Disability Royal Commission – Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper
Emergency Planning and Response
On 15 April 2020 the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability published an issues paper on ‘Emergency Planning and Response’ addressing the impact which the current COVID-19 pandemic (and other emergencies) have on the rights of parties with disability. The Royal Commission identifies that people with disabilities face a higher risk of experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation during emergencies, particularly where facilities are locked down or evacuated in response to emergency situations. The issues paper can be accessed here.
The Commission has sought submissions from the public to better understand how emergency planning and response can include and support people with disability, and what should be done to prevent people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation during emergencies. Such submissions have been requested to be made by 17 July 2020 (but will continue to be accepted after that date). The issues paper sets out eleven questions to assist people and organisations preparing submissions, including as to what state and Federal governments need to do to increase the safety and wellbeing of people with disability during an emergency.
It is expected that submissions in response will be made by people with disabilities, their families and carers, and community and advocacy groups. Disability service provider organisations may also wish to make a submission in response based on their direct experiences or observations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If your organisation intends to make such a submission we would be pleased to discuss it further with you, including as to how such a submission fits in with your organisation’s wider plan for addressing and responding to the Royal Commission.