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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Damjan Tatic, Ph. D. Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: National conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, June 3 rd 2011.

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monitoring of the un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Damjan Tatic, Ph. D.

Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: National conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, June 3rd 2011

monitoring of the un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities1
Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Persons with disabilities have all the human rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to all human beings at international level or by national legislations.
  • In practice persons with disabilities faced discrimination, exclusion, various barriers and prejudices, they were unable to enjoy their rights.
  • At Mexico’s initiative, United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution to set up Ad Hoc Committee for drafting of Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities on December 19th 2001.
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to it on December 13th 2006.
  • The Convention and Optional Protocol to it were opened for signature and ratification on March 30th 2007.
  • Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to it entered in force on May 3rd 2008. It’s the 1st human rights treaty in the new Millenium.
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Until May 15th 2011:
  • 100 ratifications of the Convention – 99 member states of the UN and EU
  • 148 signatories to the Convention
  • 61 member state of the UN ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention
  • 90 member states of the UN have signed the Optional Protocol
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the 1st human rights treaty to be ratified by the EU, this sets a precedent in international public law
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities does not create any new rights for persons with disabilities.
  • It provides for measures to enable persons with disabilities to enjoy fully and effectively all their rights.
  • The purpose of the Convention is “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity” (article 1, clause 1).
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Articles 4 on general obligations of state parties to the Convention and 5 on equality and non- discrimination constitute the core of Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Convention prescribes that state parties “undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability” (article 4, clause 1).
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Persons with disabilities have to be consulted through their representative organizations in development of policies and legislation necessary for implementation of the Convention (article 4, clause 3).
  • Civic and political rights of persons with disabilities have to be implemented immediately, while social, economic and cultural rights will be implemented progressively and gradually, with the maximal use of the available resources (article 4, clause 2).
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • States Parties recognize that “all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law” (article 5, clause 1).
  • States Parties shall “prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all grounds” (article 5, clause 2).
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Convention puts strong emphasis on provision of reasonable accommodation.
  • It defines reasonable accommodation as “necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms” (article 2).
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Convention pays special attention to situation and equality of women with disability (article 6) and children with disability (article 7)
  • Awareness- raising and accessibility are 2 powerful tools and preconditions for full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society.
  • Convention prescribes measures for awareness- raising in article 8 in detail
  • Convention prescribes measures for ensuring accessibility of physical environment, public transport, information and communication and services opened for public in article 9 in detail
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Convention prescribes for various measures that need to be implemented in order to enable persons with disabilities to fully and equally enjoy civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
  • Article 10: Right to life
  • Article 12: Equal recognition before the law
  • Article 13: Access to justice
  • Article 14: Liberty and security of the person
  • Article 15:Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Article 16: Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
  • Article 17: Protecting the integrity of the person
  • Article 18: Liberty of movement and nationality
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Article 21: Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
  • Article 22: Respect for privacy
  • Article 23: Respect for home and the family
  • Article 24: Education
  • Article 25: Health
  • Article 27: Work and employment
  • Article 28: Adequate standard of living and social protection
  • Article 29: Participation in political and public life
  • Article 30: Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Convention also regulates measures that will enable persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in their respective communities (article 19)
  • It covers disability – specific issues such as:
  • personal mobility (article 20),
  • habilitation and rehabilitation (article 26).
  • It also provides measures to ensure safety of persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict and natural disasters (article 11).
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Efficient monitoring and follow- up mechanisms are one of preconditions and constitute a valuable tool in effective, full implementation of a particular international human rights treaty.
  • Convention prescribes for state parties to shall designate one or more focal points within government for matters relating to the implementation of the Convention, and shall give due consideration to the establishment or designation of a coordination mechanism within government to facilitate related action in different sectors and at different levels (article 33, clause 1). They also shall set up framework for monitoring and follow- up of the Convention. Civil society, especially organizations of persons with disabilities, have to be involved in all monitoring activities. The national monitoring mechanism has to be established in line with the Paris principles.
  • Various European countries that have submitted initial reports to the Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities applied different monitoring mechanisms
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Austria set up a monitoring committee consisting of 4 members from disability organizations, 4 from human rights NGO’ s, 1 from a development organization and 1 from university. Representatives of 2 ministries are also members of that committee but they don’t have the right to vote
  • Spain extended its’ national disability council’s mandate to serve as the coordinating body. It appointed the Spanish committee of representatives of persons with disabilities as the primary civil society body in this area, but without a clear mandate
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Sweden still has not appointed its’ national monitoring body, a proposal is that it should be Equality Ombudsman with support of National disability council
  • Hungary still has not appointed its’ national monitoring body. Parliamentary commissionaire on citizen rights did issue a report on disability rights in 2009.
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Articles 34 to 39 prescribe for setting up and functioning of Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. State parties shall elect independent experts to the Committee, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems, balanced gender representation and participation of experts with disabilities (article 34).
  • State parties should submit periodic reports on implementation of the Convention to the Committee for the review.
  • So far Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Hungary, Peru, Paraguay, Tunisia, Spain and Sweden have submitted reports. Committee examined Tunisia’s report.
  • The Optional Protocol to the Convention provides for a possibility of submission of complaints to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in cases of violation of provisions of the Convention, once all national legal remedies had been exhausted.
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Monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Thank you for your time and attention!