Article 7 - Children with
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Report to the Chairman and to the Ad Hoccommittee
The discussion of Article 16 on the children with disabilities in plenary on 2nd August 2005 generated debate that identified 5 approaches to ensuring that concerns on the rights of children with disabilities are adequately addressed. These were as follows:
(1.) That it is enough to refer to the rights of children with disabilities
in general clauses of the draft convention i.e the preamble and Articles
2 and 4.
(2.) That it will be good to mainstream issues relating to children with disabilities in all the articles addressing issues that also affect children in the draft convention.
(3.) That there is need to have a stand alone article on children with disabilities to recognise their special vulnerabilities to also cover all the issues that affect children with disabilities.
(4.) That we should have a combination of mainstreaming of children’s issues in all relevant articles and also have an article on children to cover the issues that are unique to children and cannot be included in any other articles in the draft convention.
(5.) That It will be enough to refer to children in the general articles as in (1) above and then specifically require, in the monitoring article, that State Parties show how they have implemented all the provisions of the this convention with respect to children with disabilities; the article monitoring should also include an expert on the treaty body on matters relating children with disability.
Two informal meetings were organised by the facilitator from Kenya on 4th and 11th August 2005 to discuss the different view points. There was continuous communication and Informal discussions between the facilitator and individual delegations on the different view points during this session. As a result we had a lot of revision of positions and made tremendous progress in gaining common ground on many of the issues.
Some of the key issues that have emerged on children with disabilities
are listed below, however there is no agreement as yet on the need to include
all of them in this convention:
1.) Because of the vulnerability of children due to their age, lack of autonomy or legal capacity as adults, children are entitled to protection that will address their particular situations and ensure their right to development. It is important that this convention recognises this and makes provisions specifically address the rights in this convention as they apply to children.
2.)The need to include the principle of equality with other children in the application of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. This will complement and reinforce the application of the CRC with respect to children with disabilities.
3)The need to recognise the principle of participation with respect to children with disabilities, recognise their evolving capacities and respect their right to express themselves and give their views in matters affecting them.
4.)The need to include the principle of “the best interest of the child” in all actions concerning children with disabilities under this convention.
5.)The need to ensure access to justice by children with disabilities.
6.) The need to ensure access to protection services by children with disabilities.
7.) The need to protect the right of the child to registration of their birth.
8.)The need to protect the right to family life of children with disabilities through the provision of the necessary support through information and education of these children and their families in order to prevent the concealment, abandonment , neglect and inappropriate institutionalisation of children with disabilities.
9.) the need to provide special care to children with disabilities who are temporarily or permanently deprived of their family life.
10.) The need to ensure access to mainstream services by children with disabilities on an equal basis with the other children.
11.) The need to provide services to facilitate early detection, assessment and identification of disability and make the necessary interventions early.
12.) The need to protect children with disabilities from sterilisation.
13.) The need to provide for expertise on matters relating to children with disabilities in the implementation of this convention.
Many delegations support the need to have provisions at the preamble, the general clauses and other articles in the main text where applicable. There is no agreement yet on the need for a stand alone article and what should be in that article. The focus currently is on the substance rather than the specific language.
“Recognising that children with disabilities should have full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children, without discrimination on the basis of disability, and recalling obligations to that end undertaken by states parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child”
Add another para
“Recognition the right of children with disabilities to
express their views freely in all matters affecting them including policy
and legislation, their views being given due weight in accordance with
their age, maturity and their evolving capacities.”
Add at para 1.) a new subpara (e)
“to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities
of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to ensure that the
best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in all actions
Access to justice
“States parties shall ensure that children with disabilities, who are victims of crime have access to the legal system through:
(a) provision of age and disability appropriate accommodations, services and support
(b) appropriate respect for their capacity to give testimony”
Freedom from violence and abuse
Add new para 7
“States Parties shall ensure that child protection services
take account of the needs of children with disabilities, and are accessible
and available to all children with disabilities.”
Amend second sentence of Article 14(2) (e) to show that a child should not be removed from his or her parents on the basis of the disability of the child or of either or both parents.
“The child shall not however be separated from his or her
parents on the basis of disability of the child or of one or both parents.”
Article 14 Bis
The Right to Family
Add new para 2bis,
For the purposes of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present convention, State Parties shall render appropriate assistance including early and comprehensive information services, education and support to:
i) Disabled persons in the perfomance of their childrearing responsibilities;
ii) Parents, legal guardians and other care givers of children with disabilities.
iii) that children with disabilities, their parents, legal guardians and other caregivers, in order to promote positive attitudes towards disability and prevent concealment, abandonment and neglect of children with disabilities and to promote the children’s optimum development;”
Children with Disability
1. States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities
shall enjoy a full and participative life, in conditions that ensure
their inherent dignity and worth, promote self reliance, independence
and autonomy in adulthood, and provide the enabling environment for their
active involvement in their community, society and all spheres of life.
Assistance extended in accordance with the realisation of these rights
shall be provided free of charge whenever possible.
2. “States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities
shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right
to a name, and the right to acquire a nationality.”
In para 1 (a) add “play and leisure facilities” after
the words “outdoor facilities”
Right to health and rehabilitation
Include at para (b) “including the need to provide services for early detection, assessment and identification of disability and provision of appropriate comprehensive services”
Add new para after (j)
‘Prohibit the sterilisation of children with disabilities’
During the plenary discussion of this article, a proposal was made that this article should include the protection of children with disabilities from being exploited through work.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
In para (d) after ‘theatres, museums and cinemas, add ‘play
Add an additional subsection:
“Ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunities to exercise their right to play in inclusive and accessible environments”
Within the monitoring framework, provision should be made to ensure that
1.) State Parties are specifically required to demonstrate how they are to implementing the whole convention with respect to children with disability.
2.) The treaty monitoring body should have provision for expertise on children with disabilities.
[Comment-delegations noted that this article has
not been discussed yet and since it is not yet clear whether there will
be a treaty body or not under this convention the proposals made should
be deferred until the article is discussed and agreed upon]