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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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Third Session


Compilation of proposed revisions and amendments made by the members of the Ad Hoc Committee to the draft text presented by the Working Group as a basis for negotiations by Member States and Observers in the Ad Hoc Committee

(updated after the completion of the first reading at the Fourth Session, 26 August 2004)


Article 15

Living [independently1 — New Zealand] and being [included — South Africa] (integrated — South Africa) in the community

(Independent community living — Jordan)

(Inclusion in the community and independent living — Mexico)

(Right to a life of independence in the community — India)

(Independent living and social reintegration — Yemen)

[States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities [to decide [to live (in — New Zealand) [independently — New Zealand] and (to — New Zealand) be fully included (States Parties shall — New Zealand) [in — New Zealand] (as members of — New Zealand) the community, [[including by — New Zealand] [ensuring — New Zealand] (ensure — New Zealand) that — Argentina] (with a view to — Argentina) (persons with disabilities — Jordan): — India] — Mexico — EU] (an independent lifestyle and to be able to enable persons with disabilities to decide for an independent lifestyle and to be able to choose their place and structure of residence, without barring the possibility of being fully integrated in the community and in their families, including by ensuring that: — Mexico)

(States Parties shall take appropriate measures to facilitate persons with disabilities to live independently and be fully included in the community, including measures aimed at ensuring that: — EU)

(a) [Persons with disabilities — Jordan] have the equal opportunity to [choose their place of residence and living arrangements — India, New Zealand] (exercise their choice of living independently or with their family respecting social and cultural practices of family norms and be included in the community — India) (determine how, where, and with whom they live — New Zealand);

(b) [[Persons with disabilities — Jordan] are not obliged to live in an institution or in a particular living arrangement (save as provided in article 10 — EU) (unless where it is found appropriate — South Africa);2 — Argentina, Sierra Leone, Canada, South Africa, Russian Federation]

((b bis) Children with disabilities live with their own family or, where that is not possible, (favour that children with disabilities — Lebanon) live in another family situation (whenever possible — Lebanon) — New Zealand)

(c) [[[That — New Zealand] persons with disabilities — Jordan] have access to a range of [in-home — Kuwait], [residential — New Zealand] (options — Kuwait) and other community (based — Canada) support services, including personal assistance, necessary to support [living and inclusion — New Zealand] (them to live where they choose, to participate — New Zealand) in the community, [and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community — Kuwait];3 — EU]

(d) Community services (and facilities — New Zealand) [for the general population — India] are available [on an equal basis — EU] (without discrimination — EU) to persons with disabilities and (have access to community services that — Jordan) are responsive to their needs; (Persons with disabilities are allowed to become members and active participants in community organizations and instrumentalities of their choice. There shall be policies and facilities to assist persons with disabilities to qualify for membership and to be able to participate — Philippines) (Persons with disabilities have right to participate to and benefit from all available community services on an equal basis with the general population — Viet Nam)

((d bis) Community support services are provided in a manner that recognizes the autonomy, the individuality and dignity of persons with disabilities)

(e) [[Persons with disabilities — Jordan] (their families and caretakers — Botswana) have access to information about [available — New Zealand] (community services including — New Zealand) (community — Botswana) support services.

((f) Support to the families who are taking care of persons with disabilities and also provide material and moral support and provide them with the necessary assistance to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society — Morocco)

((f) Persons with disabilities who require assistance communicating have access to necessary and appropriate support to enable them to express their decisions, choices and wishes — Canada)

(2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to promote the provision of life assistance in order to enable persons with disabilities to live independently — EU)

(2. States Parties shall take appropriate steps to make accessible for persons with disabilities:

(a) A range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;

(b) Community services for the general population, on an equal footing with others in a manner responsive to their needs. — Japan)

(Proposed article 15 bis: Women with Disabilities

1. State Parties undertake to ensure the enjoyment of full and equal rights and freedoms by women with disabilities and their equal participation in political, economic, social and cultural activities without any discrimination on the basis of their gender and/or disabilities.

2. State Parties shall take the following steps from a gender perspective so as to ensure that women with disabilities are able to live with dignity in freedom, safety, and autonomy.

(a) Include a separate reference to the protection of the rights of women with disabilities in laws pertaining to women and persons with disabilities;

(b) Incorporate women with disabilities in social surveys and statistics collection efforts and collect gender-disaggregated data on persons with disabilities;

(c) Protect the motherhood of women with disabilities by developing and disseminating policies and programs for assistance based on the recognition of the special needs of women with disabilities in pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum health care and child care;

(d) Ensure that women with disabilities are not deprived of their right to work due to their pregnancy or childbirth, and provide the necessary assistances in this regard;

(e) Ensure that women with disabilities are protected from sexual exploitation, abuse and violence at home, institutional facilities and communities. — Republic of Korea)





1. Some members of the Working Group expressed the concern that the words “living independently” in the title and the chapeau of this draft article did not reflect the cultural norm in many countries, and that the words might suggest that persons with disabilities should be separated from their families. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider an alternative formulation.

2. Some members of the Working Group, while accepting the principle, thought that States parties would find it impossible to guarantee this obligation without exception. Other members considered that the subparagraph was redundant, as the issue was covered in paragraph 1 (a).

3. Some members of the Working Group considered that it would be difficult for States parties to ensure the availability of the services described in paragraphs 1 (c) and (d), and in particular the undertaking in paragraph 1 (c) to provide personal assistance.


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