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 Coordinator & 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.  

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


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.  

Australia was first reviewed in September 2013.  In 2009 the Parallel Report Group was formed in order to prepare a report from civil society on Australia’s compliance with, and progress in implementing the UNCRPD.  The Parallel Report Group brought together Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs), Disability Advocacy Organisations (DAOs), disability legal advocacy centres and human rights organisations in order to conduct research and consult with people with disability to gain their perspective and gather their experiences.  

The 2013 Shadow Report Disability Rights Now was launched in August 2012 and has been endorsed by more than 80 organisations. It contains more than 130 recommendations that were developed over a three-year period.  You are able to watch an Auslan video about the Report here. 

The Parallel Report Group also made a submission on the List of Issues for Australia.  This 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

2019 Civil Society CRPD Shadow Report Working Group

Australia will be reviewed for the second time by the Committee in September 2019. The Australian Government Report  has been provided  to the Committee.  This report is Australia’s response to a List of Issues that the Committee want to know about.

AFDO is part of the 2019 Civil Society CRPD Shadow Report Working Group preparing Australia’s Civil Society Shadow Report to the Committee. This report needs to be provided to the Committee by July 2019.

This Working Group first met in November 2017 to start preparing for the 2019 CRPD Review, and is currently focused on consultation with people with disability. The Working Group will receive feedback from other disability representative & advocacy organisations to inform the Civil Society Shadow Report.

The 2019 Civil Society CRPD Shadow Report Working Group includes:

Conference of State Parties

The Conference of State 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 Persons Organisations (DPOs), .

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

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.

CoSP 2018

AFDO has attended the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) every year since 2015, and in 2018 our President, Liz Reid and our Vice President & International Representative, Trevor Carroll represented AFDO at CoSP.

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).

AFDO also attended the CRPD Civil Society Forum, which is held 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