International Activities

Our International Work

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) 

UNCRPD Logo Australia signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2008.  Australia has to report to the United Nations every four years, and be reviewed on what it has achieved.  This report is known as a Civil Society Shadow Report. A committee of independent experts, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) does this review.  2019 Civil Society Shadow Report to UNCRPD A Working Group made up of disability organisations from around Australia compiled a report titled Disability Rights Now 2019: Shadow Report to provide the views of Australians with disability to the CRPD Committee.  Read more on the UNCRPD [links to 2019 Shadow Report & Fact Sheets] 

Conference of States Parties (CoSP)

The Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the largest and most diverse international disability meeting in the world.  It is held in June each year 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. The annual Conference sees participation from Government delegations, UN Agencies, Civil Society and nongovernmental organisations, National Human Rights Institutes, and Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs).  Read more on CoSP

Rosemary Kayess & Trevor Carroll smiling at camera

Rosemary Kayess – Vice Chair, UNCRPD with Trevor Carroll – AFDO Vice President & International Coordinator at the Conference of States Parties (CoSP) at UN Headquarters.

United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

AFDO has Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council ECOSOC, a status that gives us access to all of the UN bodies that are open to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), including the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. ECOSOC, established under the United Nations Charter, is the principal organ that coordinates economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialised agencies.  It serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system. 

Disabled People’s International (DPI)

DPI logo AFDO is a Full member of Disabled People’s International (DPI), and is privileged to hold the sole Australian representative vote on DPI. DPI has national disability organisational members in over 130 countries, with 31 being in the Asia Pacific.  DPI was established in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons, and 37 years after DPI was formed, it continues to be the world’s only cross-disability global Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO). It is in partnership with the United Nations. AFDO Vice President & International Coordinator, Trevor Carroll is the Chair of the Disabled People’s International (DPI) Asia-Pacific Executive.  Trevor is also the Information Officer on the DPI World Council Executive.  Read more on DPI here 

Australian Disability and Development Consortium  ADDC logo

The Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) is an Australian based, international network focusing attention, expertise and action on disability issues in developing countries; building on a human rights platform for disability advocacy.   AFDO currently holds the following positions on ADDC:

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

Read more about ADDC here Video featuring Former AFDO International Coordinator, Frank Hall-Bentick speaking about AFDO’s role in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and in supporting Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in the Asia Pacific Region.

G3ict – The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information Communication Technologies (ICTs)

AFDO collaborates with G3ict The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT’s, and our Vice President and International Coordinator, Trevor Carroll was the 2018-19 Australian data collection representative for the G3ict CRPD ICT Accessibility DARE Index. G3ict’s Promotes awareness of ICT accessibility and supports advocates and policy makers with capacity building programs, policy development tools and benchmarking.

International Disability Alliance (IDA)

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is an alliance of networks that brings together over 1,100 peak organisations of persons with disabilities and their families from across eight global and six regional networks including the Pacific Disability Forum of which AFDO is a full member. Two of our member organisations have held the Chair role for IDA. Maryanne Diamond (Blind Citizens Australia), and Colin Allen (Deaf Australia).  You can read more about IDA here

Pacific Disability ForumPacific Disability Forum logo

AFDO is a Full member of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) which was formed in 2004 and has since become a regional peak body that works in partnership with Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs) in the Pacific region. The Pacific Disability Forum advocates for the rights and full inclusion of people with disability to Pacific Island governments, UN agencies and other non-government organisations (NGOs) in the Pacific. The Pacific Disability Forum’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. You can find out more about these programs on the PDF website.   If you like the work we do, you can make a one-off donation or a regular monthly donation by selecting the ‘Support Our Work’ button below.

Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum

AFDO is a full member of the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum (CDPF).

The CDPF operate from a social model and rights basis. The purpose of CDPF is to bring disabled people, regardless of type of impairment, gender, age, race, indigenous & geographical background, religion, political affiliation from all countries of the Commonwealth, together with a view to having one voice to advocate for promotion and equalization of opportunities for all disabled people.  To engage and influence the structures and organs of the Commonwealth and especially the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.  You can read more about CDPF here.


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