The purposes of the 1992 Advocacy Act are:
- to contribute to the empowerment of vulnerable persons, and to promote respect for their rights, freedoms, autonomy and dignity;
- to provide advocacy services;
- to ensure the application of community development strategies in the provision of advocacy services;
- to take into account the religion, culture and traditions of vulnerable persons; and
- to acknowledge, encourage and enhance individual, family and community support for the security and well-being of vulnerable persons.
The Act protects vulnerable people 16 years of age or older. A“vulnerable person” is one who, because of a moderate to severe mental or physical disability, illness or infirmity, whether temporary or permanent, and whether actual or perceived:
- is unable to express or act on his/her wishes or to ascertain or exercise his/her rights; or
- has difficulty in expressing or acting on his/her wishes or in ascertaining or exercising his or her rights.