My Life. My Rights. How Australia is doing at protecting our human rights and what the UN have to say

Ms Rachel Spencer1, Judy Huett2

1Council For Intellectual Disability, Surry Hills, Australia, 2Speak Out Tasmania

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) says Member States report to UN Committee about every 5 years on progress against the CRPD.

Governments report against a list of issues. Civil Society also reports through the Shadow Reporting.

Australia reported to the UN in 2013 and is reporting again in September 2019.

National and international advocacy is often led by people and organisations representing other disability types and people with intellectual disability (PWID) are often left behind.

CID are part of the CRPD Shadow Report Working Group; advising on consultation guide; survey; running focus groups; and will develop an Easy Read version of the final report.

Australia’s civil society delegation will be decided by the Working Group in July. CID and Speak Out Tasmania have both sent in Expression of Interests to be part of the delegation that attends the reporting event at the UN Geneva in September 2019. The Working Group has indicated having a person with intellectual disability in the delegation is a priority.

Regardless of the outcome of the EOI process, Rachel Spencer from CID is planning on going to Geneva for the reporting process.

Staff with intellectual disability and support staff from CID and Speak Out Tasmania will

  • Explain the CRPD process and laws
  • Share experiences from UN Conference of State Parties that CID has attended last 3 years. and CRPD Shadow Report working group
  • Explain our work and how we made sure people with intellectual disability were included
  • Share outcomes of the report and recommendations and how to use as an advocacy tool

This workshop or Roundtable will appeal to anyone who has an interest in protecting and promoting the rights of people with disability.

Help people understand the CRPD, and the reporting process to the UN Committee.

Highlight ways people with intellectual disability can be included in civil society organisations and high level representation.


Rachel Spencer is the Senior Manager of Inclusion at Council for Intellectual Disability. Rachel previously worked for the Intellectual Disability Rights Service. Currently studying Masters of Human Rights Law, Rachel recently supported Australia’s civil society delegation to the United Nations and is passionate about the right to accessible information like Easy Read!

Sonia Hume is a self advocate for Speakout association of Tasmania. She is also members executive on the north west coast.

Judy Huett is a 47year old woman with intellectual disability. She lives in Burnie, Tasmania with her husband Peter. Judy was born and raised in a small community on the West Coast of Tasmania where she attended primary and high school. Since then she has attained qualifications in Disability Support, Aged Care, Information Technology and Small Business Management; and completed leadership development training through Leaders for Tomorrow (2012) and Voice at the Table (2016). An accomplished leader, Judy is best known for her extensive contributions via her voluntary work that includes travelling to Geneva, Switzerland in 2013 with the expert group to talk to and present to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

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