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AD HOC COMMITTEE ON
AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

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COMPILATION OF PROPOSALS
FOR ELEMENTS OF A CONVENTION

5 January 2004


PART IV.    GENERAL OBLIGATIONS OF STATES PARTIES


 

Index

PART I. Preamble
PART II. Statement of Objectives and General Principles
PART III. Scope/Definitions
PART IV. General Obligations of States Parties
I. GENERAL COMMENTS
Governments
     Japan
     New Zealand
National Human Rights Institutions
     African Regional Workshop
     Commonwealth and Asia Pacific Region International Workshop
IGOs/Regional meetings
     Meeting of Bangkok
II. SPECIFIC PROPOSALS
Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee
     Chair's draft
Governments
     China
     India
     Mexico
     Venezuela
IGOs/Regional Meetings
     Seminar of Quito
     Bangkok Draft
NGOs
     DPI Japan
     European Disability Forum
     World Blind Union
     WNUSP
Others/Individuals
     On-line Consultation
PART V. Guarantee of Equality and Non-Discrimination
PART VI. Guarantee of Specific Rights
PART VII. Monitoring Mechanisms
PART VIII. Final/General Provisions

GENERAL COMMENTS

Governments

Japan:
Obligations of State Parties (Internal measures for implementation)

  1. Obligation for elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities (cf. Article 2 of the CEDAW) State Parties condemn discrimination against persons with disabilities with all forms, and agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against persons with disabilities.
  2. Other State Obligation In case one of the rights of persons with disabilities is infringed upon, legal and administrative remedy procedures will be guaranteed.

New Zealand:
As outlined in the Bangkok statement New Zealand believes that the Convention should contain a clear statement of the obligations of States to implement its provisions. To ensure that the Convention places realistic and achievable obligations on States, there is a need to recognise and distinguish between those specific rights which are immediately applicable (as already required under existing human rights treaties), and those which are required to be progressively achieved. The latter would acknowledge that structural and social changes to society occur over time with proactive intervention from governments and legal systems. States should be obliged to ensure an enabling environment and a barrier-free society.'

States should be obliged to take legislative, programmatic and policy actions to implement the provisions of the Convention, in particular the obligations to respect, ensure and provide enforcement mechanisms for violations of the rights set out in the Convention. These measures should include specific constitutional or legislative guarantees of the rights of disabled people to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination.

The Convention should also clearly set out the obligations of States in relation to the acts of non-State actors that involve the denial of the human rights of disabled people. In these ways States should provide guarantees of equality of opportunity and of non-discrimination, both generally and in the enjoyment of rights guaranteed in the Convention.

New Zealand considers that an essential and successful part of its approach to ensure that disability issues are adequately understood and addressed, and to ensure disabled peoples' rights are realised, is to develop government policy in partnership with disabled people. This principle of partnership is a goal in its own right as well as an important part of the process for achieving other goals for disabled people. New Zealand believes this principle of partnership needs articulation as a general obligation in the Convention. That all States and international bodies should develop all polices and practices, in relation to the Convention and any other matter with a significant impact on disabled people, in partnership with their disabled citizens.

National Human Rights Institutions

African Regional Workshop:
28. The Convention should place a positive obligation on State Parties to take legislative, programmatic and policy actions to achieve the Convention's objectives.

29. The Convention should recognise the responsibility of State Parties to ensure a barrier free society through the establishment of an effective enabling environment.

30. The Convention should recognize the vulnerability of persons with disabilities in situations of crisis such as conflict and natural disasters.

Commonwealth and Asia Pacific Region International Workshop:
19. The Convention should place a positive obligation on State Parties to take legislative, programmatic and policy actions to achieve the Convention's objectives.

20. The Convention should recognise the responsibility of State Parties to ensure an enabling environment and a barrier free society.

IGOs/Regional meetings

Meeting of Bangkok:
noted that the Convention should include specific obligations relating to national institutional frameworks, in particular providing that States Parties should use national institutions to monitor and promote compliance with the Convention, in which national human rights institutions can play a role. There should be provision for handing of complaints, and for promotion, litigation, monitoring and reporting functions. There should be enforcement mechanisms, including provision of remedies, within institutional and/or judicial systems. The Meeting considered that such national frameworks should be adequately resourced. The Meeting also noted the importance at the national level of the establishment of consultative bodies incorporating persons with disabilities and DPOs.

SPECIFIC PROPOSALS

Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee

Chair's draft:
Article 4
General obligations of States Parties

  1. States Parties:
    1. condemn inequality and discrimination on the basis of disability in all its forms;
    2. undertake to respect, to ensure and to fulfil the rights recognized in the Convention for all individuals within its territory or subject to its jurisdiction; and
  2. States Parties agree to eliminate discrimination on the ground of disability and to promote the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities and to this end undertake:
    1. to adopt legislative, administrative and other measures to give effect to the rights recognized in this Convention, and to amend or repeal any laws and regulations and to abolish customs or practices that are inconsistent with those rights;
    2. to embody the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the ground of disability in their national constitutions or other appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other appropriate means, the practical realization of these principles;
    3. to refrain from engaging in any act or practice which is inconsistent with the rights recognized in this Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the rights recognized in this Convention; and
    4. to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the ground of disability by any person, organization or private enterprise.
  3. In relation to the rights set forth in Part III of this Convention, States Parties undertake to give immediate effect to the aspects of those rights which are capable of immediate implementation (including, but not limited to obligations of non-discrimination in the enjoyment of those rights) and in relation to other aspects of those rights, to take steps to the maximum of their available resources with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of those rights by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.

Article 5
Obligations in relation to remedies

  1. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes:
    1. To ensure that any person or class of persons whose rights or freedoms recognized in the Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy, whether the violation has been committed by persons or entities acting in an official capacity or by private persons or entities;
    2. To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his or her right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, including as well as the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination; and
    3. To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
  2. States Parties recognize that access to effective remedies may require the provision of free legal assistance to persons with disabilities and the modification or flexible application of existing laws and practice regulating matters of procedure and evidence.

Article 29
National implementation framework

  1. States Parties shall establish a framework at the national level to monitor, promote and enforce compliance with this Convention. This should include an independent national institution:
    1. which operates in accordance with the Paris Principles (Paris Principles on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, GA Res 48/134 (20 December 1993));
    2. which has been established in consultation with persons with disabilities and organizations representing persons with disabilities; and
    3. which is structured so as to facilitate the involvement on an ongoing basis of persons with disabilities in the formation of the national institution's policies and processes.
  2. In particular, States Parties should ensure that the responsibility for matters relating to the implementation of this Convention is allocated to a specific focal point within government.
  3. States Parties shall adopt a procedure which will ensure that all new legislative, policy or program proposals evaluated during their development in order to assess their impact on the position of persons with disabilities.

Governments

China:

Article 13
States Parties shall take necessary administrative measures to promote overall improvement of status of persons with disabilities and to realize all rights of persons with disabilities, in particular:

  1. To establish a national coordinating body composed by major governmental departments and organizations of persons with disabilities of each State Party, to work out national policy concerning disability, to coordinate actions and to monitor the implementation of the Convention of that state;
  2. To incorporate disability issues into overall national economic and social development programs, to guarantee the financial inputs, and to ensure the programs to be implemented;
  3. To collect disability-related information through national census and other means, and to develop specific statistic data-collection mechanism related to persons with disabilities;
  4. To encourage mass media and educational system to advocate positive image of persons with disabilities in order to eliminate prejudice towards persons with disabilities and to enhance public awareness concerning the rights, needs and capability of persons with disabilities;
  5. To take necessary actions to eliminate causes leading to or aggravating disabilities as such poverty, malnutrition, environmental pollution, traffic and industrial accidents, drug abuse and alcohol addictive, lack of medical care and services during pregnancy and armed conflicts.

Article 14
For effective implementation of the Convention, it is encouraged to carry out international cooperation. For this purpose:

  1. Relevant bodies and organizations of the United Nations incorporate disability issues into the their mandates, taking into consideration of the needs of persons with disabilities as priorities in elaboration of programs;
  2. States Parties shall include disability issues into bilateral and multilateral cooperation framework, in particular in economic and technical aspect , to help developing countries to overcome difficulties for the purpose of realization of the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities;
  3. States Parties shall promote the exchange of disability-related information, technological cooperation, and share the advanced scientific and technological achievements;
  4. States Parties shall adopt measures to reduce or exempt tariff on imported assistive devices and special accessory items for persons with disabilities.

India:

Article 3: Legislative Measures

State Parties shall agree to adopt legislative, political, judicial, administrative, and any other kind of measures aimed at achieving the objectives of this Convention. This Convention shall ensure the right to life, developmental rights, participation rights, protection rights, and rights against discrimination, exploitation and abuse. The principle of indivisibility of rights with reference to persons with disabilities shall be respected. To this end, they shall:

1. Specifically incorporate in their national legislations, the principles and perspectives of equality, human rights issues and non-discrimination against people with disabilities and abolish or amend any legislation that permits the contrary.

2. Establish measures to prevent the sanction of any practice which constitutes discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Article 15 : Budgetary Allocation

State shall ensure the necessary demarcation of budgetary provision be made available for the implementation of measures envisaged in this convention

Article 17: Obligations of Developed Countries

State Parties shall recognize inter-state differences in terms of financial and technical resources in the implementation of this Convention and respect the principle of reasonable accommodation within the States' capacities while ensuring that standards and quality in programmes for disabled persons are not below the norms for the general population prevailing in each State.

(a) Since persons with disabilities are over-represented in the population which live at, or below the poverty line, and since 80% of 600 million with disability worldwide, live in developing countries, and since many of the developing countries have non-existent or incomplete states of social security nets, it shall be the responsibility of developed countries to support, guide and in every way assist the developing countries to set in place comprehensive social security systems which, inter alia, cover health, nutrition, shelter, medical, personal and economic security.

(b) Developed countries to take concrete measures for the devolution of financial resources to developing countries and to the least developed countries, for the implementation of this Convention.

(c) Developed countries to take similar cognizance of non-availability of technical resources and establish measures for sharing of technical resources.

Article 18: General obligations of the State Parties

The State Parties shall condemn inequality and discrimination on the basis of disability in all its forms and agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination on the grounds of disability and promoting equality of persons with disabilities, to this end, undertake:

(a) To respect, to ensure and to fulfill the rights recognized in the Convention for all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, without discrimination of any kind on grounds such as race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, caste, sex, disability or other means;

(b) To embody the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the grounds of disability in their National Constitutions or other appropriate legislations if not still incorporated therein, to ensure, through law and other appropriate means the practical application of these principles, and to amend or repeal any legislation that is inconsistent with those principles,

(c) To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures including sanctions where appropriate, prohibiting all discriminations on the ground of disability.

Mexico:
Article 3

States Parties agree to adopt legislative, judicial, administrative, and any other kind of measures aimed at achieving the objectives of this Convention. To this end, they shall:

  1. Include in their legislation, policies and programs aimed at promoting the full participation of persons with disabilities.
  2. Adopt the necessary measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities and promote and protect the exercise of their rights. Among others, these measures shall include the following:
    1. Incorporate in their national legislations the principle of equality and non-discrimination for all people and abolish or amend any legislation that permits the contrary.
    2. Establish measures to prevent and sanction any practice which constitutes discrimination against persons with disabilities.
    3. Ensure that the rights contained in this Convention and other related international instruments have the legal protection of the competent national courts.
    4. Establish in their national legislations the necessary positive actions to promote the autonomy and independent lives of persons with disabilities and to achieve their full participation, under conditions of equality, in all activities of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political life.
  3. In the elaboration and evaluation of legislation and policies adopted for persons with disabilities, special circumstances and needs of persons with disabilities, shall be taken into account and shall secure their participation and that of their families.
  4. Promote the elaboration national census-taking of the population with disabilities and their access to public services, rehabilitation, education, and employment.

Article 17
In accordance with their legal systems, States Parties shall promote the establishment and strengthening of national institutions responsible for safeguarding the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.

Article 18
States Parties agree to consult and collaborate with each other, regarding the putting into practice the content of this Convention, as well as to work together in a spirit of cooperation to achieve its objectives. To this end, they commit to:

  1. Design programs which facilitate the implementation of the Convention, based on the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and other instruments which promote their human rights and dignity.
  2. Exchange the latest advances in scientific research and the development of technology pertaining to the treatment and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and the elimination of obstacles that restrain their autonomy, independent life, and full enjoyment of their rights, as well as the development of national capacities.
  3. Exchange information and best practices on measures and legislation for persons with disabilities.
  4. Encourage the study of issues and research of common interest, including the problems and special needs of States Parties.
  5. Promote courses, seminars, and workshops for training and research.
  6. Promote the harmonization of criteria regarding alternative forms of communication used by persons with visual or hearing disabilities.
  7. Incorporate the rights of persons with disabilities into the mandates of the bodies and relevant organizations of the United Nations, as well as in the elaboration of programs to take care of their needs.
  8. Promote the elimination of import duties on technical equipment and aid materials for persons with disabilities.

Venezuela:
Article 3

Purposes
In order to achieve the objectives of this Convention, the States parties undertake to:

  1. Take all necessary measures, including legislation, to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities and to promote and protect their rights and dignity by, inter alia:
    • Incorporating the legal equality of persons with disabilities in their national legislation;
    • Amending or repealing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities, and enacting legislation to prohibit and punish them;
    • Developing appropriate legislation, adapted to modern society, to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities;
    • Enacting regulations to guarantee compensation for harm to persons with disabilities who have been subject to discrimination.
  2. Adopt specific measures necessary for the full participation of persons with disabilities in all activities of social and economic life.
  3. Incorporate into national censuses information, disaggregated by age, sex and specific type of disability, on the living conditions of persons with disabilities, including detailed information on their access to public services, rehabilitation programmes, education and employment.
  4. Guarantee the participation of organizations of persons with disabilities and their families in the development and evaluation of measures and policies for ensuring the implementation of this Convention.

Article 21

National monitoring and evaluation bodies
States parties undertake to establish or strengthen institutions for the intragovernmental coordination, design and implementation of policies to address the needs of disabled persons at the central, regional, departmental or provincial and local government levels, in accordance with their internal legal systems, which shall be responsible for ensuring the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Organizations of persons with disabilities and their families shall be represented in such bodies at all levels. The principal functions of such institutions shall include the permanent monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, in particular of the objectives established in article 3, and the formulation of appropriate recommendations for its fulfilment to the relevant government bodies.
The institutions to which this article refers may assume at the national level, preferably, the structure of presidential office, council, institute or department. If they are not attached to the Office of the President of the Republic, they shall be assigned to ministries responsible for social development policies and programmes. Such institutions shall function as mechanisms for coordination with disabled persons' organizations at the national, provincial, departmental, regional or local level. The institutions established shall conduct a triennial evaluation of national implementation of the Convention and of the measures to be applied in order to fulfil its objectives.

Article 22

Intergovernmental cooperation
States parties agree to consult and cooperate with each other regarding the implementation of the provisions of this Convention. To that end they undertake to promote:
Consultation and international cooperation mechanisms for the prevention of disabilities. Regional and international programmes to comprehensively target disability as a common problem, ensure equal opportunities and treatment for persons with disabilities and achieve all the objectives set forth in this Convention.
Effective exchange of the latest advances in scientific research and the development of technology pertaining to the prevention of disabilities and the treatment, rehabilitation and social integration of persons with disabilities.
Research, training and refresher training through inter-country and international events such as seminars, congresses, symposia, courses, workshops and meetings of various kinds.

IGO/Regional meetings

Seminar of Quito:
suggested the following changes to Mexico's text:

Article 3

Suggested title: Legal Framework

  1. In their legislation, policies and programs, promote the full participation of persons with disabilities, including in decision-making.
  2. a) Incorporate in their national legislations the principle of equality of rights and equalization of opportunities and non-discrimination for all people and abolish or amend any legislation that permits the contrary.

    d) Establish in their national legislations the necessary positive actions to promote the autonomy and independent lives of persons with disabilities and to achieve their full participation, integration and inclusion, under conditions of equality, in all activities of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political life.

  3. In the elaboration and evaluation of legislation, policies and programs, special circumstances and needs of persons with disabilities, shall be taken into account and shall secure their participation and that of their families, as appropriate.
  4. Promote the inclusion of the subject of disability in national censuses and in all systems of information acquisition, as well as developing specific mechanisms to collect statistical information about the population with disabilities and its access to health services, education and employment.

Article 17:

Suggested Title: National organizations

States parties should promote the creation or strengthening of national institutions responsible for coordination of actions and the definition of policies and rules in the area of disabilities as well as safeguarding the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, with the significant and decisive participation of persons with disabilities

Add:
Urge States party to designate a national organization to be responsible for follow-up and evaluation of implementation of the present convention.

Include:
Urge States part to harmonize, a soon as possible, their national legislation with what is included in the present convention and in other international instruments concerned with disability.

Article 18:

Title Suggested: International cooperation and the article should be expanded to include text about sources of financing that contribute to the implementation of the Convention especially in the developing countries.

Bangkok Draft:
Article 4       General obligations of States Parties

  1. States Parties:
    1. undertake to respect, to ensure and to fulfil the rights recognized in the Convention for all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction; and
    2. condemn inequality and discrimination on the basis of disability in all its forms;
  2. States Parties agree to eliminate discrimination on the ground of disability and to promote the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities and to this end undertake:
    1. to adopt legislative, administrative and other measures to give effect to the rights recognized in this Convention, and to amend or repeal any laws and regulations and to abolish customs or practices that are inconsistent with those rights;
    2. to embody the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the ground of disability in their national constitutions or other appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other appropriate means, the practical realization of these principles;
    3. to refrain from engaging in any act or practice which is inconsistent with the rights recognized in this Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the rights recognized in this Convention; and
    4. to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the ground of disability by any person, organization or private enterprise.
  3. In relation to the economic, social and cultural rights set forth in [Part III of] this Convention, States Parties undertake to give immediate effect to those aspects of those rights which are capable of immediate implementation (including, but not limited to obligations of non-discrimination in the enjoyment of those rights) and in relation to other aspects of those rights, to take steps to the maximum of their available resources with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of those rights by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.

Article 5      Obligations in relation to remedies

  1. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes:
    1. To ensure that any person or class of persons whose rights or freedoms recognized in the Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy, whether the violation has been committed by persons or entities acting in an official capacity or by private persons or entities;
    2. To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his or her right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, including as well as the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination; and
    3. To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
  2. States Parties recognize that access to effective remedies may require the provision of free legal assistance to persons with disabilities and the modification or flexible application of existing laws and practice regulating matters of procedure and evidence.

Article 32      Restrictions on economic, social and cultural rights

States Parties may subject the rights guaranteed in Part III of this Convention only to such limitations are determined by law only in so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.

Article 33      Collection of statistics and data

  1. States Parties should adopt a terminology and classification of disabilities in accordance with the internationally accepted standards and norms, and harmonize the national classification system, and process the data accordingly.
  2. States Parties should collect at regular intervals disability-related information through national census and household surveys, undertaken in close collaboration with organizations of persons with disabilities and research bureaus. This data should include information on issues including gender, indigenous peoples, minorities, persons living in rural or remote areas and other relevant groups.
  3. States Parties shall collect, analyze, and codify statistics and information on disabilities and establish a central data bank. Measures shall be taken to make the information accessible and available to all categories of persons with disabilities, organizations of persons with disabilities and others, particularly those at all levels of political and administrative policy planning. These measures shall bear in mind the need to protect individual privacy.
  4. States Parties should initiate and support programmes of research on access and participation of persons with disabilities in all areas within the scope of this Convention which affect the lives of persons with disabilities, their families and associates.
  5. States Parties should promote active participation of persons with disabilities at all stages in data collection and research, policy development, implementation and evaluation.

Article 34      National implementation framework

  1. States Parties shall establish a framework at the national level to monitor, promote and enforce compliance with this Convention. This should include an independent national institution:
    1. which operates in accordance with the Paris Principles;
    2. which has been established in consultation with persons with disabilities and organizations representing persons with disabilities; and
    3. which is structured so as to facilitate the involvement on an ongoing basis of persons with disabilities in the formation of the national institution's policies and processes.
  2. In particular, States Parties should ensure that the responsibility for matters relating to the implementation of this Convention is allocated to a specific focal point within government.
  3. States Parties shall adopt a procedure which will ensure that all new legislative, policy or program proposals evaluated during their development in order to assess their impact on position of persons with disabilities.

NGOs

DPI Japan:

Part IV      Duty of State Parties (Domestic Cooperation)

1. In order to abolish all forms of discrimination imposed upon persons with disabilities, State Parties have the duty to immediately implement the rights stated in Part II (Civil freedoms of people with disabilities) of the Convention.
To that end, after ratifying this convention, State Parties may not enact such statutes that would have an effect such as imposing restriction of activities on the ground of disabilities, imposing restriction of obtaining qualifications, and imposing restriction of use and participation. In addition, effective measures need to be taken to amend, abolish or void current statutes in effect.

2. In order for persons with disabilities to achieve an average-standard life of persons without disabilities in a political, economical, social cultural or any other context related to living conditions, State Parties shall take measures to implement these rights stated in Part III (Social, Economic and Cultural Rights of persons with disabilities) to the fullest extent possible within the State's legislation and other available methods within the State.
Furthermore, active improvement measures that are favorable with the objectives to guarantee the rights of freedom and equality of persons with disabilities are not regarded as discrimination during the period which the objective is being met.

3. State Parties shall survey the status of rights regarding this convention, examine the contents of I implementation measures carried out by the State Parties concerned, additionally expressing their opinions to the State Parties concerned, and establish a domestic monitoring committee to promote this convention. State Parties shall allow participation of persons with disabilities concerned at all levels of this organization.

Part VI      International Cooperation

Taking into consideration that eighty percent of all persons with disabilities live in developing countries, in the process of examining this convention the importance of international cooperation contributing to promote and protect the dignity and rights of persons with disabilities need to be well examined. In that respect, along with the role of specialized organizations and other international organizations, the right to development need also be well considered.

To that end, State Parties pledge to ensure:

  1. Propulsion of international research and development and international exchange for support programs necessary for leading an independent life and workshop programs to avoid abuse for persons with disabilities in leading an independent life in the community.
  2. Propulsion of international research and development and international exchange for a barrier free system that will be easy to access in any State.
  3. Propulsion of international research and development and international exchange regarding rights to persons with disabilities and community-rooted rehabilitation.
  4. Fostering of persons with disabilities and propulsion of international exchange.

European Disability Forum:

Awareness raising and dissemination

Attitudinal barriers faced by many persons with disabilities can only partly be overcome through legal action. Thus, awareness raising of the general population as well as training to more targeted groups on the rights of persons with disabilities can play a major contribution to the removal of negative stereotypes and social stigma encountered by persons with disabilities.

The Convention should include a specific article, obliging States to undertake these actions in consultation with representative disability organisations.

The Importance of the role of disability organisations

Rule 18 of the UN Standard Rules foresees the right of persons with disabilities through their representative organisations to be involved in policy-making processes.

Consistent with principles of due process and participation under international human rights law and the UN Standard Rules, the UN Convention must provide for the meaningful participation of people with disabilities.

In this regard, the Convention must provide for the involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in its implementation, and accordingly provide adequate support for this involvement.

Development co-operation and the Convention

The UN Convention shall undoubtedly influence the way development co-operation is provided.

Both donor governments and agencies and recipients of development co-operation funds, must ensure that these funds contribute to the enforcement of the UN Convention by:

  • ensuring that all new premises and services that are established with the support of development co-operation funds are accessible to all persons with disabilities.
  • ensuring that a certain percentage of these funds are used to eliminate currently existing barriers.
  • finance awareness raising campaigns on the UN Convention and on the rights of persons with disabilities in general.

World Blind Union:

The World Blind Union recognises there is substantial variation in the rights status of disabled people in different countries. This variation is due to economic, cultural and political factors. Inevitably the time taken to implement a Convention to protect the rights of disabled people will take longer in those countries where disabled people's rights are less developed. We at the World Blind Union therefore recommend that a process for implementing and monitoring the Convention be introduced that takes account of the differing levels of rights development in UN Member States. However, it will be essential to ensure that even though some Member States will need longer to fully implement the Convention, every State that is a signatory to the Convention should attain full implementation within an agreed period of time. During this period there must not be any regression in rights or any diminution in services. "Progressivity" should be a key aspect of the implementation of the Convention.

With this in mind, the World Blind Union proposes that a staged process for the implementation of the Convention should be introduced. Every Member State would work through each of the stages and participate in the associated monitoring arrangements. However, some states would attain full implementation earlier than those States that begin the process with a less developed level of rights for disabled people.

A staged process could work as follows:

Stage 1
States accept a binding commitment, backed by national legislation, to fully implement the Convention. This commitment will recognise that the Convention constitutes an international standard for the establishment of rights for disabled people in each UN Member State. This legislation is to be enacted within two years of a country becoming a signatory to the Convention, providing the necessary minimum number of signatories has been met. WBU proposes that the number of signatory countries required to activate the Convention should be 20.

WNUSP:

Obligations

1. Any international or national legal provision and/or administrative arrangement or decision in contravention with or derogation of the provisions of this convention shall be deemed void ab initio.

Basic Articles: What are state obligations?

The convention must require states to adopt anti-discrimination laws and repeal all laws which themselves perpetuate discrimination.

The rights guaranteed by the convention must give rise to enforceable remedies in national tribunals, and states must also accept an obligation to protect against violation of rights by non-governmental agents. Such provisions are essential in a human rights treaty and comparable to obligations already undertaken in other treaties.

Others/Individuals

On-line CONSULTATION:

Comments on Article 18 of the Mexican text:

Subparagraph (h): The issue of mainstreaming disability issues in development cooperation is extremely important and should be reflected in this article. The observed tendency is to address disability as a sectoral issue of concern to health and medical rehabilitation or labour and social welfare. There is no consideration of disability in the context of mainstream development. Building on Rule 21 of the Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, "Technical and economic cooperation" :

Take measures to achieve the equalization of opportunities of persons with disabilities by be integrating them into all forms of technical and economic cooperation, bilateral and multilateral, governmental and non-governmental.


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