Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 2006 – 2010


Women With Disabilities Australia: Sterilisation of Women and Girls with Disabilities – An update on the issue in Australia (December 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

This brief document gives an overview of the issue of sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities in Australia, in a human rights framework. Copyright WWDA 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Australian Attorney-General on the issue of Sterilisation of Minors (March 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

This Submission is WWDA’s response to a component of the Australian Government’s response to the United Nations (UNESCAP) Questionnaire for Governments on Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000). WWDA’s Submission deals specifically with the issue of sterilisation of minors with disabilities and calls on the Australian Government to to act under its external affairs power to legislate to prohibit non-therapeutic sterilisation of minors unless there is a serious threat to health or life. WWDA’s Submission is endorsed by a number of organisations and individuals from around the world. Copyright WWDA 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the National Human Rights Consultation (May 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

This Submission is the response from Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the National Human Rights Consultation. The national public consultation about the legal recognition and protection of human rights and responsibilities in Australia was launched by the Australian Government on 10 December 2008, the 60th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The independent Committee established to undertake the nationwide consultation is to report to the Australian Government by 31 August 2009. WWDA’s Submission highlights the fact that although Australia has embraced and ratified a number of international human rights treaties and instruments affirming its commitment to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls (including women and girls with disabilities), in practice, they have had little bearing on improving the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in Australia – who continue to experience serious violations of their human rights, as well as failures to promote and fulfil their rights. WWDA’s Submission focuses on several key human rights where there are continuing abuses against women with disabilities in Australia, and clearly demonstrates that the human rights of women with disabilities in Australia are not currently sufficiently protected and promoted. Copyright WWDA 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Policy & Position Paper: ‘The Development of Legislation to Authorise Procedures for the Sterilisation of Children with Intellectual Disabilities’ (June 2007)

This paper seeks to articulate WWDA’s position on the issue of the forced sterilisation of minors, particularly in the context of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) work on the development of uniform legislation to authorise procedures for the sterilisation of children with an intellectual disability. The paper raises a number of key issues that WWDA asserts must be thoroughly considered in this debate, including: the application of human rights principles; pre-emptive assumptions; definitions, terminology and language; the consideration of procedures and their consequences; and, compliance with international human rights treaties. The paper argues that people with an intellectual disability have the same human rights as people without intellectual disabilities, and that the creation of legislation which enables authorisation of the sterilisation of children with intellectual disabilities, is in itself, a patent infringement of the human rights of those it seeks to protect. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Systemic Advocacy on the Unlawful Sterilisation of Minors with Disabilities (2003 – 2008)

Whilst WWDA has worked for a number of years, on the issues of unlawful sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities, the information provided here relates specifically to WWDA’s systemic advocacy on the Federal, State & Territory Government’s proposal to develop draft national, uniform legislation which sets out the procedures that jurisdictions could adopt in authorising the sterilisation of children who have an intellectual disability. The information provided here was prepared by WWDA in March 2007. The section includes responses from a number of stakeholders to WWDA’s systemic advocacy campaign urging the Federal and State/Territory Governments to develop universal legislation which prohibits sterilisation of children except in those circumstances which amount to those that are a serious threat to health or life. Copyright WWDA 2007.