The ACT Human Rights Commission (HRC) can now take complaints about abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable people in our community.
The Disability and Community Services Commissioner at the HRC Karen Toohey said that the HRC welcomes the expanded protections provided to vulnerable members of the community by recent changes to the ACT Human Rights Commission Act 2005.
“The Commission can now investigate complaints of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of people with a disability or vulnerable people over 60 years old in the ACT.
“We provide a free, informal, resolution focused complaint handling process for our community.
“The HRC know that often older people or family members concerned about abuse, neglect or exploitation want a way to address and resolve these issues rather than take more formal court or criminal action.
“We can now take complaints about abuse or neglect of these vulnerable Canberrans in any setting in Canberra.
“This process provides an opportunity for community members, family members or service providers to contact the Commission if they are concerned vulnerable Canberrans are at risk of abuse or neglect and want someone with authority to intervene.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Seniors Gordon Ramsay said that the process would complement the new legislation introduced in the Legislative Assembly last week relating to specific criminal offences for the physical, psychological and financial abuse of vulnerable people.
“Organisations and carers who abuse or exploit vulnerable members of the community, including the elderly, may be held criminally liable under the new offences introduced last week,” Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.
“The safety and dignity of vulnerable people is an absolute priority of the ACT Government and these protections are fundamental to supporting their basic human rights.
“This new complaint process will compliment that legislation and provide a sound framework to further protect and support the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety Rattenbury says that the protection of Canberra’s vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with a disability, is a priority of the ACT Government.
“This new complaint process through the HRC will help vulnerable people and those who care for them to seek assistance in situations where they have concerns about abuse, neglect or exploitation,” Minister Rattenbury said.
“Canberra is an inclusive and age-friendly city, and I look forward to working with the HRC and help protect Canberra’s most vulnerable from harm.”