent events

CoSP 2018

AFDO has attended the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) every year since 2015, and we were pleased to send two representatives, our President, Liz Reid and our International Representative, Trevor Carroll to the June 2018 conference again this year at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Australian delegation included representatives from the Australian Government, the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

We also attended the CRPD Civil Society Forum, which is held annually in New York prior to CoSP.  The CRPD Civil Society Forum gives space for open discussion and sharing of a huge diversity of experience and perspective from across the disability rights community, and the opportunity to engage with governments, UN bodies and others from across civil society.

If you would like more information on the eleventh session of CoSP, you can visit this link.

Image of AFDO President, Liz Reid with members of the Australian Delegation at the COSP11

Image of AFDO President, Liz Reid with members of the Australian Delegation at the COSP11

Australian Disability and Development Consortium

Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) is an Australian-based, international network that focuses on disability issues in developing countries.  AFDO currently holds the following positions on ADDC:

  • Australia’s DPO Representative on ADDC
  • Member of the ADDC Executive Committee
  • Full member of ADDC.

Frank Hall-Bentick, AFDO’s International Coordinator and AFDO Board member continues to represent AFDO on the ADDC Executive committee. The ADDC continues to coordinate disability and development issues within Australia, working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Federal ministers for foreign affairs and International development. Each year, ADDC sponsors a parliamentary event for Federal politicians to celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) highlighting disability and development issues and work around the world.

The ADDC and ten of its members produced a series of short videos featuring persons with disability who are, or were engaged in a disability-inclusive development project or initiative in Australia or overseas. In these videos they share their personal stories and how disability inclusive development projects changed their lives, benefitted their communities and contributed to a more inclusive society.

AFDO’s video features our International Coordinator and Director, Frank Hall-Bentick speaking about AFDO’s role in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and in supporting Disabled People’s Organisations in the Asia Pacific Region. Our video can be viewed via this link.

You can find more information at the ADDC website.  Or follow this link to subscribe to the ADDC Newsletter.

Pacific Disability Forum

AFDO is a Full member of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF). The PDF was formed in 2004 and has since become a regional peak body that works in partnership with Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) in the Pacific region.

The PDF advocates for the rights and full inclusion of people with disability to Pacific Island governments, UN agencies and other non-government organisations in the Pacific.

PDF’s mission is to improve the situation of people with disability through programs for women and youth with disability, as well as carrying out research, advocacy, capacity building and development. Find out more about these programs by following the links.

You can find more information at their website.

Pacific Disability Forum logo

Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group

AFDO was part of the Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group. This group was formed in 2009 to prepare a report on Australia’s compliance with, and progress in the implementation of, the UNCRPD. This report was called Disability Rights Now.

The group brought together DPOs, disability advocacy organisations, disability legal advocacy centres and human rights organisations. Together, they conducted research and consulted with people with disability to learn their perspective and hear their experiences. This included specific input from representatives of people with disability who lived in rural and remote Australia, or were of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.

Consultations were held in each of the eight states and territories – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Further information

Australian Civil Society Report to the United Nations UNCRPD – August 2012

The Disability Rights Now report was launched in August 2012, and has been endorsed by more than 80 organisations. It has been provided to the UNCRPD Committee and contains more than 130 recommendations that were developed over a three-year period.

Watch an Auslan video about the Report

The Parallel Report Group response to the List of Issues

The Parallel Report Group made a submission to the UNCRPD Committee for its tenth session. It was a response to the ‘List of Issues’ that Australia was asked to provide. The response was based on the information within Disability Rights Now, which represented the views of people with disability from across Australia.

The full report included an annex, which provided references to relevant sections in Disability Rights Now for each of the 50 questions included in the List of Issues.

Individual Fact Sheets responding to the List of Issues

The Parallel Report Group submission consisted of 11 fact sheets addressing the 11 main areas of concern. Each fact sheet contained a list of suggested recommendations drawn primarily from the Disability Rights Now report.

  1. Access to justice
  2. Criminal justice and detention
  3. Disability support and living in the community
  4. Education
  5. Employment
  6. Equal recognition before the law
  7. Immigration
  8. Inhuman treatment and restrictive practices
  9. Legislative and policy framework
  10. Respect for home and the family
  11. Violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation