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

Daily summary of discussions related to

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

Kenya supported the inclusion in Article 6 of data collection, and emphasized its role in helping governments make decisions about the allocation of resources.

Uganda supported the inclusion of Article 6, which is appropriate and useful in providing for the rights of PWD. They proposed changing the title to “Collection and protection of statistics and data” to allay fears about the misuse of data.

Colombia stressed the importance of this Article to the international community. It also echoed concerns about the privacy of data and would like the title changed to a reformulation of “Collection and Protection.”

South Africa supported this Article, especially the provision on respect for the right to privacy.

Japan in general supported the Article, but expressed concerns about dictating the statistical categories into much detail, as in 6(d) and 6(e), because each government has different concerns about information. Decisions about data should be left to individual countries.

Lebanon added that statistics should include at least age and sex, and suggested deleting type of disability and adding “and other relevant areas” at the end of 6(e) so as not to limit data collection to sectors that have been mentioned. After 6(d), in accordance with the move from a medical to a social model, Lebanon suggested “States should move away from statistical investigations that merely enumerate impairments that may become a statistical means of patronizing PWD.” Lebanon also proposed adding a paragraph reading, “States Parties should include disability figures among the indicators to assess the development of the country reflecting the close link between poverty and disability when relevant,” but it acknowledged that the paragraph might be included elsewhere in the Convention as well.

Eritrea considered this an important tool in implementing Article 4, which calls on States to adopt legislative and administrative measures. On the issue of privacy, Eritrea suggested that 6(a) could conclude with “should be treated with sensitivity,” while deleting “on a voluntary basis.”

Yemen clarified that when it speaks on behalf of the Arab Group, it does not block the members’ right to speak for themselves. Yemen stated that the Arab Group cannot adopt measures without the availability of statistics, but that it is important to respect the secrecy and discretion of collection, referring to the protection of data in the title, while respecting the privacy issues that may vary among communities. Yemen stated that the details of disabilities should not be specified unless it is essential to have those details.

Ireland/EU questioned the need for this article, suggesting instead that the focus should be on the rights of persons with disabilities rather than on the policy making functions of States; however, the EU is now prepared to make a proposal about the gathering of information. States should not simply collect information for its own sake, and suggested that the paragraph start with “where necessary.” The EU asserted that this Article should enable States to form policies and that it is insufficient to have a vague reference to privacy; rather, clear and legally established safeguards are needed to respect the privacy of persons with disabilities. The EU also affirmed that any process adopted by States should comply with international norms to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and that such processes should be undertaken in collaboration with and following consultations with organizations of persons with disabilities. The EU opposed 6(d) and 6(e) for the reasons put forth by Japan.

Costa Rica agreed that this Article is important and should be retained. It proposed adding “and dissemination” after “codification” in the chapeau and changing all instances of the verb “should” to the variant “shall,” as it is imperative to observe the privacy and dignity of persons with disabilities. Because it is necessary to collect data on place of domicile to judge the appropriateness of measures by governments, the phrase “and if it is located in rural or urban areas” should be appended to 6(d).

Mexico considered it important to include this Article so that all States can provide for all the rights of persons with disabilities. Data collection should be voluntary and confidential, and should include socioeconomic and biomedical information. States should be responsible for data and statistical collection. Mexico also stressed the need to establish mechanisms and norms to safeguard information.

Bahrain proposed that 6(d) include educational level and social status. It also suggested that 6(f) be redrafted so that families would be provided information, taking into account confidentiality in data collection.

Sierra Leone supported the inclusion of this Article with an amendment of the title to read “Collection and protection of statistics and data.” Like all tools, information can be misused, but items 6(b), 6(d), and 6(f) contain certain principles to act as safeguards so that the tool could not be misused. Sierra Leone supported prohibiting unauthorized access, and ensuring voluntarism, confidentiality, and anonymity. It also supported Costa Rica’s amendments as a whole, but would not insist that 6(d) reference age, sex, or type of disability, because adding new data requirements might open a “Pandora’s Box.”

Algeria expressed its support for keeping the Article's present wording, except the listing of examples of other aspects of the lives of PWD. They commented that this looks like an exhaustive list, and that others could be added, e.g., health care, social security, rehabilitation programs, housing, employment, medical, training, etc. Algeria stated that it is preparing a proposal, which it will distribute.

India supported the EU proposal in its entirety.

Philippines proposed exchanging the words “should encourage” with “shall include in their data gathering program the collection of…” in the chapeau. It recommended an additional paragraph: “States Parties should provide a conducive environment that would encourage non-governmental organizations and the private sector to conduct research and studies on the issues of concern to persons with disabilities.”

Egypt, responding to Bahrain, stated that families will not receive, but instead will provide, information.

Colombia supported amendments by Mexico and Costa Rica and suggested adding the recent initiative taken by Philippines regarding the role of NGOs.

Thailand supported the EU proposals regarding the Article’s content but opposed the EU suggestion to consolidate it with Article 25.

Jordan agreed with the EU that more is needed than data and statistics, and thus proposed moving this to Article 25 on research, monitoring, and evaluation. Jordan stated that this Article would serve all other articles. States should include disability in their national censuses. Jordan asserted that 6(a) and 6(f) refer to norms and ethics of research, and that they can be combined into a general statement; and that 6(c) and 6(d) are redundant and could be deleted.

Canada supported the substance of the EU proposal.

The Chair concluded the delegates' discussion of Article 6 and moved on to NGOs.

International Rehabilitation Center supported moving the Article to the end of the text where there are concrete provisions. It underlined the importance of data gathering not only to develop policies but also to support following up on those policies. Data collected should be made accessible. The Convention should specifically address privacy concerns. Disabled peoples’ organizations should always be involved in the design, gathering, and follow-up of statistical activities. While several delegations believe this data should be broken down by sex and age categories, IRC believes that indigenous peoples should also be included. International cooperation should be encouraged on this issue so as to generate uniformity in states efforts.

Disabled Peoples' International stressed the importance of Article 6, as too often countries fail to implement programs beneficial to persons with disabilities because of a lack of supporting data. This is noted in Rule 13 of the Standard Rules, and by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in its reporting guidelines to States Parties. DPI stated that in particular 6(c) needs to stress working in partnerships. DPI suggested that 6(a), 6(b) and 6(f) be grouped together in order to avoid repetition. DPI also suggested that this Article be moved further down in the treaty to better reflect its character as an implementation measure.

Afternoon Session
Commenced: 3:20 PM
Adjourned: 5:59 PM

International Labor Organization welcomed the provision on statistics and data collection. It accepted the addition of the word “information” as long as it is clear that information will be used for planning and resource allocation and not solely for monitoring. The introduction should call on States Parties to ensure to the extent possible that national population censuses, and labor force and other household surveys should gather information on PWD. It should also include a provision for the dissemination of statistics. Like DPI, it suggested that 6(a), 6(b), and 6(f) be combined because they are interrelated. Confidentiality and anonymity is important not only in data collection, but in dissemination. The second phrase of section 6(a) should be deleted because census participation is mandatory in many States. Section 6(d) should require internationally comparable categories.

PWD Australia/NACLC/Australian Federation of Disability Organizations supported Article 6, but statistics and data collection are not human rights; they are operational and should therefore appear at the end of the Convention. Statistics are important for policy development, planning, and evaluation. The opening paragraph needs to reference planning and evaluation, making it clear that States are obligated to collect, analyze and codify statistics on disability. A requirement should be added for making disability statistics publicly available. Another new paragraph should promote the development, through international cooperation, of consistent statistic collection methodologies.

The UN Special Rapporteur for Disability emphasized the importance of statistics, without which decision-makers may choose simplistic approaches to the treatment of PWD. The term “promote” in the first paragraph is not strong enough to create awareness. Awareness should be strengthened through suitable policies.

World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry urged specific provisions to protect data collection in 7(a) and 7(b), rather than the EU’s language. Clause 7(c) needs to say the preferred method of design and data collection is in partnership with PWD because this not only creates better data, but also this helps create disability movement.

National Human Rights Institutions supported the EU language because it has more legal safeguards for privacy and confidentiality. It suggested an amendment to delete “where necessary” from the chapeau, because it allows too much discretion. It proposed an amendment to 6(c) reading: “to ensure that the collection of information is done in partnership with PWD, their respective organizations, and all other relevant stakeholders.” It also supported retaining this as a separate article.

Yemen clarified that there is no consensus in the Arab Group regarding the consolidation of Article 6 and Article 25.

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