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Council member, Unis Goh was delighted to have the opportunity to attend the launch hosted by Children with Disability Australia (CDA) on 4 December 2012 in Sydney. Unis met many distinguished guests, including parents, children & young people, advocates, Carers Australia, John Walsh and Dr Sally Robinson.

Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, acknowledged Stephanie Gotlib, Executive Officer, and CDA for their vision in commissioning the research, conducted by Dr Sally Robinson of the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University. Sally is also a Council member of the Disability Council NSW.

Senator McLucas said, “This is a very timely report. It is challenging and confronting, but it is a significant piece of power work which serves to stimulate a national dialogue to start with facts and figures about abuse and neglect of children with disabilities which were not generally recognised, or at times ignored.” She reminded us that under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, it is a national priority to ensure all children have a safe childhood.

Sally acknowledged the issue is complex, and people find it significantly difficult to deal with. Children with disability are three times more at risk than their other peers without disability. This research recommends proactive approaches to addressing the abuse and neglect of children and young people with disability through a suite of prevention strategies; building capacity to resist abuse and neglect and developing safeguarding approaches. She also proposes two parallel and interconnecting streams of work in promoting inclusion and protecting against harm for and with children and young people with disability.

The full report is available by link here on the CDA website.

By Unis Goh

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