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COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE—REFERENCE

The Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee (Senator Siewert), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved business of the Senate notice of motion no. 3—That the following matter be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 24 April 2013:

The involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia, including:

 (a) the types of sterilisation practices that are used, including treatments that prevent menstruation or reproduction, and exclusion or limitation of access to sexual health, contraceptive or family planning services;

 (b) the prevalence of these sterilisation practices and how they are recorded across different state and territory jurisdictions;

 (c) the different legal, regulatory and policy frameworks and practices across the Commonwealth, states and territories, and action to date on the harmonisation of regimes;

 (d) whether current legal, regulatory and policy frameworks provide adequate:

  (i) steps to determine the wishes of a person with a disability,

  (ii) steps to determine an individual's capacity to provide free and informed consent,

  (iii) steps to ensure independent representation in applications for sterilisation procedures where the subject of the application is deemed unable to provide free and informed consent, and

  (iv) application of a `best interest test' as it relates to sterilisation and reproductive rights;

 (e) the impacts of sterilisation of people with disabilities;

 (f) Australia's compliance with its international obligations as they apply to sterilisation of people with disabilities;

 (g) the factors that lead to sterilisation procedures being sought by others for people with disabilities, including:

  (i) the availability and effectiveness of services and programs to support people with disabilities in managing their reproductive and sexual health needs, and whether there are measures in place to ensure that these are available on a non-discriminatory basis,

  (ii) the availability and effectiveness of educational resources for medical practitioners, guardians, carers and people with a disability around the consequences of sterilisation, and

  (iii) medical practitioners, guardians and carers' knowledge of and access to services and programs to support people with disabilities in managing their reproductive and sexual health needs; and

 (h) any other related matters.

Question put and passed.