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

Daily summary of discussions related to Article 5

UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Third session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 4, #2
May 25, 2004

Morning Session
Commenced: 10:20 AM
Adjourned: 12:50 PM

Trinidad and Tobago supported the inclusion of families in Article 4 and also wanted the committee to consider expanding the definition to include “caregivers,” particularly for “persons suffering from severe disabilities.”

Uganda supported the inclusion of this Article because a negative attitude by society is a major source of discrimination and marginalization of PWD. It proposed an amendment to 5.1(a), adding “their needs, potential and contribution to society” after “PWD.” Uganda also suggested the addition in 5.2(d): “and families” after "representative organizations. "

Yemen, representing the Arab Group, expressed misgivings that the committee could leave out some important aspects of the text of Article 5, and proposed an amendment to 5.1(c), replacing the words “commit ourselves” with the word “promote,” which the Arab Group considers to be a stronger word.

Japan accepted the Article as it is in its entirety, but welcomed positive improvements to the draft.

Kenya expressed concern at the negative attitudes toward PWD, especially in Africa, and suggested new language for Article 5.1(b): “States Parties undertake to adopt immediate and effective measures to combat practices, whether cultural, religious or other, which discriminate PWD.”

Ireland/EU proposed that Article 5 be amalgamated with Article 4. The chapeau of Article 5 would not be needed, as it would be covered in the previous chapeau in the combined Article. It proposed appending to 5.1(a), “and foster respect for the rights of PWD,” as it believes that it is important that raising awareness be done from the positive perspective. The EU also proposed moving 5.2(c), without changes, up under this heading because 2(a) and 2(b) already are covered by 1(a) and 1(b) if the EU proposal is accepted. The EU suggested that 2(d) is already covered by the current Paragraph 2 which deals with the participation and involvement of PWD in implementation, and to streamline the Convention 2(d) could be deleted. The EU also sought clarification from the Chair on the methodology of the compilation of the proposals that have been made in this first reading of the Articles.

Jordan emphasized the importance of the paragraph on attitudes, as attitudes influence behaviors. Jordan suggested reordering subparagraphs in the interest of logical progression of behaviors, listing knowledge first in 5.1(a) because proper knowledge is a building block for proper attitudes. Next should come raising awareness, and then combating stereotypes. 5.1(b) should be 5.1(c), and so on.

Canada supported Article 5 and offered changes of an editorial nature. In the title, Canada suggested changing the word “to” to “towards” and in 5.1(b) agreed with the EU on the additional text. In 5.1(c) Canada would delete the words “promote an image of” and substitute “portray.” In 5.2(a), “initiating and maintaining” should be replaced with “promoting," and the words “awareness” and "receptiveness" should be removed. After the word “nurture,” the words “awareness of and respect for” should be added. Finally, in 5.2(c) Canada recommended replacing “project an image of” with “portray,” adding “in a manner” after “disability,” and removing “with the purpose.”

Argentina affirmed that it was important to foster positive attitudes and that the scope and visibility of the text should be appropriate for this. Starting with the chapeau, Argentina expressed concern that “immediate measures” might imply that some measures are more important than others, so it suggested that “immediate” be included in brackets.

Australia suggested that “immediate and effective” is too detailed and would be difficult to evaluate without significant benchmarking, and suggested adding “by appropriate and active means.”

Philippines suggested appending to 5.1(a) “foster respect for the rights and dignity for PWD,” and adding to 5.1(c) “rights, freedoms, and responsibilities.” Philippines also suggested substituting “receptiveness” with “respect and protection.”

South Africa expressed concern that the title of Article 5 does not allow for promotion of rights which is the cornerstone of Convention, and proposed adding “creating and raising awareness” to the provisions. SA also proposed that 5.2(b) be moved to the section on education. SA suggested a minor amendment to 5.1(a), to insert after “disability” the words “raise awareness throughout society regarding disability as part of humanity as a human rights issue.” SA also suggested that in 5.1(c) the word ”image” is a labeling one and suggested instead to use language that talks about the promotion and understanding of PWD as people first and as contributing members of society. SA further suggested that in 5.2(a) “nurture receptiveness” should be replaced with “promote the rights of PWD,” as it would be more useful to have positive language in this provision. It also suggested rephrasing 5.2(b) to read, “develop and maintain programs on awareness” that would allow a focus on children who can be very cruel, especially in interactions with children with disabilities.

Costa Rica stated the importance of making society aware of the human rights of the disabled and suggested adding “and the human rights" to 5.1(a). They also suggested adding “policies designed to nurture” to 5.2(a) and suggested adding “in the population” after “promoting awareness” in 5.2(b).

Mexico stressed the importance of this Article, and stated that it should be separate from other articles. Mexico supported the title amendment by South Africa, as it would contribute to a culture of respect and inclusion. It also agreed with the EU proposal, but would like to add to the EU amendment for 5.1(a) “foster a culture of respect” to align it with the title and essence. Mexico advocated keeping the chapeau, which follows the example of other human rights instruments.

Trinidad and Tobago supported Kenya’s amendment to include a new subparagraph on different kinds of cultural practices. An alternative amendment to 5.1(b) could read, “combat negative stereotypes, negative cultural practices, and prejudices about PWD.” Some families hide their children with disabilities out of shame. In discussing 5.2(c), Trinidad and Tobago suggested an amendment that would encourage the mass media to use proper terminology when describing PWD, so that they would no longer refer to PWD as being “crippled,” “deaf and dumb,” or “blind.” It suggested appending to 5.2(c), “through, inter alia, the use of proper terminology.”

Swaziland supported Costa Rica’s proposals, but suggested deleting “disability” in 5.1(a) as it is repetitive.

New Zealand agreed with Canada that in 5.1(c) and 5.2(c) “image” should be replaced with “portray.” Also, 5.2(d) should be moved to Article 4.

Norway voiced support for the EU's proposed amendment to 5.1(a), and supported the deletion of 5.2(d) since it is covered elsewhere.

Morocco defended the language in 5.1(a), “disability and PWD,” and asserted that this was not redundant and suggested maintaining it in the text.

At this time the Chair gave the floor to NGOs

Save the Children Alliance supported the adjustments by Canada, South Africa, and Uganda and stressed the importance of this Article for children and young people. They emphasized the intrinsic value and contribution of all children and adults with disabilities, irrespective of their ability to socialize and their level of self-reliance. They stressed the importance of ensuring the inclusion of severe and multiply disabled persons. They proposed changes to 5.1(c), substituting “children and adults” for “persons,” and “valuable” for “capable,” and “in their own respect” inserted after “society.” They also suggested a new subparagraph, 5.1(d), “combat patronizing, bullying and neglect on the basis of perceived incapacity of disabled children and adults in public services and society overall." Save the Children wished to ensure that governments work with children with disabilities, as well as adults, and suggested adding “including children” to the text of 5.2(d), to be inserted after “PWD.”

European Disability Forum suggested that the title of Article 5 be changed to make reference to “awareness raising.” It also proposed a paragraph on families, while recognizing that families can play both positive and negative roles in the lives of PWD.

World Blind Union suggested that below 5.1(b) there should be an additional paragraph concerning cultural diversity within the disabled community, using language such as “promote cultural diversity of PWD.”

Thailand stated that it would have liked to bring attention in this instrument to people with “severe and multiple disabilities,” but having heard from colleagues that specific disabilities should not be singled out, Thailand now supports the inclusion of the phrase “irrespective of types, severities, and complexities of disabilities” in 5.1(c).

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