ARTICLE: The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth): A Three-Dimensional Approach to Operationalising Human Rights Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2002 Melbourne University Law Review Association, Inc.
Melbourne University Law Review

ARTICLE: The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth): A Three-Dimensional Approach to Operationalising Human Rights

August, 2002

26 Melbourne U. L.R. 254


Lee Ann Basser * and Melinda Jones +



No volume on human rights would be complete without an appraisal of the rights of people with disabilities. Yet people with disabilities are often left completely off the agenda. The current push to develop an International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is the international strategy for ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities in the human rights conversation. 1 It is believed that such a move is necessary to ensure that people with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect, recognised as equal rights-bearers and ensured the ability to participate fully in all aspects of the societies in which they live. At present, in Australia as elsewhere, people with disabilities are the most vulnerable of all groups.

People with disabilities report human rights abuses on a daily basis and are regularly expected to overcome hurdles that do not block the paths of other Australians. In the past, people with disabilities were simply excluded from society -- locked in institutions, segregated into special schools, and hidden within the private realm of the family. Out of sight, people with disabilities were also out of mind. Today the overt presence of people with disabilities in the community has forced recognition of some of the issues they confront. When people with disabilities are women, they have all the issues relating to gender as well as those relating to disability. For example, evidence of the rape and sexual abuse of young women suggests that anywhere between 70 and ...
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