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Back to: Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee

Daily summary of discussion at the third session
2 June 2004

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UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Ad Hoc Committee Daily Summary
A service made possible by Landmine Survivors Network

Volume 4, #7
June 2, 2004

Morning Session
Commenced: 10:04 AM
Adjourned: 1:00 PM

Discussion of Article 21 from the previous session was completed. Discussion of Article 22 began.


Peru joined the proposal for abridging this Article and dividing it into two. The right to health is fundamental for all persons, and should be treated separately. Rehabilitation (rehab) is also important, but is different from health. The Article on the health should focus on the right of PWD to full access to all health services. Peru supported Japan’s proposed language borrowed from the ICESCR.

Australia also agreed with the idea of splitting this Article into two parts, and proposed several amendments to the current text. In the chapeau, the words “and effective” should be inserted after “appropriate." In both 21(d), and 21(i), the words “Endeavour to” should be inserted at the beginning. Regarding 21(h), Australia supported Canada’s intervention. Both 21(k) and 21(l) are already covered, either in this Article or elsewhere such as Article 14, and should be deleted.

Norway noted a lack of cohesion between the Article 21 title, “Right to health” and the chapeau’s “right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health” as quoted from the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); that language should be reflected in the title. The concept of rehabilitation is broader than just medical rehab, and therefore the Article should either explicitly state that its focus is medical rehab, as proposed by the EU, or the Article should be split into two, one on health and another on the broader concept of rehabilitation.

Mexico supported splitting the Article because rehabilitation should have a broad scope, covering aspects including medical health, work or education aspects. The proposals advanced by Israel and the NGOs provide a good foundation for a rehabilitation Article. Mexico supported 21(a) and (h), protection of PWD medical privacy, commenting that care should be taken to obtain PWD prior consent for data collection and dissemination, but this should pose no obstacle to implementing the provisions in Article 6 for collecting the statistics necessary to formulate health policies. In 21(k), “interventions” should be elaborated in greater detail, particularly in respect to people who are unable to give their consent; Mexico will make a future proposal for this. Both 21(l) and (m) should be deleted because they duplicate other Convention provisions.

Cameroon endorsed comments offered by the European Union (EU). Health should be separated from rehabilitation, but the Convention should deal specifically with medical rehabilitation, which differs from social rehabilitation. Also, prevention of disabilities is an important aspect of health, especially in developing countries, so a new paragraph, 21(bis), should be added, as follows “States Parties shall take all necessary measures, particularly by offering programs and services that are aimed at preventing and fighting congenital or accidental disabilities.” Cameroon also endorsed the Moroccan comment on 21(g), with respect to the addition of guardians or legal representatives, since “those with intellectual disabilities cannot always take care of themselves in this respect.”

Algeria commented that the Article does not mention PWD in specialized State or nongovernmental centres. It appended the chapeau with the sentence: ”They shall try to ensure that no PWD is denied their rights, and shall take all necessary measures to ensure access of PWD to health care centers and rehabilitation centers, particularly in the service of retirees who are being cared for in specialized public and/or private institutions.”

Colombia noted that Article 22 addresses vocational rehabilitation, and Article 23 addresses social rehabilitation; therefore a single Article should cover all different aspects of rehabilitation.

New Zealand supported the India, Israel and EU proposals to separate health from rehab services, since the present Article may not give enough emphasis to both aspects. Rehabilitation enables people to live well with their disabilities and to achieve autonomy. New Zealand proposed several amendments. In 21(a), the word “citizens” is too narrow, and should be replaced by “persons”; the word “provide” should be changed to “ensure”; the word “with” should be changed to “have access to”; the words “range and standard of” should be deleted; and the words “and to the same standard” should be inserted after "provided other persons." In 21(b), “additional” should be inserted in front of “health and rehabilitation services." In 21(c), the words “as close as possible” should be replaced by “in”, as this subparagraph is already qualified by "endeavour.” In 21(j), “free and informed consent on the provision of information about rights” should apply to each service offered, so the words “in respect of each service offered” should be inserted at the end. New Zealand opposed the EU proposal to delete 21(f), (g), (j), (l), and (m), but would consider proposals to move these ideas to other parts of the Convention. In particular, 21(g) addresses workforce issues which have not been dealt with adequately elsewhere in the Convention, and which are necessary and broader than this paragraph's focus on health and rehabilitation services. The EU's proposed deletion of 21(h) and (i) are reasonably covered by the EU's suggested replacement wording. New Zealand opposed moving 21(k) to Article 12; and supported Mexico's recommendation to extend this paragraph, or create a new one, to address issues such as over-medication and the use of treatments which are not used on the general population. Several additional issues should be included in the Article.

As suggested by the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, the new Article should address removing health service barriers such as requirements for spousal consent, the lack of convenient and affordable transport, and the inequitable affordability of services. The Article should also ensure equal access to public health programs such as water safety and sanitation, HIV/AIDS prevention, breast and cervical screening for women, etc. The Article should mandate that health services should not be rationed on the basis of disability. The Article should also deal with access to other health-related services such as dentistry. The NZ proposal with commentary is available at

Yemen recommended splitting Article 21, and offered a proposal for a new Article 21(bis) which would deal with both rehabilitation and training, since the current Article does not mention training.
"1. States Parties undertake to rehabilitation and training of persons in the psychological, social, physical, professional, and other fields so as to enable them to exercise their life in a natural and normal way.
"2. States Parties undertake that the training of PWD and their rehabilitation would only take place after their willing approval.
"3. Involve the agencies of PWD all over the stages of training and rehabilitation, including drafting relative or respective legislations.”

Kuwait joined India, the EU, and heads of the Arab States regarding the importance of splitting Article 21 to create a special Article in field of health, and another in rehabilitation. Kuwait also supported Yemen’s proposal.

Lebanon supported amending the Article title to read “Right to health and medical and paramedical rehabilitation.” In many countries, rehabilitation services such as speech therapy and functional therapy are not recognized as medical, and are therefore not part of national health systems. In the chapeau, after "access," should be inserted “affordability, adequacy and continuity when needed." Lebanon supported Yemen’s proposed new Article 21(bis), but suggested changing the title to “Right to habilitation and rehabilitation.” Lebanon endorsed the Rehabilitation International text proposal.

The Chair opened the floor for comments from NGOs.

Rehabilitation International, joined by Disabled Peoples International, Landmine Survivors Network, European Disability Forum, Inclusion International, World Federation of the Deaf, the World Blind Union, and the World Union for Progressive Judaism intervened in support of separating Article 21 into the right to health and the right to rehabilitation, as proposed by India and Israel. The UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities (SR) defines rehabilitation as a “process aimed at enabling PWD to reach and maintain their optimal functions.” An equivalent formulation should be used in this Convention. The term “rehabilitation” includes both “habilitation,” which applies to those born with disabilities, and “rehabilitation” which applies to people with acquired disabilities. The obligation to ensure access to rehabilitation does not supersede the obligation to alter the environment. States should “redesign society to allow for integration of PWD, rather than to predicate their integration on their realignment with society.” Rehabilitation and health should be dealt with in separate articles for several reasons. Both rehabilitation and habilitation aim at a goal broader than health, which is the aim to function at the maximum extent of their own personal capacities. Depicting rehabilitation against the background of health only heightens the fear of PWD that those exercising authority over them will impose rehabilitation, and claim the imprimatur of international law. The right to health should be interpreted broadly, but it cannot adequately capture the full range of rehabilitation services required by PWD. Telescoping rehab into health could inhibit in future monitoring for effectiveness of rehabilitation services. The Article should build on existing international law, and should universalize the right to rehabilitation. The philosophy of rehabilitation contained in the SR flows from the fundamental value of personal autonomy. Additional authority comes from the European Social Charter, the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against PWD, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). A comprehensive right to rehabilitation should be contained in one article, rather than having its elements sprinkled throughout the Convention, in order to give the right to rehabilitation the prominence it deserves, and in order to achieve textual elegance and completeness. These NGOs also supported the prohibition against forced rehabilitation which was proposed by Israel. Separate and clear language for women and girls with disabilities should be included in the health Article. Subparagraph 21(j) should be amended by inserting “with respect to each service offered” after “informed consent.” To prohibit rationing of health care services, a separate subparagraph should be added, reading, “Prohibit the discriminatory allocation of health care resources and treatment based on disability.” This should be interpreted to prohibit discriminatory practices in the health insurance sector.

Disabled Peoples International (DPI) supported separating the two Articles, and noted that in the UN SR, health and rehabilitation are dealt with separately in 2 and 3. DPI recommended that 21(b), which addresses counseling and support, should be strengthened by adding “peer support,” which is a fundamental disability concept. Subparagraph 21(m), involving involvement of PWD and their organizations in the formulation and implementation of legislation and policies, is related to UN SR 3(7) and 14(2).

World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) stressed the importance of the non-discrimination provisions for health care services, particularly for people living in institutions, who are often denied access to medical care for physical problems, and die as a result. WNUSP supported the general call for separation into health and rehabilitation, but noted that its constituents do not want psychosocial services to be defined purely from a medical perspective. More diverse options should be available, such as psychotherapy as well as psychiatry. The suggestions by NZ and Rehabilitation International, requiring free and informed consent for each service offered, should be adopted. Informed consent should not be predicated on legal capacity in the traditional sense, but should include the concept of supported decisionmaking.

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) spoke on behalf of its affiliate, No Less Human, and the Pro-Life and Pro-Family Coalition. A new paragraph, 21(n), should be added to read as follows: “ensure (i) that a PWD shall be provided food and fluids, nutrition and hydration, including assisted food and fluids, nutrition and hydration, necessary to preserve or sustain that person’s life. (ii) A PWD shall not be denied medical treatment necessary to preserve or sustain that person’s life.” They also support deletion of the 21(a) phrase “including sexual and reproductive health services,” because PWD need the full range of health care, so one type should not be mentioned; and also because the phrase “reproductive health services” includes abortion, and the treaty will be legally binding on States Parties, they reject this phrasing.

National Right to Life (NRL) supported deletion of the words 21(a) “including sexual and reproductive health services” because PWD need a full range of health services, and there is no need to single out reproductive health. Doing so would promote the use of genetic testing to abort unborn babies with disabilities, and abortion for women with disabilities (WWD). NRL proposed alternative wording to 21(n) as follows: ”We ensure that under no circumstances may a PWD be denied medical treatment, food or fluids necessary to sustain that person without clear and convincing evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the PWD, while competent, rejected it on the basis of information sufficient to constitute informed consent.”

Peoples with Disabilities Australia, on behalf of the National Association of Community Legal Centres of Australia, Persons with Disabilities Australia, Inc. and the National Federation of Disability Organisations, supported all interventions proposing separation into two Articles, strengthening of both, and references to community-based rehabilitation. It supported inclusion and elaboration of women’s health issues, health care for children and indigenous people, and involvement of PWD in the design and provision, monitoring and review of these services. It proposed amendments incorporating explicit reference to dental health and mental health. The Article should specify that persons subject to compulsory mental health services should be treated in the health care system, not the criminal justice system, and that provision of such care should never be used as a punishment. In 21(j), there should be added a carefully-worded emergency exemption, to allow sharing of medical information in situations where information is vital to preserve life, or the absence of information will lead to additional harm.

Handicap International and Save the Children supported the proposals made by Namibia, Costa Rica and Chile to add specific references to community based rehabilitation which is a key condition to raise societal disability awareness.

International Convention Solidarity in Korea proposed that Article 21 should not be separated. Any new article should mention all types of rehabilitation, including social, vocational, educational, and medical rehabilitation. An article specifically addressing rehabilitation could overlap with the content of Articles 17 and 22, leaving no substantive content. The rights of PWD can be explained without using the word “rehabilitation,”’ as rehab is related to all disability issues.

International Labour Organization (ILO) supported the proposal by RI and other delegates to separate the right to rehab from the right to health, but emphasized that rehabilitation is a means to the end of achieving equality and inclusion in accordance with individual choice, rather than an end in itself.

World Health Organization (WHO) focused on the risks of separating health and rehabilitation, as proposed by Israel and India. Disability requires a multilateral approach. The UN Millennium Declaration establishes health as a primary goal, and to separate help from rehabilitation could weaken the possibility of realizing its goals, especially for those living in poor countries. Medicine is distinct from health: Medicine relates to actions taken to remove threats to the well being of people, while health addresses social conditions and living standards. Poverty is the principle cause of diseases and disabilities, and disability generates more poverty for PWD and their families. Good health could help eliminate poverty among PWD. In the draft Convention, rehabilitation is clearly mentioned in the articles on work, education, health and definitions, and is based on a human rights framework. These articles provide guidelines to the UN and to Member States. Rehabilitation is not a requirement, and when it is provided, it is for a limited time. Some PWD have had negative experiences during the rehabilitation process, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Rehabilitation has contributed to participation and involvement by many PWD around the world. In many developing countries, rehabilitation services are provided by organizations, and this leads to some governments failing to comply with their commitment to provide such services. The Convention should reinforce relevant actions by all Member States.

National Human Rights Institutions supported splitting of Article 21 into separate Articles focusing on health and rehabilitation, as explained by of Rehabilitation International, and support the tenor of the Israeli proposal in this context. The content of rehabilitation is not limited to health.


Yemen proposed appending to 22(b), “this should be preceded by rehabilitation and training to benefit from devices and programs.” In 22(e) it suggested replacing “reasonable,” a vague term, with the more precise “appropriate.” 22(f) should be appended with: “and the skills required by the labor market in its various fields.”

Chile proposed adding “labor training” after “vocational training” in 22(b). Chile recommended including “political” in 22(h) dealing with legislation. 22(j) should include measures that prevent the emergence of discriminatory conditions, for example, PWD access to employment or jobs. Chile expressed concern that while there is mention in some subparagraphs supporting the employment of PWD, it recommended a separate paragraph, in accordance with Article 9(a) of this Convention, “To promote the employment of PWD as well as the development of their skills facilitating their access to credit and other services without any restrictions and limitation that may be applied to PWD.” Another new subparagraph would obligate states to protect PWD so that they can be in the competitive employment market.

Sierra Leone proposed revising the chapeau of this Article to maintain consistency with others: “States Parties shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of the right of PWD to work including measures to:” It considered 22(a) to be sufficient as it stands, and stated that there is no reason to further spell out the meaning of “inclusive” as highlighted in FN 89. In 22(c), “equal” should follow “promote,” so that it would read: “promote equal employment opportunities”. It expressed concern that issues of quotas and affirmative action raised in 22(d) could be problematic in some States, e.g., those that struggle with quotas for employing women. It suggested a rewording of this subparagraph to read: “Encourage employers to hire PWD and, where appropriate, through incentives.” “Incentives” is an appropriate word to cover affirmative action and quotas without specifically mentioning these. 22(e) should remain as it stands, as reasonable accommodation has been fully covered in the Convention and there is no need to elaborate further.
There should be some reference to on-the-job training, as training and education are elements of the right work It suggested that the Committee refer to ILO provisions, as there is enough experience from ILO provisions and guidelines to prepare or to draft this particular article.

Brazil affirmed its support for subparagraphs (b), (c), and (d), in particular with enumerating mechanisms that encourage employers to hire PWD, like affirmative action programs, incentives, and quotas.

The Republic of Korea proposed amending the second sentence in the chapeau to read “State Parties shall set a leading example in employment of PWD and……” pursuant to FN 91 on the responsibility of governments as employers. It suggested in inserting “, compensation and benefits” after “with regard to employment” in 22(h).

Bahrain proposed the insertion of “and to training” after “the right of PWD to work” in the chapeau. It suggested a new subparagraph that would read: “Encourage the creation of workshops for persons with disabilities and to promote their production.” 22(d) should be reworded as follows: “To provide incentives to sector which hire persons with disabilities.”

Jordan suggested replacing “persons” with “women and men” in the chapeau, and to replace “protecting” with the more positive phrase, “acquisition of skills and assets that protect”. In 22(b), (c), and (d), the words “Enable,” “Promote,” and “Encourage” should be replaced with the stronger phrase “To ensure that”. It proposed appending to 22(c) “acquisition of work experience” and to delete 22(f), as it is subsumed into (c). The ideas in 22(j) are already in Article 5 (Promotion of positive attitudes to persons with disabilities) so this subpara could be deleted. 22(h) is of general concern to the overall Article, and should therefore be moved to its beginning.

suggested alternative language to begin 22(c), in accordance with FN90: “Pursue active labor market policies which would promote employment opportunities of…”. 22(d) should be amended to read: “Ensure that employers, public or private, employ and/or hire PWD”. The content of 22(a) belonged more appropriately in the chapeau. Namibia proposed two additional subparagraphs to address the lack of language on employing PWD available at

South Africa suggested deleting the reference to “equal treatment” in the chapeau, since this defeats the purpose of reasonable accommodation. The term “economic empowerment” should take its place; the lack of these programs affect all persons including PWD. The meaning of “general” technical programs in 22(b) is unclear so this word should be deleted. It would be prudent to substitute “continuing” with “life long” training in this subparagraph. The reference to “obtaining” in 22(c) implies a focus on recruitment processes and not to broader employment issues, therefore this term should be replaced with “securing”. It also proposed deleting “and starting ones own business,” since is the same as “self-employed.” the subparagraph would read: “Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for PWD in the open labor market through assistance in finding, securing, and maintaining such employment, including opportunities for self- employment;”. The reference to “professional” in 22(g) is unclear and should be deleted. This subparagraph should address the promotion of all work and employment-related rehabilitation processes. In 22(j) “abilities” should be deleted, as it contributes to the stereotyping of PWD work abilities such as relegating them to basket weavers or telephone operators.

Israel noted the high levels of unemployment of PWD, so the provisions of this article should be as concrete and practical as possible. In 22(c) “promote” should be replaced with “pursue active labor market policies with a view to promoting,” as governments need to be proactive to close the wide gaps in employment. A proposed new 22(h) would read: “Ensure that all employment protection laws and standards, including in relation to the minimum wage apply to all persons with disabilities working in the open labor market, any derogation from such laws and standards being made only in circumstances where derogation can clearly be shown to be justified.” Where there is clear proof of reduced output in a supervised manner, this will permit, for example, the lowering of the minimum wage.
Paragraph 22(i) should be retained, despite interventions calling for its deletion, and should read: “Ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunities and appropriate representation including by way of reasonable accommodation in the public sector recognizing the heightened responsibilities as employers of government and other state funded bodies to set a leading example in this regard.”
Israel proposed new paragraphs, available at, on reasonable accommodations and sheltered workshops.
Reasonable accommodation in 22.2 must be dealt with in the employment context “where it has specific relevance”. Family members of PWD should also be protected, as they too require reasonable accommodations in the interest of promoting the rights of PWD. While States should not be required to institute affirmative action and quotas, but have the freedom to choose the most appropriate method of hiring PWD. These references should, contrary to proposals from the EU and others, remain in this Convention, as this will avoid future needless litigation on whether affirmative action is discriminatory. Various legislatures, including Israel’s and Canada’s, have explicitly provided for affirmative action that is legitimate for pursuing de facto equality for PWD.
Paragraph 22.3 acknowledges that while the framework for sheltered and assisted employment is not the desired form of employment, it does exist and will be implemented in many countries.

Japan requested clarification of “reasonable accommodation” in 22(e) as this is a new concept in the human rights context - who judges what is reasonable, the differences between this concept and “affirmative action” and whether it is a legal criteria or a guideline. While Japan supported the retention of text in 22(e), it recommended revisiting this concept. In 22(h) the words “through legislation” should be deleted because the issues enumerated in this subparagraph are limited and Japan recommended broadening its scope, and thus protection should be done not only through legislation, but also through public governance and constitutions. In 22(j) the last part of this subparagraph, starting with “and to combat stereotypes,” should be deleted, as this is too important an issue to be limited to the workplace and labor market.

Uganda recommended, in the chapeau, replacing “persons” with “men and women” and inserting “of lawful working age” between “disabilities” and “to” in order to ensure that both men and women are specifically covered, but also to protect the possible exploitation of young PWD in the labor market. In 22(c), the words “Pursue active labor market policies and” should be inserted at the beginning; and changing "obtaining and maintaining" to "obtaining, maintaining and retaining." In 22(d), between “programs” and “incentives,” should be inserted the words “services to support PWD in the workplace." In 22(h) the words “workplace training” should be inserted between “employment” and “career.”
It proposed a new subparagraph 22(k): “Ensure that the government as an employer promotes and regulates flexible and alternative work arrangements and an environment that offers reasonable accommodation of the needs of persons with disabilities”, which would give further obligation to States Parties as primary actors in the field of employment. A new paragraph, 22.2, should read as follows: “States parties shall take legislative and other measures to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the rights protected in this article.”

Morocco proposed appending 22(d) with “especially for women with disabilities"; and appending 22(g) with “and non-exploitation in the workplace." In 22(h), the words "elimination of any form of exploitation at work" should be inserted after "career advancement"; and the words "indemnities after loss of employment" should be inserted after "grievances."

Thailand supported the chapeau amendment proposed by the Republic of Korea regarding the role of the State, as well as the amendments and modifications proposed by Israel. In 22(i), Thailand proposed appending “without discrimination on the basis of disabilities,” to strengthen the concept of equal opportunity by including non-discrimination. The concepts of affirmative action, reasonable accommodation, and quota systems should be preserved in Article.

Ireland, representing the EU recommended bringing the chapeau into fuller conformity with Article 6 of the ICESCR by affirming that everyone has the right to work, irrespective of the reason. The EU proposed reformulating the chapeau to read: “States Parties recognize the right to work of PWD on an equal basis as others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted. States Parties shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right, including measures to:” The EU commented on the proposals to replace “persons” with “men and women,” stating that it would diminish the rights of PWD, as the right to work is recognized to all persons, including children. Protection against economic exploitation is adequately dealt with in the CRC. The EU proposed the insertion of two new subparagraphs immediately following the chapeau:
“Promote employment opportunities including free vocational choice for persons with disabilities so as to enable them to exercise the right to work and enjoy equal conditions of work. “Enable persons with disabilities to take full advantage of the right to education and to have access to vocational and continuing training.” In 22(b) the EU suggested deleting “assistive devices,” as the issue of assistive devices is already covered in Article 13 (Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information) and does not belong specifically here. The EU did not recommend specifying particular policies and measures, as different countries adopt different policies, that should effectively achieve a particular objective, and thus proposed the rewording of 22(d) to read: Encourage employers to hire persons with disabilities through appropriate policies and measures.”
In relation to 22(e) the EU considered reasonable accommodation a different issue from affirmative action, but an essential element in enabling PWD to work; it proposed a revision of the subparagraph to capture the idea that reasonable accommodation should be provided by the employer rather than by the State: “Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace and work environment.” In 22(g) it recommended appending “for PWD.” The EU disagreed with proposals to delete references to legislation, as it is essential that various protections mentioned in this paragraph are backed up by and provided through legislation. The EU proposed inserting “conditions of recruitment,” after “with regard to” in 22(h), as unless there is equality in recruitment, PWD cannot benefit from the other protections in this paragraph. In 22(i) the EU addressed concerns about whether the public sector has particular responsibilities in relation to the employment of PWD, and while governments must promote the employment of PWD, the current paragraph implies that the private sector has no responsibility, and for that reason suggested the deletion of this paragraph. The EU recommended the deletion of 22(j) as the issue of combating prejudice and stereotypes has already been dealt with in Article 5. In consideration of sheltered workshops, the EU expressed concern about the possibility that persons who avail themselves of alternative forms of work might be dealt with less favorably than in the general labor market. It stated that if these concepts are referred to, that they be meaningful forms of work under just and favorable conditions. The EU referred delegates to Article 7 of the ICECSR. The EU opposed Israel’s proposals on sheltered workshops and the exception to derogate from general labor regulations.

New Zealand circulated a revised, simplified draft of this article. The chapeau should incorporate 22(a) and specify the concept of equality so as to emphasise non-discrimination: “States Parties recognize the equal right of PWD to work, which includes the opportunity to gain a living by work that they freely choose or accept. In order to safeguard and promote the realization of this right, states Parties shall take appropriate steps to promote a labor market and work environment that are open, inclusive, and accessible to all persons with disabilities, including measures to:.” New Zealand agreed with the EU on keeping the word “persons” in the chapeau, as children have the right to work, if it is not exploitative. In many countries this can encourage children to build a work ethic. It proposed moving 22(c) to become 22(a), with the insertion of “equal” before “employment opportunities” to further strengthen the non-discrimination aspect of the article, and avoid any implication that this Article is about making work schemes and sheltered workshops rather than guaranteeing the equal right to work and to be protected from discrimination. In 22(b), it suggested updating the terminology by replacing “vocational guidance programs” with “career guidance programs” and replacing “vocational and continuing training” with “job training.” New Zealand identified two ideas in 22(b), first, a non-discrimination provision, that this Article attempts to guarantee equal access to mainstream general career guidance programs such as employment services that all people have access to; the second is that PWD might need some sort of assistance to enable them to enter the workforce, and it expressed concern that these two ideas were not clearly differentiated. In 22(d), it agreed with other suggestions to delete “affirmative action, incentives, and quotas,” which are too specific. It suggested deleting 22(f) because historically, employers have, in the guise of “work experience” exploited PWD labor. “Return-to-work programs” in 22 (g) is already included in professional rehabilitation and could be deleted. In 22(h), it proposed shortening the subparagraph focusing on its two key concepts: “Ensure that PWD have equal remuneration for work of equal value and are able to exercise their labor and trade union rights." It supported proposals to delete 22(i), as the non-discrimination clauses elsewhere in the Convention cover this, and the public sector should not be singled out.

Australia suggested rewording the chapeau to read “States Parties recognize the equal right to work of PWD in an environment that provides equal opportunity and that is non-discriminatory. States Parties shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right.” While the measures listed in the balance of the article have considerable merit to assist States to implement their obligations under the Convention, they are too prescriptive for an international convention and should be deleted. Australia was flexible on this, noting that the proposed removal would not preclude their inclusion in guidelines to assist States Parties in their implementation in the Convention.

Costa Rica suggested deleting from the chapeau the words “which includes the opportunity to gain a living by work,” as this concept is implied with the States Parties recognition of the right of PWD to work. In 22(a) “all” should be deleted before “PWD,” as “all” is implied. In 22(b) “recruitment, and” should be inserted before “placement services”; and “technical aids” should be inserted after “assistive devices.” In 22(c) the words “and other productive and labor alternatives” should be inserted after “starting ones own business”; and the word “creating” should be inserted after “assistance in." A new paragraph, 22(c)(bis), should be added, as follows: “Promote access to credit and necessary technical assistance to develop self employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.” In 22(d), “incentives and quotas” should be deleted and replaced with “avoiding discrimination on the basis of the different types of disability.” It suggested replacing “reasonable” with “necessary” in 22(e); and deleting 22(f) because its relevance and need is not clear. “Vocational and professional rehabilitation” in 22(g) should be replaced with "technical and professional training programmes." It suggested inserting in 22(h), after “equal opportunities,” the words "health and safety in the workplace." In 22(i), in order to ensure equal opportunity, the words “and promote affirmative action programmes to facilitate access to work” should be inserted after “public sector.” Costa Rica identified some translation problems in the Spanish text.

Mexico proposed several revisions, available at along with a commentary.

Palestine proposed adding to the chapeau, after “the right to work,” the words “and to receive training to work,” which differs slightly from vocational training; and inserting “that preserves their dignity” after “they choose and accept.” 22(f) should be attended with “by preventing discrimination against PWD.” In 22(i), “private” should be inserted after “public.”

Cameroon emphasized the importance of strengthening the promotion of both paid employment as well as independent or self- employment. It supported the Costa Rican proposal on the new 22(c)(bis), so as to emphasise independent as well as remunerative work. It suggested adding a new paragraph, also 22(c)(bis), which reads: “Take appropriate measures aimed at promoting the creation of independent employment for persons with disabilities, in particular through technical and or financial support and employment with tax benefits where appropriate.” It supported proposals deleting 22(f) and (i).

Afternoon Session
Commenced: 3:20 PM
Adjourned: 5:57 PM

The morning discussion of Article 22 was completed and discussion of Article 23 began.


The Holy See supported streamlining this Article following New Zealand’s proposal. It suggested merging some paragraphs. Although it supports all the concepts in 22(j), these are addressed by Article 5 so this paragraph should be moved there.

Colombia agreed with Costa Rica about adding the concept of community social work, and about replacing “reasonable” with another word. In 22(c), after “promote,” it proposed adding “strategies for employability.” The ideas of equality of opportunity in the private sector, and priority for PWD, should be retained.

Lebanon stated that this Article uses the words “encourage” and “promote”; instead it should guarantee employment without discrimination. In the chapeau, before “take appropriate steps,” should be inserted the words “States Parties shall commit themselves to guarantee the enjoyment of this right and.” The words “private sector” should be added to 22(i) because they do not appear in the previous paragraphs. In 22(h), “unemployment allowances” should be inserted after “grievance.” 22(d) should be appended with “through the use of means and alternatives, to announce vacancies and interviews for employment so that persons with disabilities would not be excluded among possible candidates.” In 22(j), after “stereotypes and prejudices,” should be added “exploitation, in particular prejudice regarding their capacity,” and the words “about persons with disabilities” should be deleted. In 22(c), the words “and starting one's own business” should be replaced by “and facilitation of the use of new technologies.”

Canada supported the New Zealand proposal to shorten this article. In the chapeau, the word “all” should be inserted before both instances of "persons with disabilities." In 22(a), "market" and "environment" should be made plural. It proposed deleting 22(b) and moving 22(e) up in its place. The new 22(b) should include the concepts of the deleted 22(b) with the addition of “workplaces and work environments” at the end of the paragraph. It proposed changing the current 22(c) to read “promote employment and career opportunities for all PWD in the open labour markets," then deleting the next clause. Those deleted concepts would be added to a new paragraph, 22(d), reading “provide assistance to persons with disabilities in finding, obtaining, maintaining, and returning to employment including through vocational and professional programs." In the current 22(d), the words “including through positive measures” should replace “such as through affirmative action programmes, incentives and quotas.” The current 22(f) should be deleted as redundant and 22(g) should be moved to another article. The current 22(h) should be revised to read: “Protect PWD from discrimination with respect to all terms and conditions of their employment." Labor and union rights should be moved to a new paragraph, 22(g), as follows: “Ensure PWD are able to exercise their labor and trade union rights.” The current 22(i) would would then become 22(f) and would retain the same language. It supported Jordan and EU in deleting 22(j) because its concepts are already addressed in Article 5.

Ukraine proposed adding to the chapeau, after "includes," the words “employment as well as.” In 22(d), it suggested inserting at the beginning the sentence the words “stimulate employers to create posts for persons with disabilities by creating necessary facilities for persons with disabilities in their jobs and in the production sphere." In 22(e), it suggested inserting at the beginning the words “encourage employers to create new accommodated working places ensuring the necessary."

Viet Nam noted that PWD find it difficult to be recruited for jobs, and proposed the following new language for 22(d): “Promote employers to hire PWD through preferential policies and programmes so that vocational training, job placement, tax exemption and credit access.” After “equal opportunity” in 22(h), it suggested adding “especially women with disabilities.” In order to include both public and private sectors in 22(i), it proposed using the phrase “in all sectors.”

Peru stated that this Article should address all rights to a job for PWD. It proposed deleting 22(b) because this is already dealt with in the education article; and deleting 22(e) because equal opportunity is addressed in Article 7; and deleting 22(j) because it is a mixture of issues and negative attitudes are not only in the workplace.

Serbia and Montenegro supported the EU principles but stressed the need to discuss alternate forms of employment for people who cannot find work in the open labor market, as advocated by the ILO. Alternate work must be meaningful work, and must not have less favorable conditions. It suggested addressing these issues in a new paragraph, 22(c)(bis). Unlike the EU, it favored retaining affirmative action in 22(d). It supported Korea and others who suggested that States should set a leading example in hiring PWD. It also supported deleting 22(i) because PWD should be hired in all sectors, not just the public sector.

Thailand stated that both the public and the private sector discriminate in the employment of PWD so it supported retaining 22(i) and adding private sector, or moving the concept to the chapeau. If private sector is not added, it will diminish the Article's effect.

Kenya proposed a new paragraph: “States Parties shall promote employment of persons with disabilities in the informal sector through the creation of an enabling environment and the provision of incentives and necessary support services." This would support the participation of PWD in the informal sector, where the bulk of employment occurs in developing countries. It supported retaining 22(d) because affirmative action is useful in developing countries.

India proposed replacing “skills” with “competencies” in 22(j) in accordance with the social model of disability and its perspective that work promotes human dignity.

The Chair opened the floor for comments from NGOs.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) supported Article 22 and the inclusion of “women and men” in the chapeau. Given the high unemployment of PWD, it welcomes measures to create open and accessible work environments. Many currently unemployed PWD are capable of working given the right opportunities and the appropriate support. In rural areas they are most likely to enter into informal as opposed to formal employment. This fact is not reflected in the Article, nor is the reality that many PWD are outside the open labour market, working in protected workshops.
For these reasons, the following amendments were proposed in a circulated re-draft of this Article: In 22(b), the words “and career” should be inserted after “vocational;” and the words “employment counseling and” should be inserted following the word “programmes.” Also, the deletion of “assistive devices and vocational and continuing training” was proposed, since this is covered elsewhere. Following this deletion, ILO proposed the addition of “supplemented by information in accessible formats on rights and obligations under labour-related law and other forms of labour regulation.” In 22(c), proposed “maintaining” should be replaced with “retaining.” After “employment" should be inserted “providing, where necessary, on a transitional basis, for adequately resourced, alternative forms of employment, in conditions that ensure useful and remunerative work, and provides opportunities for vocational advancement.” In 22(d), after "disabilities," should be added “and to retain those who acquire a disability while in employment”; the phrases “such as” and “incentives and quotas” should both be deleted; and the paragraph should end with the added words “and making available technical supports, assistive devices, wage subsidies, and other incentives.” In 22(e), in order to add more detail regarding reasonable accommodation, the word “environment” should be followed by the words “by requiring employers to take steps to improve the accessibility of the work premises and to make adaptations to the recruitment and hiring process, to workstations, tools and equipment, job descriptions, including duties and tasks, and work schedules.” In 22(g), ILO suggested deleting “Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and return to work programmes,” and adding “job retention and return to work” to 22(h) following “career advancement." It suggested adding “ensuring that they are covered by the provisions of national labour law” following “grievances," and deleting “to ensure persons with disabilities.” The Article should be simplified and shorter.

National Human Rights Institutions, and the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, noted that this articles is currently too inflexible and prescriptive for an international Convention. It uses terminology and concepts that could become fixed in time. It supports the NZ text’s simplified chapeau with one change, the substitution of “protect” for “safeguard” in the second sentence. It also suggested rewording 22(c) of the NZ draft, and 22(d) in the WG draft, to read “ensure that employers hire PWD”; and deleting the rest of that paragraph.

European Disability Forum (EDF) highlighted the links with Article 7 and noted that the right to work must be enforced through the combination of a comprehensive, strong statement against non-discrimination and positive action measures. The goal is to ensure equal employment levels for PWD in private and public, open and alternative settings. As the Israel statement notes, this is far from reality. Employment non-discrimination obligations should include recruitment, career advancement, life-long learning, dismissal, and people who become disabled while on the job, especially by workplace safety hazards. The refusal to reasonably accommodate constitutes discrimination. General, publicly-funded positive action measures, such as placement services, are not usually open for disabled people; this should change. Alternative means of employment are a fact, and are helpful in accommodating some PWD who have reduced productivity, thus enabling them to become a part of the labour market. However, as Serbia and Montegro stated, these PWD need to be guaranteed the same labour rights as workers in the open labour market.

Arab Organisation of Disabled People (AODP), based on the recommendation of the Cairo Expert Meeting organized by the Arab League and AODP, restated the Palestinian delegation's position on Article 22.

Disabled Peoples' International supported this Article but noted the lack of specific provisions addressing issues such as forced labor and economic exploitation, as pointed out by Uganda. DPI urged the Committee to reference Article 8 of the ICCPR, and to consider including a provision either in Article 22 or in a separate article to address this. Pointing to footnote 93, on reasonable accommodations, DPI stated that if such a provision is included, it should link to 22(f) on hiring PWD, as a lack of understanding about the duty to accommodate may lead employers to refuse to hire qualified PWD.

Inclusion International and the Canadian Association for Community Living empahsised that workplace accommodations remain inadequate and do not address the support needs of people with intellectual disabilities. An inclusive labor market must examine the sources and causes of labor market exclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities, the majority of whom live in poverty. People with intellectual disabilities need supports to obtain and maintain employment, and many of these supports are tied to income. Critical supports are often lost as income increases, making it difficult to maintain employment. Supports should be personalized, flexible, and at times, ongoing. II and CACL strongly opposed sheltered workshops, as they keep people excluded and foster notions that people with intellectual disabilities cannot be meaningfully employed. They called on all States Parties to end this practice and act as model employers.

(Australian) National Association of Community Legal Centres, along with People with Disability Australia Incorporated and Australian Federation of Disability Organizations, strongly supported the intervention of ILO and Uganda's insertion of the words “of lawful working age” in the chapeau, and its explicit recognition of the circumstances of women with disabilities. It also supported Jordan's proposal in 22(b), (c), and (d), to replace “Enable,” “Promote,” and “Encourage” with “Ensure that.” They also supported the ILO's amendment to 22(c) on alternative forms of employment, to ensure that such forms would not be permanent and would facilitate entry into the open labor market. Alternative forms of employment must be provided within inclusive mainstream settings, and should be transitional, avoiding permanence and total segregation. In 22(h), the words “at all levels” should be inserted after “public sector.” A new subparagraph should be added to address the situation of geographically isolated people, with language similar to that found in the Bangkok draft.

World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry reaffirmed this article, especially 22(a), requiring that environments are open, inclusive, and accessible, because oftentimes public service employment application forms ask about past history of mental illness as a way to screen out potential employees. WNUSP recommends retaining 22(h) as it stands, as it provides explicit protection in all aspects of employment. It opposed the idea of sheltered workshops for people with psychosocial disabilities because it leads to segregation in the work environment. Reasonable accommodations are preferable. The equal pay for equal work provision in 22(h) protects against economic exploitation that can occur in sheltered workshops.


Philippines stated that 23.1 should expressly include progressive realization. In 23.1(b), it suggested replacing “aged” with “older persons.” In 23.1(c), it supported deleting “severe and multiple” and in 23.1(d), adding “and private” after “governmental.” In 23.2, it suggested adding “but not limited to” after “including” and adding education to the list of rights. It proposed a new 23.2(a)(bis): “Promote the allocation of a certain percentage of the government budget to ensure an adequate standard of living for persons with disabilities.”

Yemen stated that the right to social security in linked to health and education. It proposed to add in 23.1, “and commit themselves” after “recognize” to strengthen this Article. In 23.1(a), after “devices,” it proposed adding “free of charge.” It supported the Philippines' suggested deletion in 23.1(c) of “severe” because it means nothing; it supported the retention of “multiple.”

Japan proposed adding the phrase “Create conditions which would assure to all PWD” at the beginning of 23.1(a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) because it is similar to wording found in the ICESCR. In 23.1(c), it supported deleting “severe and multiple” because all PWD face discrimination and people with less severe disabilities are often left out of programmes from which they could benefit. It proposed deleting “their families” from 23.1(c) because it is too broad a term and this Convention should focus on PWD. It proposed in 23.1(d), deleting everything after “programmes” because percentages can cause conflicts between PWD and non-disabled people. In 23.1(f), it proposed beginning the paragraph: “Encourage to ensure” because sometimes insurance companies must make reasonable differentiation, not discrimination. It suggested in 23.2, after “clean water,” adding “on an equal basis with others” because clean water is not guaranteed in the ICESCR so this would be the first time this language appears in any Convention.

Jordan proposed change the title to “The right to an adequate standard of living and social security.” Paragraphs 23.2 and 23.1 should be reversed in order because an adequate standard of living must be secured even before social security. In 23.1, it proposed replacing “social insurance” with “social support.” It questioned 23.1(c) and (e) because disability itself should not be a condition for assistance and therefore proposed adding “The assistance should be reviewed periodically.” In 23.1(e), it proposed inserting “equal” after “ensure.”

Jamaica stated its preference for focusing on general principles instead of being prescriptive. In 23.1, it proposed adding “social protection, including” before “social insurance and social assistance.” It could also include social security in the list; however, social security is usually based on contributions and social assistance is not.

South Africa stated that this Article is a means to address the appalling living conditions of PWD. It supported retaining the title. In reference to footnotes 97 and 98, the Article must include an adequate standard of living. South Africa proposed adding “social assistance,” which is broader than the term social security. In 23.1, it proposed adding “progressive” before “realization” to ensure implementation. It supported retention in 23.2 of clean water and proposed to expand 23.2 to include more services: “States parties recognize the right of all PWD to adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, housing, and access to clean water, as a basic service, and to continuous improvements of living conditions and will undertake appropriate steps to safegaurd and promote the progressive realization of this rights.”

Brazil supported retention of “poverty reduction” in 23.1(b) and (c). It proposed in 23.1(c), to delete “severe and multiple” because state assistance should apply to all PWD.

Namibia noted that both public and private entities have obligations under this Article to ensure equitable treatment of PWD and proposed new paragraphs to this effect, available at: . Namibia supported the retention of 23.1(e). Because most services are provided by private entities, Namibia proposed changing the beginning of 23.1(f), as follows: “Promulgate legislation to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access life and health insurance without discrimination on the basis of disability in public and private institutions."

Thailand proposed replacing “severe and multiple disabilities and their families” in 23.1(c) with “irrespective of type, gravity and complexity of their disability.” It supported 23(f) because some multinational insurance companies discriminate in some countries and not in others; the total denial of health insurance coverage to PWD is a large issue in some countries.

Cameroon supported South Africa's insertion of "progressive" before "realization" in the chapeau. The list in 23.1(c) is not comprehensive, and should therefore be deleted. The end of 23.1(e) should be appended with “and to other benefits to which they are entitled in respect of the degree of their disability.” In 23.1(f), after “health insurance,” the words “or other community forms of support” should be added. The specific forms of support could vary greatly among States and communities, and these are impossible to list.

China proposed the deletion of: “and to the enjoyment of that right without discrimination on the basis of disability,” in the chapeau, to be replaced with: “on an equal basis with others” because PWD should have rights equal to others. Also in the chapeau, after “shall take appropriate, “ it proposes adding “and progressive”; replacing “shall” with “undertake to”; replacing “safeguard and promote” with “to realize”; and deleting “the realization of.” In 23.1(a), (b), and (c), “ensure” should be replaced by “promote.” In 23.1(c), the words “women and girls with disabilities and the aged with disabilities” should be deleted because this Article targets all PWD. The Article is too prescriptive, and State Parties need flexibility to implement the Article; therefore 23.1(c), (d), (e), and (f) should be combined to read: “Promote access by persons with disabilities, living in situations of poverty, through assistance from the State, in areas such as housing programmes, taxation, life and health insurance and respite care.” China agreed that “severe and multiple and their families” should be deleted. In 23.2, it proposed deleting “and access to clean water”; replacing “undertake” with “take”; replacing “safeguard and promote” with “ensure”; and adding at the end: “, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international cooperation based on free consent.” This last sentence adds language from the ICESCR.

Chile proposed replacing “standard of life” with “quality of life” in the title as well as in 23.2 because quality of life is individualized. In 23.1(d), it suggested adding “giving priority to PWD to appropriate housing,” as this strategy has worked in many countries. In 23.1(f), costs for PWD should be same as other individuals. After "clean water," in 23.2, it suggested adding basic services; as stated in Article 4, States must commit adequate resources to make this a reality. It agreed with Philippines.

Kenya proposed change in the title to "Social Support and Adequate Standard of Living." In 23.1(c), the phrase “severe and multiple disabilities and” and the phrase “living in situations of poverty” should both be deleted; and after “families” the words “to the extent of these persons’ disabilities” should be inserted. In 23.1(e), after “respect of,” should be added the words “equipment and assistive devices for persons with disabilities.”

Morocco proposed adding to 23.1(c), after "families," the words “or of those who are taking care of them."

Israel proposed in the chapeau of 23.1, adding “the kind of disability,” after “on the basis of disability.” In 23.1(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e), it proposed replacing “access” with “entitlement.” In 23.1(b), it recommended inserting “and members of minority groups with disabilities,” after “aged with disabilities.” In 23.1(c), it suggested deleting “severe and multiple,” and appending “the severity of disability and the fact that the person has more than one disability are legitimate factors in determining the level of entitlement.” The AHC should consider the impact of 23.1(f), on Articles 21 and 7.

Costa Rica opposed Chile's proposal to reference “quality of life,” noting that Article 21 of the UDHR uses the phrase "adequate standard of living." It agreed with Jordan’s new title. It proposed adding to the first sentence of the chapeau, “an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families and,” thus eliminating the need for 23.2 which is too detailed. In order to be consistent with this addition, “that” should be replaced with “these” and “right” with “rights.” It pointed out translation issues in the chapeau. In 23.1(a), it proposed after “necessary” to add “support” and after “services,” to add “technical aids,.” In 23.1(c), because all PWD should have access to services, it proposed adding “in particular” and retaining “by persons with severe and multiple disabilities.” It asserted that 23.1(d) is paternalistic and segregationist – rather than create special housing for PWD, the paragraph should make general housing more accessible to PWD, and should instead specify that they “are developed in accordance with universal design.” 23(e) is micro-managing States services and should be deleted.

Ireland and the EU agreed with much of Costa Rica’s proposal, and noted that some amendments do not conform with international law and precedent. It supported reversing the order of 23.1 and 23.2. It also supported deleting “access to clean water” since the ICESCR does not address clean water. It proposed adding at the end of 23.2, “without discrimination on the basis of disability.” It does not support China’s addition of international cooperation, since non-discrimination should not depend upon international cooperation. It noted the ICESCR, Article 9, on social security, is very brief – justifiably so in order to take into account differences among States. It proposed the retention of 23.1(a); deletion of (b) and (c) because they create different classes and the amendments by States come close to reflecting a medical model of disability; deletion of (d) because of its paternalism and promotion of segregation in percentages; and deletion of (e) because it is too specific. Because health and life insurance are vital, the EU proposed new language for 23.1(f): “Take appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to have access to life and health insurance based on objective criteria."

Uganda proposed replacing “insurance” with “assistance” in 23.1 because it is broader and includes more services. In 23.1(c), it suggested adding “and all care givers” after “families,” and deleting “living in situations of poverty,” so that all PWD are covered. It proposed adding “and encourage private developers to cater for persons with disabilities” to 23.1(d), since much housing is created by the private sector.

Argentina recommended separating social security and adequate standard of living into two articles. In 23.1(c), it proposed deleting “severe,” which is hard to define, but keeping the term “multiple.” The term “families” may be too narrow. It supported footnote 106 in 23.1(f); most insurance is provided by the private sector. It supported the inclusion of clean water in 23.2 because clean water is vital to an adequate standard of living.

Mexico stated that social security and adequate standard of living must be developed separately. In 23.1(a), it proposed adding “and other assistance including functional technical aids.” It supported deletion of “severe and multiple” in 23.1(c),the addition, after “counselling,” of “social assistance including.” It supported retaining earmarking percentages in 23.1(d) for housing. In 23.1(f), “ensure” should be changed to “encourage.” 23.2 should be a separate article which should also include “access to basic services”; “including” should be replaced by another word.

Canada asserted the need for a more principled and less prescriptive Article and supported proposals by the EU and Jamaica. 23.2 should be moved to the beginning of the Article. The provision for “access to clean water” should be deleted in order to make the paragraph cohere with Article 11 of the ICESCR. 23.1(a), (b), and (c) overlap and are too detailed. 23.1(a) should be deleted because it is covered in the accessibility article, and 23.1(b) should be deleted because it is covered by the chapeau and Article 4. In 23.1(c) Canada agreed with the proposal to delete “severe and multiple,” and it proposed deleting everything after “expenses.” It supported deleting earmarking percentages and replace “government housing” with “publicly funded housing.” It also supports deleting 23.1(e) as too prescriptive and 23.1(f) which should be covered in general non-discrimination.

Palestine agreed with Jordan regarding the title. 23.1 needs to be stronger by not only recognizing, but guaranteeing the right. It also supported deleting “severe and multiple” because all PWD need social security and services.

Cuba proposed, in 23.1(b), replacing “poverty reduction” with “poverty eradication” because that is the goal, although it is step by step. There are major translation issues in this article. It agreed with deleting “severe and multiple” because the Article should include all PWD.

Viet Nam proposed inserting in 23.2, after “standard of,” “food, clothing, and housing”; and deleting “living” and everything after “families” to after “clean water.”

Liechtenstein, like Argentina and Mexico, recommended separation into two articles. It is concerned that the right to social security seems to have more weight than the right to an adequate standard of living. Many amendments do not conform to the ICESCR, which is problematic. It supported the EU’s proposals for 23.2. Liechtenstein suggested that because 23.1(a) discusses disability aids and is very broad, going further than social security, it may be better to move it the chapeau. It proposed placing the first half and 23.1(d) under (a), but deleting the second half regarding percentages. It proposed a separate paragraph for the right to clean water because it is necessary to an adequate standard of living. It recommended moving 23.1(c), about financial assistance and devices, to the chapeau of 23.1. Different States deal with tax exemptions and tax benefits in different ways; therefore 23.1(e) might be too specific and too prescriptive. Liechtenstein supported retaining 23.1(f) in some form.

New Zealand supported reversing 23.1 and 23.2, and changing the title to "Adequate Standard of Living and Social Security." It supported deletion of 23.1(b) and (c) per the suggestion of the EU. Access to poverty reduction is better addressed under 23.2. It supported adding to 23.2(a): “Ensure equitable access by PWD to government regional development programmes and poverty elimination strategies, including international aid programmes.” It proposed replacing 23.1(c) and (e) with: “Provide assistance to PWD and their families to meet the extra costs they each incur because of disability.” In 23.1(d), it proposed inserting “equitable” between “ensure” and “access” and deleting everything after “programmes.”

Australia proposed several amendments, available at

Bahrain supported amendments from Yemen and other delegations to 23.1(c). It proposed deleting the reference to people with “severe and multiple” disabilities. In accordance with the principles of social protection for the vulnerable in society it inserted language recognising the right of PWD and their families “who live in poor conditions” to assistance from the State.

The Ad Hoc Committee Daily Summaries are published by the Landmine Survivors Network, a US based international organization with amputee support networks in 6 mine affected / developing countries. The proceedings of the UN Ad Hoc Committee elaborating a Convention on the human rights of people with disabilities are covered by them as a service to those wishing to better understanding and follow the process toward a convention.

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