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Human rights concerns are an inherent part of existence. Despite the fact that many people just take them for granted, they are very essential and should be taken care of. Australia is one of the countries that has documented and is always proud of defending every citizen's rights, but it is also clear that they are also leading in rights violations. Because of widespread discrimination in the areas of ethnicity, sex, gender, and color, among others, life is still difficult for those who fall outside of the designated categories. The marginalized groups are protected by law, implying that whoever violates or mistreats their neighbors on grounds of not being similar in one way or another is a subject to the law. Some of the vulnerable groups include those living in poverty, people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Asylum seekers, and the migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds among others. This essay will, therefore, be focused on the vulnerability of the people living with disabilities in Australia.
Treatment of the Disabled in Australia
Disability may be defined as an intricate, controversial, and an emerging concept that comprises one’s life. People living in this state may have been born with the disability, or it comes at any time to the beholders lifetime, and it is argued that some of the disabilities may be recognizable physically while others may be hidden. It is evident, according to the previous research carried out, that approximately one in every five people in Australia is disabled. Disability doesn’t bother the sex, race, age, and socioeconomic background but can be found in anybody, and the ways the victims are treated and their rights are handled contribute a lot to their personal lives, may it be positively or negatively.
Although the Australian government has been found to be aware of the very many cases of disability in the country, it is evident, beyond no doubt, that there are a lot of vulnerability and marginalization to the victims. They have been neglected in various sectors such as health, education, and denied leadership opportunities among others. They have also been subjected to poverty, both directly and indirectly. The health of the people living with the disability is very poor regardless of the existence of the Australian law to govern and give equal rights to the people living with the disability. Most of the disabled people suffer from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, oral health and mental health with no one concerned about them simply because they lack someone to present their grievances to the authority.
The human rights of the people living with disabilities are assumed, and the expected concern and approach are not evident in Australia. They should be treated like real citizens of the state regardless of their disabilities since they did not arrive the situation by their wish. It is very inhuman that the government treats them as criminals and they are sometimes taken to same rehabilitation centers with the lawbreakers like it is an offense to be impaired.
The poverty levels of the people living with these disabilities in Australia are very high since there is no one to take care of them and provide the basic needs such as food, housing, and shelter. They always regret their status and curse the government for neglecting them and threatening their lives. They are always at risk of losing life due to starvation, living in the unconducive environment where they are subjected to various communicable disease as a result of poor sanitation. They mostly face exclusion and discrimination, both socially and mentally. A violence of different levels is subjected to them according to their disabilities. This is quite unfortunate and should be disregarded with the highest order possible.
According to a research carried out in Australia, the police department put it clear that they don’t recognize people with disabilities and they treat them just like the normal human beings. They also admitted that they lack the knowledge to deal with such people. It is witnessed that incarceration is among the most serious deprivation acts that are encouraged by the government of Australia. During the year of 2015, among the 65,000 prisoners were locked in prisons, half of them were disabled, both physically and mentally, and there were no genuine reasons for them to be put in prisons. They finally find themselves in the captivity of police, just because of committing crimes out of their senses, and they, therefore, feel very much disadvantaged, especially due to the support denied to them by the abled bodies.
People living with disabilities seem to be uncontrollable from their communities and thus are left in the hands of the police to manage. Most of them are children, young people, and the adults. They are assumed to come from low-income families which are not the case as there are those who come from resourceful parents but they are unable to control their children. The police assume them as criminals and are subjected to hard labor and brutality. The children’s disabilities are not put into consideration by anybody, and they find themselves more of being controlled and criminalized than being supported. Their human rights, in this case, are very much violated, their lives remain at risk, and they also survive under threats of life.
The threatening of the marginalized group in Australia has drawn the attention of international bodies which fight for the rights of the disabled, poor, women, and the aged among others in the society. The main aim of these international bodies is to protect the vulnerable people from the violation of their fundamental human rights and they act as the voice of the voiceless in the society. An example of the international organizations is the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR) , which works all over the globe to protect the rights of the marginalized and requires the state to put protective measures and offer support services to those living with disabilities to enhance their comfort and grant them back their lost fortunes. This body urges and encourages the government to give some priority to the disadvantaged to smoothen their lives and acquaint them with a sense of being.
Australia has been on the front line of establishing treaties to govern the rights of its citizens despite neglecting the voice of the disabled and the marginalized in the country. The successful treaties include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which is comprised of two levels; allowing complaints from individuals and the other one on the annulment of death penalty, International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC), International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (ICEAFDAW), Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CTOCIDTP) and Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) among others. Most of the treaties mentioned above lie within the jurisdiction of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
The treaty emphasized most in this essay is that of Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This is because there has been a lot of torture experiences witnessed in Australia, especially from the police brutality to the children, young people, and the adults who normally suffer from disabilities. The police lack the knowledge of handling the disadvantaged, and they are also not in a place to differentiate them from the normal fellows hence they mandate them with equal tasks whenever they are imprisoned. The treaty was made to ease the accessibility of every right to the citizens and stop discrimination regarding race, gender, sex, and disability. Every individual has the right not to be discriminated under whichever circumstances, from the national leadership down to the local participation.
Maintaining equality between men and women, young and the old, normal and the disabled has been brought into existence by these international treaties between different countries. Political rights of the disabled have been neglected and they, therefore, were denied the right to engage themselves in politics, but with the involvement of the international bodies, their freedom was restored back, though without close supervisions the laws have always been violated. Other civil and political rights may include participation in public meetings, debates, and the voting rights through secret ballot, and vying for the representative seats in the government.
It is the responsibility of the international organizations to set the minimum living conditions for the citizens in such a way that there are irreducible minimums where the disabled and other vulnerable groups cannot go beyond. For example, every person has a right to education, good health status, conducive working environment, and adequate social security regardless of their status. This is an equal right which doesn’t consider the race, sex, gender, age, cultural factors but it is mandated to every citizen. International bodies have also encouraged the formation of trade unions among those people with common problems to fight for their rights in unison. The Australian government has, therefore, been positively influenced by these treaties and hence being able to respect the human rights, protect them from violation, and ensure the enjoyment of the rights by each party without discrimination on whichever grounds.
On an assessment of the Australian political context, the political culture has been of great significant though it has been viewed negatively to some extent as a diminishing factor as far as the rights of the citizens are concerned. In simple terms, the rights of the citizen are ever subject to the prevailing wave of politics and the social ideology, and this has led to these laws being seen to fail.
National anti-discrimination legislation has been established such as the Racial Discrimination Act (1975), the ombudsman office, and the establishment of special commissions to which govern the observance of human rights, e.g., Human Right and Equal Opportunities. All these legislations have been influenced by the Federal governments of Australia. There are several setbacks associated with the legislation such as the exemption of many areas of operation, and that most of them cannot be legally enforced due to the frequent threats they get from the interference of the top management. Finally, the legislature has severally failed to provide proper guiding principles for the judiciary.
Human rights should equally be granted to every citizen and be taken with the same weight and any discrimination on whichever grounds should be highly discouraged. This enables the vulnerable to feel safe from their comfort zones where they are not subjected to any violations. The national cake should be shared amongst every citizen regardless of their race, age, gender, and political affiliations. Treaties which govern and protect the rights of the vulnerable group should be enhanced and put into action with immediate effects.
Although the Australian government has been found to be aware of the very many cases of disability in the country, disabled in Australia have been found neglected in various sectors, such as health, education, and denied leadership opportunities. The threatening of the marginalized group in Australia has drawn the attention of international bodies alongside with enactment of the the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) and establishment of the ombudsman office and the special commissions which govern the observance of human rights on the national level. Political rights of the disabled have been neglected but with the involvement of the international bodies, their freedom was restored back, though without close supervisions the laws have always been violated. The numerous international treaties which govern the rights of the vulnerable group and national legislation should be effectively put into action in future to guarantee the protection of such rights of the disabled, regardless of their race, age, gender, and political affiliations.
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