Legislation & Convention signatories

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights convention which sets out the fundamental human rights of people with disability.


It is made up of two documents, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which contains the main human rights provisions expressed as a series of Articles and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is a more limited document that sets up an individual complaints procedure. Australia has signed the Convention and the Optional Protocol.

Children's services - the UNCRPD does not include Article 23 of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC).

Convention on the Rights of The Child (CROC)


The UNCRPD does not include Article 23 of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC). In 1990 when Australia signed up to and ratified the CROC it made no reservations whatsoever with respect to Article 23 The only reservation Australia made with respect to CROC was;


       "Australia accepts the general principles of article 37.  In relation to the second sentence of paragraph (c), the obligation to separate children from adults in prison is accepted only to the extent that such imprisonment is considered by the responsible authorities to be feasible and consistent with the obligation that children be able to maintain contact with their families, having regard to the geography and demography of Australia.  

Australia, therefore, ratifies the Convention to the extent that it is unable to comply with the obligation imposed by Article
37 (c)."

Australia has not been complying with Article 23. We believe that the NDIS is not complying either.

* Our Voice Australia wants to hear from the parents of children with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities and/or complex support needs as to how the NDIS is fulfilling the obligations of Article 23.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013


An Act to establish the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The act establishes a framework for the National Disability Insurance Scheme by: setting out the objects and principles of the scheme, and giving effect to certain obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; it provides for the establishment and functions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency, and the implementation of the scheme from July 2013.

National Disability Strategy

The National Disability Strategy outlines a 10-year national policy framework to guide government activity across six key outcome areas and to drive future reforms in mainstream and specialist disability service systems. It is a commitment by all levels of government, industry and the community to a national approach to policy and program development.


The Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments have developed the Strategy in partnership under the auspices of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). 

The Disability Services Act (1986)


The Disability Services Act provides a legislative and funding framework for a range of disability services, most significantly employment services. The Disability Services Act also provides for a set of guiding standards for the delivery of quality services these are the Disability Services Standards.

Carer Recognition Act 2010

The object of this Act is to increase recognition and awareness of carers and to acknowledge the valuable contribution they make to society. So it is basically an Act that recognises that carers exist. Not much else. It includes a 'statement' for how Australia's carers should be supported.

National Standards for Disability Services


National Standards for Disability Services in easy read format


There are six National Standards that apply to disability service providers.

1. Rights: The service promotes individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making and actively prevents abuse, harm, neglect and violence.

2. Participation and Inclusion: The service works with individuals and families, friends and carers to promote opportunities for meaningful participation and active inclusion in society.

3. Individual Outcomes: Services and supports are assessed, planned, delivered and reviewed to build on individual strengths and enable individuals to reach their goals.

4. Feedback and Complaints: Regular feedback is sought and used to inform individual and organisation-wide service reviews and improvement.

5. Service Access: The service manages access, commencement and leaving a service in a transparent, fair, equal and responsive way.

6. Service Management: The service has effective and accountable service management and leadership to maximise outcomes for individuals.