Media Releases

Growth Attenuation Ban Initiative Passes SA Upper House

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent – Media Release

Growing the human rights of children with disabilities:

Growth attenuation ban initiative passes SA upper house

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent is pleased to have received unanimous support from the Upper House of the South Australian Parliament tonight, safeguarding children and adults with disabilities from forced medical treatment.

“I was very concerned to find that there were cases of children with disabilities overseas receiving irreversible medical treatment in the form of growth attenuation and sterilisation without the requirement to prove it was medically indicated,” says Kelly Vincent.

“Dignity for Disability was established as a political party on a foundation of human rights. While we have improved the rights of people with disabilities in Australia, we still have a long way to go before we recognise the human rights of people with disabilities are on an equal basis with the rest of our community.

“Far too often disabilities are identified before the person. We want person-first centred rights. We continually have our agency, our bodily autonomy and our ability to make decisions removed from us because it is often implied that the interests of others are more important than our own individual rights as people with disabilities.

“It is essential that one of the primary principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is upheld, that is: ‘respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

“We must also recognise a section of the UNCRPD’s 23rd Article that states ‘parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination… so as to ensure that persons with disabilities, including children, retain their fertility on an equal basis with others.

“Australia is a signatory of the UNCRPD and also ratified the optional protocol of the same Convention, but becoming a party to the UNCRPD does not end our obligations to ensure these inalienable rights are both realised, and upheld,” said Kelly Vincent.

Dignity for Disability will now be investigating whether we need legislative interventions or other measures in South Australia to ensure a ban on growth attenuation that is not medically necessary.

You can read Kelly Vincent’s parliamentary motion and speech introducing the motion here.