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Back to: Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Daily summary of discussions

Daily summary of discussions related to Article 20

UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Third session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 4, #6
June 1, 2004

Afternoon Session
Commenced: 3:05 PM
Adjourned: 5:57 PM

Ireland suggested shortening this article. The chapeau should read: “States Parties to this Convention shall take appropriate measures to promote liberty of movement for PWD.” It proposed shortening 20(a): “facilitating access by PWD to high-quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies”; the rest of 20(a) is now in 15(2). It suggested deleting 20(b) and 20(c) because these ideas are now in 19(e) (bis). 20(d), (e), (f) and (g) are already addressed in other areas of the Convention.

Bahrain proposed adding a new paragraph: “States Parties shall adopt all possible measures to have technologies exempt from taxes and to have them a low prices.”

Yemen supports Bahrain’s addition. In 20(c), it proposed adding at the end of the sentence: “and the participation of PWD in the search for devices.” In 20(d), it proposed adding “and their families” at the end of the sentence. It alerted the Secretariat to translation discrepancies between the Arabic and English draft texts.

Chile alerted the Secretariat to clarifications needed in the Spanish text in 20(a) and 20(e).

China suggested that the words “liberty of movement” in the chapeau of Article 20 be changed to “personal mobility” for consistency.

Japan supported the EU proposal because Article 19 and 20 address similar ideas. It proposed changing the order of the beginning of 20(c): “Promoting and where appropriate, undertaking.”

Morocco proposed adding to the end of 20(c): “and to encourage the private sector to invest in research in this field.” In 20(d), it proposed at the end, “and encourage exchange of experience among States.”

Korea supported the EU proposal with one change in the chapeau: instead of “promote,” it suggested “ensure.”

Mexico alerted the Secretariat to Spanish translation discrepancies in 20(a). In 20(e), it proposed the addition: “promote their purchase at an affordable cost” after choice, deleting “and at affordable cost.”

Costa Rica proposed replacing “effective” with “appropriate” in the chapeau to be consistent with other articles. It agreed with Mexico, but not with the translation discrepancy. In 20(a), the qualifier “high-quality” should be replaced with “functional” because it is not up to States to determine quality. It proposed deleting “live assistance and intermediaries” with “and other forms of support services.” Support services appears in the U.N. norms and standards. It agreed with Japan about adding the word “appropriate”. In 20(d) and 20(f), it suggested adding “and their families” after PWD. Subpara 20(d) deals with staff that need to be trained, so the reference to “specialists” should be deleted.

Jordan proposed adding “in the manner and at the time of their choice and at affordable cost” after “PWDs” in the chapeau. It suggested deleting 20(b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) which are repeated in other Articles and to promote a more consolidated text.

Liechtenstein believes Article 19 and 20 should be nearer to the beginning of the Convention, between Article 7 and 8. Both Article 19 and 20 are linked to the freedom of movement. It supported shortening and making Article 20 concise as Jordan and EU stated, possibly just the chapeau and 20(a).

Kenya proposed adding before “measures,” in the chapeau, “and progressive.”

Uganda suggested replacing “effective” with “appropriate” and adding “independent” before “movement” in the chapeau. In 20(a) it suggested changing “high-quality” to “appropriate”, and in 20(b) it proposed inserting “appropriate,” between “promoting” and “universal.”

New Zealand’s proposals are similar to Jordan and the EU. However, it suggested due to redundancy, deleting this Article entirely. Most of the ideas are already in other articles or can be included; the WG split this Article out of the Article on Accessibility and now it is too detailed. It suggested 20(a) move to Article 15. 20(b), (c), and (d) should be moved to Article 4, General Obligations. It suggested deleting 20(e) because it creates a greater right in freedom of movement for PWD than that which generally exists. 20(f) is covered by 15(e); 20(g) is unnecessary.

NHRI proposed a new title, liberty of movement, because this emphasizes a more rights-based approach rather than the medical model implied in the existing title. It suggested deleting “with the greatest possible independence” from the chapeau and deleting 20(b) and (g), to be placed in General Obligations.

PWD Australia/NACLC/Australian Federation of Disability called for a more general Article that reflects the effect on all PWD, all impairment groups, including Blind and intellectually disabilities. In 20(b), “universal design” only applies to physical environments which are often highly individualized and cannot be universally designed, and “encouraging” should be replaced with “ensure.” It is private entities that build mobility devices and assistive technology, therefore States must make them comply with this Convention. 20(b) should encourage international cooperation to create international design standards for mobility aids. The language in the Bangkok draft is preferable because it is broader than covering access to buildings. It proposed two new paragraphs: “(a) Should require States to take effective measures to ensure timely availability of affordable maintenance and emergency repair services for mobility devices and appliances and (b) Require States to allow portability of personal mobility aids and devices purchased or granted through public subsidy across internal and international borders without cost.”

RI /DPI / European Disability Forum /II /WFD / LSN / WBU / World Union for Progressive Judaism is concerned with the term “universal design.” It agrees with NHRI that “liberty of movement” replace personal mobility because it connotes PWD have power over their own lives. It supported retaining Article 20. “Appropriate assistive technology” should replace “aides, devices and assistive technology” because it is more culturally sensitive and infers that technology will differ by country and age groups. It supported 20(e), the idea affordable costs and believes this will take much work to make affordable assistive technology a reality. “States Parties shall support the emergence and development of assistive technology production through incentives and other measures to support innovation and to reduce market barriers between product design and the placing of products on markets. States parties shall also take steps to ensure the affordability of such assistive technology by PWD.”

International Disability Convention Solidarity Korea stated that general human rights are needed, as well as specific rights to ensure PWD live independently. If the Convention only includes general human rights, it will do little for the rights of PWD. The right to mobility is key.

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