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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 19 - Living independently and being included in the community

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Sixth Session



Report of the Chairman

Draft article 15

11. There was general support that there should be an article in the convention on this issue, and that the Working Group text was a good basis for discussion. There was general support to the essence of draft article 15 that persons with disabilities should be free to choose their living arrangements on an equal basis with others. It was also noted that the key to this draft article was the right of every person with disabilities to live in the community.


12. There was support to re-draft the chapeau as follows:

States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to [enable/facilitate] full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their freedom of choice, independent living and full [inclusion/participation] in the community, including by ensuring that:

13. The Committee noted that the use of the word “facilitate” might not be linguistically correct, and that this would need to be looked at again when draft article 15 was next discussed.

14. There was some support for a proposal to re-draft the chapeau so that it drew on Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and incorporated the right of persons with disabilities to liberty of movement and freedom to choose their residence. Others however argued that this proposal did not take into account the limits on this right that were contained in the Covenant.

Subparagraphs (a) and (b)

15. There was support to merge subparagraphs (a) and (b), with slight amendment, so that they read:

(a) Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in [an institution or] a particular living arrangement.

16. Some delegations objected to the inclusion of any reference to “institutions”, and proposed the deletion of the substance of subparagraph (b) on the basis that it was covered under either draft article 10 or in the substance of subparagraph (a). Other delegations proposed to append paragraph (b) with clauses such as “except where necessary” or “subject to the provisions of article 10”. It was noted, however, that such language went beyond the situations set out in draft article 10, and would undermine the approach taken in that draft article.

17 . There was general agreement that there was an element of duplication with draft article 10, and that when that article was next discussed it should be ensured that the elements of draft article 15, subparagraph (b), were adequately covered to avoid the duplication.

Subparagraphs (c), (d) and (e)

18. There was a proposal to insert a new subparagraph (c) bis, which would address the manner in which support services were to be provided. The Committee noted that this proposal replicated elements that appeared in the preamble and under draft article 4, although there might also be a place for inclusion in the context of this draft article.

19. There was general agreement that the phrase “and facilities” should be inserted in subparagraphs (d) and (e) after the word “services”.

20. It was noted that draft article 15(e), with the additional language of “and facilities in a format that is accessible to and in plain language” could be considered in future discussion on draft article 19.

21. The Committee noted that subparagraphs (c), (d) and (e) related to economic, social and cultural rights, and as such were progressively realisable. While it had been previously agreed that draft article 4 should include the concept of progressive realisation, it was noted that this did not necessarily preclude the use of progressive realisation language in draft article 15 or in other articles containing hybrid or ambiguous provisions. The issue of how to address economic, social and cultural rights in the draft convention was an issue still to be properly discussed.

22. A view was expressed that in draft article 15, subparagraphs (a) – (e) were not helpful in that by “listing” measures that States Parties must take, it could be perceived as excluding other, unlisted, measures. The Committee noted that the subparagraphs were illustrative only, and not an exclusive list.





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