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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

 

Article 23 - Social security and an adequate standard of living

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Seventh Session

 

Comments, proposals and amendments submitted electronically


 

Governments

Canada

Colombia

El Salvador

European Union

Israel

Kenya

Mexico

New Zealand

South Africa

United States of America

National Human Rights Institutions

National Human Rights Institutions

Non-governmental organizations

International Disability Caucus

National Association of Community Legal Centres

People with Disability Australia

 




Comments, proposals and amendments submitted electronically

Governments


CANADA

Canada makes the following proposal in relation to Art.23:
1(a) ...that persons with disabilities (DEL are not denied) HAVE the equal opportunity to experience their sexuality...
2 (DEL SPs to this Convention shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship,....exist in national legislation) PARENTS AND GUARDIANS WITH DISABILITIES SHOULD NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY IN LEGAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND OTHER PROCESSES ASSOCIATED WITH PARENTHOOD
3 In THIS DETERMINATION (DEL no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of) THE EXISTENCE OF a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED JUSTIFICATION FOR THE SEPARATION A CHILD FROM HIS OR HER PARENTS.
Canada
Canada makes the following proposals for amendment to the facilitator's text on children:

Article 23(2)ter "Where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, States Parties shall make every effort to [DEL provide] FACILITATE alternative care within the wider family..."


 

COLOMBIA

Article 23

1. To include the words "sexuality, parenthood" after the word "family" (this is a broaden chapeau, it covers all the topics included in this article and give us less confusion on the terms contained in subparagraph a.

The chapeau will read:

"1. States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, sexuality, parenthood and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:

a. Delete

b. Use the term Persons with disabilities instead of " Men and women"

c. Respect the right of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children as well as the opportunity to retain fertility on an equal basis with others.

 

 

EL SALVADOR

PROPOSAL ON ARTICLE 23

a) The rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to enjoy a full and satisfactory life, including intimate and sexual relationships;

b) The rights of persons with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized, in accordance with national laws;

c) The rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children;

El Salvador supports the Chairman’s text on paragraph 2 and 3 as it is.

 

 

EUROPEAN UNION

Article 23

1.       States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:

(a)      that persons with disabilities are not denied the equal opportunity to [experience their sexuality,] have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood [in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application];

EU Proposal (a):
EU supports the inclusion of “experience their sexuality” and proposes the deletion of “in accordance with national, laws, customs and traditions of general application”.

(b)      that the right of all [men and women] [persons] with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized [and that spouses should be equal partners];

EU Proposal (b):
EU can accept “persons” rather than “men and women” in the first line and supports the inclusion of “and that spouses should be equal partners”.

(c)      the rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children [and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to retain their fertility to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application].

EU Proposal (c):
Accept the text in the square brackets up to “fertility”, deleting “to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application”.

2. States Parties to this Convention shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount.  States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to disabled persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

1. States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, that such separation is necessary in the best interests of the child.  In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.

EU Position on “Women” and “Children” in response to the joint facilitator’s proposal, 31 January 2006

“Women”
b) That the right of all men and women with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized, and that spouses should be equal partners.

c) The rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to retain their fertility.
“Children”
2bis States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have equal rights with respect to family life. With a view to realising these rights and to prevent concealment, abandonment, neglect and segregation of children with disabilities, States Parties shall undertake to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families. 

[EU does not agree to the introduction of a new paragraph 2ter.]

 

 

 

INDIA

Proposals on articles relating to Women and Children with disabilities and other relevant articles

(iv) Regarding 2 ter of Article 23, the responsibility of state parties should be of a facilitator and hence needs drafting changes.

 

 

ISRAEL

Article 23

1. States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:
(a) that persons with disabilities are not denied the equal opportunity to [experience their sexuality,] have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood (DELETE:[in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application]);

(b) that the right of all [men and women] [persons] with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized (REQUIRES CLARIFICATION:[and that spouses should be equal partners]);

(c) the rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children (RETAIN:[and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to retain their fertility to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application]).

2. States Parties to this Convention shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount. States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to disabled persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

3. States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will (ADD on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents), except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, (ADD: provided) that such separation is (ADD vitally) necessary in the best interests of the child. (ADD: and on an equal basis with others. DELETE: In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents).
Add new para 4 of IDC.


 

 

KENYA

Article 23

1.       States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:

(a)      that persons with disabilities are not denied the equal opportunity to experience their sexuality have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application;

(b)      that the right of all persons men and women with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized; and that spouses should be equal partners.

(c)      protection for the rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children [and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to retain their fertility to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application].

2.       States Parties to this Convention shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount.  States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to disabled persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

3.       States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, that such separation is necessary in the best interests of the child.  In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.

 

 

 

MEXICO

Article 23

1. States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:

(a) That persons with disabilities are not denied the equal opportunity to experience their sexuality, have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood [in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application];

(b) That the right of all persons with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized and that spouses should be equal partners;

(c) The rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and not to be subjected to forced sterilization and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to experience parenthood, retain their fertility to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application.

2. States Parties shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount. States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to disabled persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

3. States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.

 

 

NEW ZEALAND

Proposals for Article 23

3 bis States Parties shall undertake that where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, to make every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that within the community in a family setting.

 

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Response to the facilitator’s text of article 6 and 7

We agree with the facilitator’s text for article 23 and all common provisions in part three.

 

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 Proposal on Article 23

SUGGESTED MODIFICATIONS TO ARTICLE 23 (“RESPECT FOR HOME AND FAMILY”)

1. States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:

(a) That persons with disabilities are not denied the equal opportunity to [experience their sexuality,] have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood [in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application];

(b) That the right of all [men and women] [persons] with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized [and that spouses should be equal partners];

(c) The rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children, [and to have access to age-appropriate information, reproductive and family planning education, bearing in mind parental responsibility over their minor children in this regard, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to retain their fertility to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application].

2. States Parties shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount. States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to disabled persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

3. Recognizing that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State, States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.

 

 



National Human Rights Institutions


NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS

Article 23
Intervention.
23 January 2006.

Chair,

National Human Rights Institutions have listened to the discussions with keen interest.

The National Institutions consider it important in the context of Article 23 to recall that the underlying purpose of this convention is to secure the equal effective enjoyment of all human rights for persons with disabilities. One tool – perhaps one of the strongest tools – with which to ensure this is the non-discrimination tool. Article 23 is clearly cast as a non-discrimination provision as applied in the context of the family. Given the foundational role of the family to humanity this Article plays a potentially vital role in opening up family life to all.

Nevertheless, we are genuinely worried with the phrase ‘in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application’ in Article 23.1(a). We would prefer its deletion and in this regard we endorse the reasoning advanced by many delegations including the EU and the IDC in this regard. This seems altogether prudent to us.

We strongly echo the call of Chile, Mexico and the USA as well as the IDC for an explicit prohibition against forced sterilization. When all is said and done, this is something that goes to the dignity of what it means to be human. Whether this prohibition finds a home in this Article or elsewhere is secondary. The primary thing is to prohibit it. This is a matter on which the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, among others, has been active.

With respect to Article 23.2 we see this paragraph as simply ensuring that whatever family institutions exist in national law are open to persons with disabilities on a truly non-discriminatory manner. Discriminatory exclusion has been the problem in the past. And this is what the sub-paragraph accurately targets. It is in that spirit that we endorse the general approach you have taken as Chair in draft Article 23.2.

In particular we feel that the phrase ‘where these concepts exist in national law’ is sufficiently flexible to allow for a diversity of family institutions – yet it is also sufficiently concrete to ensure that the non-discrimination principle can actually attach to whatever institutions happen to exist under domestic law. And indeed, this approach is fully congruent with Article 20 paragraph 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which similarly and appropriately genuflects before the diversity of family institutions under comparative law.

Thank You.

 

 

Non-governmental organizations


INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY CAUCUS


Chairman’s text as amended by the IDC

Article 23
RESPECT FOR THE HOME AND THE FAMILY

1. States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family and personal relations, and in particular shall ensure, on an equal basis with others:

(a) that persons with disabilities are not denied the equal opportunity to (DELETE: “[experience their sexuality,]”) have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood (DELETE: “[in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application];)

(JUSTIFICATION: The IDC proposes the removal of the first bracket because there is a close connection between experiencing sexuality and having sexual and other intimate relationships.  Also the phrase experience their sexuality challenges more directly the stereotypical belief that persons with disabilities are asexual beings.

The IDC proposes deletion of the second clause that is in brackets.  If the right to have sexual and other intimate relationships and experience parenthood are to be undertaken in accordance with national laws, customs and traditions of general application then this right will become meaningless for a number of persons with disabilities as a number of national laws, etc. expressly deny these rights to persons with disabilities.)

(b) that the right of all (DELETE: [men and women]) (DELETE SQUARE BRACKETS [persons]) with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized (DELETE: [and that spouses should be equal partners]);

(c) the rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children (DELETE SQUARE BRACKETS) [and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the (REPLACE ”equal opportunity to retain their fertility to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application].” BY “opportunity to retain fertility on an equal basis with others.”)

(JUSTIFICATION: The IDC has asked for right to have access to reproductive and family planning information, the right to retain fertility and an explicit prohibition of involuntary sterilization.  

The Chair’s draft has placed the first two in brackets and not even spoken about involuntary sterilization.  The IDC believes that these rights should be incorporated in the article and the bracket around them be removed.)

(c)States Parties to this Convention shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount.  States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to disabled persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

(d) (DELETE: “States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, that such separation is necessary in the best interests of the child.”)  In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.

(JUSTIFICATION: The first part of this paragraph is problematic.  If there are general situations and universal procedures when children can be separated from their parents then the same will also apply to persons with disabilities.  To make express provision for that kind of separation in the convention is not required.  It is for that reason that the IDC draft has only asked that the article should include the second part of the paragraph.)

(New 4 “Recognising the right of children with disabilities to family life, States Parties shall undertake:

(a) to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families, to promote children’s optimum development and to ensure that they are able to be cared for within their family, be an active participant in family life, and to enable their full social inclusion, and equality of opportunity;

(b) where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, to make every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community;

(c) to provide education and support to families and other caregivers to promote positive attitudes towards disability, prevent concealment, abandonment and neglect of children with disabilities and facilitate inclusion.)

(JUSTIFICATION: Many children with disabilities are still denied the right to family life, either because they are placed in institutions or because they live at home and are excluded from most aspects of family activity. This amendment seeks to introduce obligations on governments to provide the necessary support and education to families to promote the realisation of the right to family life and strengthen the capacities of families to care for their children.  It also seeks to strengthen obligations to challenge the negative attitudes within families and communities, which lead to the denial of rights for children with disabilities. )

 

IDC response to the facilitator’s proposal on children
JAN 22nd 2006.
Article 23 Respect for the home and family

Facilitator’s proposed text
States Parties shall recognise the right of children with disabilities to family life and shall undertake:
a. to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families, to promote children’s optimum development and to ensure that they are able to be cared for within their family, be an active participant in family life, and to enable their full social inclusion, and equality of opportunity;
b. where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, to make every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community;
c. to provide education and support to families and other caregivers to promote positive attitudes towards disability, prevent concealment, abandonment and neglect of children with disabilities and facilitate inclusion.

The IDC supports the inclusion of 2bis. However, the text could be shortened as follows:

IDC alternative proposed text
States Parties recognise the right of children with disabilities to family life. With a view to achieving this right, and to prevent concealment, abandonment and neglect of children with disabilities, States Parties shall undertake to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families.

Rationale
Many children with disabilities are still denied the right to family life, either because they are placed in institutions or because they live at home and are excluded from most aspects of family activity. Children with disabilities themselves argue that lack of information, education, training and support for families is the greatest barrier to the realisation of their rights.  They highlight that parents lack understanding about the nature and causes of disability, lack education and training in how to communicate with them or help them develop, and lack awareness of their right to education and health care. Without this information and support being available to families, children with disabilities are too often rejected, excluded, denied the opportunity to go to school or to play and active role as members of their family. This amendment seeks to strengthen the capacities of families to care for their children, and protect and promote their rights. 

IDC Response on Children
30 January

Facilitator’s text
ARTICLE 23
RESPECT FOR THE HOME AND THE FAMILY

2. bis) States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have equal rights with respect to family life. With a view to realising these rights, and to prevent concealment, abandonment, neglect and segregation of children with disabilities, States Parties shall undertake to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families.

2 ter) Where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, States Parties shall make every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community.

IDC response

The IDC fully supports the inclusion of these two paragraphs

Rationale
Para 2bis   Many children with disabilities are still denied the right to family life, either because they are placed in institutions or because they live at home and are excluded from most aspects of family activity. Children with disabilities themselves argue that lack of information, education, training and support for families is the greatest barrier to the realisation of their rights.  They highlight that parents lack understanding about the nature and causes of disability, lack education and training in how to communicate with them or help them develop, and lack awareness of their right to education and health care. Without this information and support being available to families, children with disabilities are too often rejected, excluded, denied the opportunity to go to school or to play and active role as members of their family. This amendment seeks to strengthen the capacities of families to care for their children, and protect and promote their rights. 

 

Para 2 ter  This amendment seeks to strengthen obligations to prevent children being placed in institutions simply on the basis of their disability. In many countries, there is an explicit presumption or policy encouraging parents whose child is born with a disability to place the child in an institution. This practice results in the denial of many of their rights - for example, not to be separated from their family, to freedom of association, to the right to express their views and have them taken seriously, and to the right to optimum development. In some instances it also leads to the denial of the right to life, to healthcare, to education and to play. The proposed paragraph would strengthen obligations to provide wider family and community based approaches to caring for children when they cannot be cared for within their immediate family.  

Women’s IDC
Response to the Facilitator’s Proposals on Women with Disabilities
from 28/30 January 2006

ARTICLE 23
RESPECT FOR THE HOME AND THE FAMILY

Facilitator:
1.
(b) That the right of all men and women with disabilities who are of marriageable age to marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the intending spouses is recognized [and that spouses should be equal partners];
[(c) The rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children [and to have access to information, reproductive and family planning education, the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights and the equal opportunity to retain their fertility on a basis of equality with respect to gender and disability to the extent that these are permitted by national laws of general application].

 

Women’s IDC
Women’ IDC welcomes the Facilitators proposal.
Facilitator
2 bis) States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have equal rights with respect to family life. With a view to realising these rights, and to prevent concealment, abandonment, neglect and segregation of children with disabilities, States Parties shall undertake to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families.
2 ter)     Where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, States Parties shall make every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community.

Women’s IDC
Women’s IDC welcomes the proposals under 2bis and 2ter but wishes to REPLACE: children WITH: girls and boys
Rationale:
The replacement is to ensure that girls and boys with disabilities enjoy the right to have a family life on an equal basis, and that this right is not denied particularly on the basis of the interaction of gender and disability.

 

 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRES

Article 23 – Respect for the home and family

The NACLC is concerned by the proposed inclusion of ‘national laws, customs and traditions of general application’ in Article 23(1)(a). Whilst acknowledging the
concerns identified in the covering letter with respect to different cultural approaches to sexuality, the inclusion of such subjective elements of ‘national laws, customs and traditions’ permits States Parties to discriminate, directly or indirectly against people with disabilities.

The intent of the inclusion of this phrase is essentially already achieved through the operation of chapeau in Article 23(1)-on an equal basis with others-which would subsume any laws of genuine ‘general application’ but not permit any laws, customs or traditions which have the effect of discriminating against people with disability.

Recommendation 18
That the words ‘national laws, customs and traditions of general application’ be deleted from Article 23(1)(a).

 

 

 

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY AUSTRALIA

Report on National Consultations
Article 23

There was strong support for this article, as it stands.  In particular, the focus group with people with intellectual disability noted that many people with disability are prevented from adopting or fostering children and many women with disability have been sterilised against their wishes and without informed consent.  This group strongly argued that women with disability should not be sterilised unless there are serious medical grounds on which to perform this procedure.  In addition, all necessary safeguards as discussed in Articles 14 and 17 must be in place to ensure that women’s human rights are met in these circumstances.

Participants also indicated that there is a need for the provision of more support for parents with disability to prevent any situation where children are removed from the family.  Participants recognised that sterilisation also affects men as they are also denied parenthood. 

Participants said that, in some cases, there is misunderstanding and stereotyping in the community that leads to beliefs that it is not appropriate for children to be around people with intellectual disability and/or that children will not have the opportunity to reach full intellectual development and/or that people with intellectual disability are more likely to have a child with disability. 

There was a strong recognition that people with disability can experience the same feelings, aspirations and expectations as others.  Moreover, that people with disability must have the right to decide for ourselves on choices such as parenthood and marriage. 

There was also strong support for the recognition of the rights of and the particular disadvantage often experienced by people with disability who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersexed.    It was recognised that it is important for people to be free to express their sexuality and that this not be repressed particularly because of their disability.

There was also a strong belief that children should not be removed on the basis of one or both parent’s disability.  Participants strongly urged that all necessary supports be provided to people with disability in their role as parents.  This concern was further extended by discussion of the type and level of review and safeguards that must be in place to ensure that decisions are always in the best interest of the child and that no unfair or discriminatory decisions, on the basis of disability, are made.  To this end, recommendations are made for amendment to paragraph 3 of the article as follows:

Recommended text:

3.       States Parties shall ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities determine, in accordance with national laws and procedures of general application and subject to judicial review or other forms of administrative review as established by law, that such separation is necessary in the best interests of the child.  In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.  In no case shall a child be separated from parents unless all possible efforts have been made to provide those parents with support in their role as parents.

 

 

 

 


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United Nations, 2006
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development