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Back to: Second Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Documents of the Second Session

 

A/AC.265/2003/WP.1

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
New York, 16-27 June 2003

Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. Draft submitted by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Letter dated 18 June 2003 from the Deputy Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

    I have the honour to transmit herewith the draft Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, which the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has prepared as a contribution to the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (see annex).

    I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex distributed as a document of the second session of the Ad Hoc Committee.

(Signed) Adriana Pulido Santana
Ambassador
Chargé d'affaires a.i.

 

Annex to the letter dated 18 June 2003 from the Deputy Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

Draft submitted by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Preamble

The States parties to this Convention,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

Object

The object of this Convention is to:

Promote, protect and ensure the exercise and full enjoyment of all the rights of persons with disabilities;

Eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities in the political, civil, economic, social and cultural spheres;

Ensure full participation of persons with disabilities in economic and social life, under conditions of equality of treatment and of opportunity; and

Promote international cooperation in achieving the objectives of this Convention.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Convention:

"Persons with disabilities" means persons with any form of physical, intellectual or sensory absence or impairment, whether structural, functional or both, which constitutes a permanent or temporary limitation, restriction, obstruction or dysfunction in respect of human beings' relationship to their environment that may be caused or aggravated by the economic and social environment.

"Discrimination against persons with disabilities" means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on social participation, based on a disability which has the effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by a person with a disability of his or her human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, employment, educational, sports or any other sphere of public life.

"Impairment" means any physical, intellectual or sensory anomaly, whether structural, functional or both, which constitutes a permanent or temporary limitation, restriction, obstruction or dysfunction in respect of human beings' relationship to their environment.

"Prevention" means the adoption of measures aimed at limiting or preventing the occurrence of disabling illnesses or accidents and at preventing impairments, where these have occurred, from having adverse physical, psychological and social consequences.

"Rehabilitation" means a process aimed at enabling persons with disabilities to achieve and maintain their social integration and an optimal physical, sensory and intellectual functional level consistent with their anatomical and physiological capacities.

"Social integration" means the effective involvement and participation of persons with disabilities in social development processes through various types of organizations of themselves, their families and social groups. Employment; inclusion in education, sports and cultural life; participation in social processes and activities to improve the quality of life; health care; and environmental protection are social integration activities.

Article 3

Purposes

In order to achieve the objectives of this Convention, the States parties undertake to:

  1. Take all necessary measures, including legislation, to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities and to promote and protect their rights and dignity by, inter alia:
  2. Adopt specific measures necessary for the full participation of persons with disabilities in all activities of social and economic life.
  3. Incorporate into national censuses information, disaggregated by age, sex and specific type of disability, on the living conditions of persons with disabilities, including detailed information on their access to public services, rehabilitation programmes, education and employment.
  4. Guarantee the participation of organizations of persons with disabilities and their families in the development and evaluation of measures and policies for ensuring the implementation of this Convention.

Article 4

Equality of opportunity

Adoption by States parties of positive or compensatory legislation or public policies which establish differential treatment aimed at promoting de facto equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination. These special measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment and the other objectives for which they were developed have been achieved.

Article 5

Special situations of vulnerability

States parties undertake to adopt the specific measures necessary in all areas covered by this Convention in order to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, especially those who are in special situations of vulnerability by reason of their sex, age, race, ethnic origin or other status.

Article 6

Access to the physical environment, housing and transport

The States parties to this Convention undertake to promote, regulate and update their domestic legislation in order to ensure that:

Article 7

Promotion of changes in attitude

States parties shall promote the modification of stereotypes, social and cultural patterns, customary practices and any other type of practices which lead to segregation or discrimination or which prevent persons with disabilities from exercising their rights. To this end, States parties shall:

Article 8

Access to information

States parties undertake to ensure that persons with disabilities and their families have access to full information on their rights and available services and programmes. To this end, they shall adopt, among others, the following measures:

Article 9

Promotion of prevention

States parties shall take measures to prevent and reduce the incidence of disability. They undertake to:

Article 10

Health-care and rehabilitation services

States parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to receive the quality medical and comprehensive rehabilitation services that they require. To this end, they shall adopt appropriate measures to:

Article 11

Guarantee of personal dignity

States parties must ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from public health services or subjected without their freely obtained consent to any kind of medical or scientific experiment and that any kind of exploitation or abusive or degrading treatment in hospitals and psychiatric institutions is avoided.

Article 12

Permanent mental and intellectual disability

States undertake to adopt the measures necessary to improve mental health services and the quality of care and guarantee that persons suffering from permanent and severe mental illness and intellectual impairment are treated with due regard for their rights and dignity. To this end, they must ensure that:

Article 13

Education

States parties shall adopt all measures necessary to eliminate segregation and discrimination against persons with disabilities and to ensure their inclusion, retention and participation, under conditions of equal opportunity, in mainstream educational activities at all levels. To this end they shall:

Article 14

Employment

States parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to have a job appropriate to their condition, and undertake to adopt all measures necessary for their integration into the labour market, under conditions of equality. To this end they shall take, among others, the following steps:

Article 15

Social security

States parties undertake to eliminate all laws and practices which limit the right of persons with disabilities to social security benefits. They shall ensure recognition of this right by adopting measures to:

Article 16

Protection of families

States parties recognize that persons with disabilities are fully entitled to form their own families, except in serious cases of mental deficiency as established by national laws. To this end, they shall take measures to guarantee that:

Article 17

Sexual abuse and institutional violence

States parties recognize that persons with disabilities are vulnerable to various forms of sexual abuse in educational, employment and health-care centres and to physical and psychological violence within the family. They therefore undertake to:

Article 18

Social integration and participation

States parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to participate fully in social, cultural, sports and recreational activities. To this end they shall adopt the following measures:

Article 19

Political rights

The States parties to this Convention undertake to:

Article 20

Legal aid

States parties undertake to ensure that all prosecuted or convicted disabled persons enjoy all their rights, especially the right to have the free assistance of interpreters, translators or paralegal specialists to conduct their defence and the right to receive specialized health and rehabilitation services.

Article 21

National monitoring and evaluation bodies

States parties undertake to establish or strengthen institutions for the intragovernmental coordination, design and implementation of policies to address the needs of disabled persons at the central, regional, departmental or provincial and local government levels, in accordance with their internal legal systems, which shall be responsible for ensuring the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Organizations of persons with disabilities and their families shall be represented in such bodies at all levels.

The principal functions of such institutions shall include the permanent monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, in particular of the objectives established in article 3, and the formulation of appropriate recommendations for its fulfilment to the relevant government bodies.

The institutions to which this article refers may assume at the national level, preferably, the structure of presidential office, council, institute or department. If they are not attached to the Office of the President of the Republic, they shall be assigned to ministries responsible for social development policies and programmes.

Such institutions shall function as mechanisms for coordination with disabled persons' organizations at the national, provincial, departmental, regional or local level.

The institutions established shall conduct a triennial evaluation of national implementation of the Convention and of the measures to be applied in order to fulfil its objectives.

Article 22

Intergovernmental cooperation

States parties agree to consult and cooperate with each other regarding the implementation of the provisions of this Convention. To that end they undertake to promote:

Consultation and international cooperation mechanisms for the prevention of disabilities. Regional and international programmes to comprehensively target disability as a common problem, ensure equal opportunities and treatment for persons with disabilities and achieve all the objectives set forth in this Convention.

Effective exchange of the latest advances in scientific research and the development of technology pertaining to the prevention of disabilities and the treatment, rehabilitation and social integration of persons with disabilities.

Research, training and refresher training through inter-country and international events such as seminars, congresses, symposia, courses, workshops and meetings of various kinds.

Article 23

Monitoring Committee

  1. In order to monitor the implementation of this Convention, a Committee of Experts on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter called "the Committee") shall be established, the functions of which shall be as set forth below. The Committee shall consist of 12 experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the area of protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, serving in their personal capacity.
  2. Members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States parties. Each State party may propose one person from among its own nationals.
  3. The initial election shall be held, at the latest, six months following the date on which the Convention enters into force. At least six months prior to the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States parties inviting them to submit their nominations within a period of three months. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list, in alphabetical order, of all the persons nominated, indicating the States parties that proposed them, and shall send it to the States parties.
  4. Committee members shall be elected at a meeting of the States parties convened by the Secretary-General and held at United Nations Headquarters. At that meeting, for which a quorum shall be constituted by the attendance of two thirds of the States parties, those candidates who obtain the highest number of votes and an absolute majority of votes of the representatives of States parties present and voting shall be considered elected to the Committee.
  5. Committee members shall be elected for a period of four years. They may be re-elected if their candidature is put forward again.
  6. In order to fill casual vacancies, the State party whose expert has terminated his or her functions as a Committee member shall appoint another member from among its nationals, subject to the approval of the Committee.

Article 24

Functions of the Committee

  1. The Committee's functions shall be to evaluate the national reports submitted annually by States parties on the progress and difficulties in implementing this Convention and make specific recommendations to States parties, specialized agencies and other competent organs further to advance the implementation of this Convention.
  2. The Committee shall identify areas of cooperation among States parties, and between these and the specialized agencies and other competent organs, that will facilitate implementation of this Convention. To that end the Committee, after evaluating the national reports, shall transmit its recommendations to the States parties and to the representatives of the specialized agencies and other competent organs.
  3. The Committee may transmit to the specialized agencies and other competent organs, reports of States parties that contain requests for financial and technical assistance, together with the Committee's observations and suggestions.
  4. In order to identify progress and difficulties in implementing this Convention and make specific recommendations to States parties, specialized agencies and other competent organs, the Committee shall invite the specialized agencies, other competent organs and non-governmental organizations to participate in studying the implementation of this Convention and to make recommendations thereon.
  5. The Committee may seek technical assistance from United Nations organs at any stage of the report evaluation process or during the implementation of its final recommendations.
  6. The Committee shall submit an annual report to the States parties and to the General Assembly of the United Nations on its activities pursuant to this Convention.

Article 25

Functioning of the Committee

  1. The Committee shall elect its Bureau for a period of two years. Members of the Bureau may be re-elected for a further two-year period.
  2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, which shall stipulate the following, inter alia:
        Eight members shall constitute a quorum;
        Decisions of the Committee shall be taken by a majority of members present and voting.
  3. The Committee shall normally meet annually for a period not exceeding two weeks to evaluate reports submitted in compliance with article 26 of this Convention.
  4. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the personnel and services necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under this Convention.
  5. Considering the importance of the functions of the Committee and subject to prior approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the members of the Committee shall receive emoluments from United Nations funds in a manner and under conditions to be determined by the Assembly.

Article 26

Reports of States parties

  1. States parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for consideration by the Committee, a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or any other measures they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of this Convention.
  2. Reports submitted by States parties must specify progress achieved and difficulties affecting fulfilment of their obligations under the present Convention. They must likewise contain sufficient information on difficulties encountered in its implementation.
  3. States parties shall submit their reports for consideration by the Committee:
        within one year following the entry into force of this Convention for the State party in question;
        thereafter, every year or whenever requested by the Committee.
  4. In their periodic reports, States parties undertake to include a chapter on the situation of children, women and older persons with disabilities and on the steps taken to deal with their particular situation, including special measures to provide them with equal access to education and employment, health services and social security and to ensure their participation in all areas of economic, social and cultural life.

Article 27

Amendments

1. Any State party to this Convention may propose an amendment and deposit it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The procedure to be followed in such cases shall be the following:

2. States not parties to this Convention, as well as the specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and other competent organs, shall be entitled to be invited to attend the amendment conference as observers, in accordance with the agreed rules of procedure.

Article 28

Publicity

Each State party undertakes to disseminate this Convention widely and to publicize it.

Article 29

Depositary

  1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is hereby designated depositary of this Convention.
  2. This Convention shall be open for signature by all United Nations Member States.
  3. This Convention shall be open for ratification or accession by all United Nations Member States.
  4. Instruments of signature, accession or ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 30

Entry into force

This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which the tenth instrument of ratification or accession has been deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 31

Distribution

1. This Convention, whose tests in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall send certified copies of this Convention to all States parties.

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