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Human Rights Resources

Factsheet – Disability and Mental Health – Human Rights

This fact sheet was written by a coalition of NGOs to assist in consultations in the Universal Periodic Review of Australia in 2015.  It was prepared to assist NGOs by highlighting human rights issues people with disability and mental illness face.

To download the fact sheet please click here (.pdf file)

To view the full list of  fact sheets, which contained more detailed information about different topics, you can visit the Human Rights Law Centre website.

Human Rights Law Centre

The Human Rights Law Centre (HLRC) protects and promotes human rights in Australia and in Australian activities overseas. The Human Rights Law Centre do this by engaging in an a combination of legal action, advocacy, research and capacity building.

The HLRC work work in coalition with key partners, including community organisations, law firms and barristers, academics and experts, and international and domestic human rights organisations.

The HLRC’s focus areas are:

  • strengthening legal recognition and protection of human rights
  • ensuring Australia engages positively and constructively with United Nations human rights bodies and respects and implements its international legal obligations
  • promoting the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees
  • advocating that detention be used only as a last resort and that conditions in detention respect human rights and dignity
  • promoting human rights through Australian foreign policy
  • partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to promote their rights
  • promoting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians
  • ensuring a human rights-based approach to the police use of force and the investigation of police-related deaths
  • advocating a human rights-based approach to preventing and responding to violence against women.

To find out more about the Human Rights Law Centre visit their website at:

Know Your Rights: People with Disabilities

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released new resources for consumers of disability-related products and services.

The video below discusses a person’s consumer rights:

Web link for video:

Plastic Straw Ban Exemptions in NSW

Single-use plastic straws were banned in NSW as of 1 November 2022. However the legislation allows exemptions to the ban for individuals who need a plastic straw due to a disability or other medical need, as well as for individuals or organisations acting on their behalf.

You can find guidance on how the plastic straw ban works from both a customer and supplier perspective on the NSW EPA website.

Charter of Aged Care Rights

People who receive aged care services which are funded by the Federal Government have the right to be properly looked after, treated well and provided with a high quality of care and services. This is ensured by the Charter of Aged Care Rights; you can read more about your rights as an aged care service recipient at the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

Your Rights at Retirement

The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a guide called ‘Your Rights at Retirement’, a one stop-stop-shop reference manual that will help people carefully navigate the complex decisions, services and supports that are part of planning and managing their retirement.

This publication covers topics such as carer’s benefits, transport options for older people, Age Pension information and extends to subjects like re-skilling and employment support for those who are looking to change gear and perhaps work part-time while slowly transitioning to retirement.

Your Rights at Retirement is available online at: Hard copies are available by calling 1300 369 711 or (02) 9284 9600.

Requests for copies can be emailed to:

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

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is an international treaty intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.

The ‘Convention’ was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. There were 82 signatories to the Convention, 44 signatories to the Optional Protocol, and 1 ratification of the Convention.  The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.

Australia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 17 July 2008.  By ratifying the CRPD, Australia accepts the obligation to protect the rights of people with disabilities.  The CRPD acts as a framework to guide policy and legislation in Australia.

To view the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

Download .pdf file of UNCRPD

Download word.doc format of UNCRPD