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Contributions submitted by Governments
in electronic format at the Fourth Session
Proposed Modifications to Draft Article 15
Canadian amendments to art. 15
(d) community services for the general population are available to p}sons with disabilities on an equal basis with o!rs and are responsive to their needs;
Draft Article 15
LIVING INDEPENDENTLY AND BEING INCLUDED IN THE COMMUNITY
1. States Parties to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and be fully included in the community, including by ensuring that:
EU Proposal:The EU suggests the following rewording: “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:”.
(a) persons with disabilities have the equal opportunity to choose their place of residence and living arrangements;
(b) persons with disabilities are not obliged to live in an institution or in a particular living arrangement
EU Proposal: Insert "Save as provided in Article 10" at end of (b)
(c) that persons with disabilities have access to 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;
EU Proposal: Delete (c) and replace by new paragraph 2 as below
(d) community services for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs;
EU Proposal: The EU suggests replacing “on an equal basis” with “without discrimination”.
(e) persons with disabilities have access to information about available support services;
EU Proposal: EU suggests the inclusion of a new Article 15 (2) as follows:
“States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to promote the provision of life assistance in order to enable persons with disabilities to live independently”.
Article 15: “Living Independently and Being Part the Community”
Comments on Behalf of the State of Israel
We would like to make two comments on Article 15.
Firstly, with regards to the use of the term “independence” in the title and in the chapeau of this article: Many of the privileges of and services for people with disabilities are based on the levels of functional dependency. Thus, the use of the term “independence” in the formulation of Article 15 might be interpreted by many professionals as contradictory to the spirit of the convention and the idea of living in a community, and still contingent upon physical or psychosocial dependency.
Accordingly, we suggest that the title of Article 15 refer, generally, to the right of “living in the Community” as a basic, unconditional principle, and that the article emphasize the principle that the right to live in the community and to take part in all its activities and/or contribute to society belongs to every person and derives from the right to equality, regardless of the level of physical or psychosocial independence.
Secondly, we believe that an inherent part of one’s right to life in the community is the “freedom of choice,” that is the right to make decisions, and to choose the time, the place, and the frame of life within the community, but also the right to choose the definition of what “community” means. There are various ways of living. Omitting any one of the options, including the right to choose to live independently or not independently in the community, as well as not in fully independent facilities, is a violation of human rights. Persons with disabilities are the only ones who can make their own choices and decisions.
NEW ZEALAND’S POSITION ON ARTICLE 15: Living And Being Included In The Community With Choices Equal To Others
- The rights expressed in this article are very important for disabled people and represent in a positive form the alternative to institutionalisation, a policy that has led to the violation of so many human rights for disabled people.
- A large number of amendments were proposed for the title and content of this article, perhaps reflecting a lack of clarity about the overall purpose of the article in the current wording.
- New Zealand considers that fundamentally this article is about ensuring that disabled people have choices equal to others to move around and live where and as they wish in a community setting. This is based on a civil and political right, outlined in Article 12 (1) of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ‘to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his [/her] residence’.
- We have amended the working group text to first state this right and to then outline the necessary measures that States need to take so the right may be exercised.
- The EU proposed changes that would strengthen the idea that the article is about avoiding institutionalisation and retaining liberty. We support many aspects of the EU’s proposals but we also seek to reinforce the inclusion into the community as ‘ordinary citizens’ with rights equal to others.
- New Zealand also proposes shifting various related clauses from other articles, with some amendments, into this article:
- 23(1)(d) which is about access to housing programmes on an equal basis to others;
- 20(a) regarding mobility - to use this to amend what would become sub-paragraph 3 under the EU proposed amendment of 1(c) of the Working Group text;
- 9(e) regarding promoting equal access to opportunities for economic development and financial independence.
- We have also proposed some wording that reflects the idea that access to personal support should allow for people to choose where they live and, therefore, must be separate from access to housing. This avoids an institutional approach to support provision.
- Our suggested rewording is as follows (underlined text has been inserted by New Zealand; struck out text has been deleted by New Zealand):
LIVING AND BEING INCLUDED IN THE COMMUNITY WITH CHOICES EQUAL TO OTHERS
1. States Parties shall reaffirm the right of persons with disabilities to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his or her residence. States Parties shall ensure persons with disabilities have the equal opportunity to determine how, where, and with whom they live.
2. States Parties
to this Convention shall take effective and appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to live in, independently and to be fully included as members of in the community. States Parties shall take measures to including by ensure that:
- community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs;
- persons with disabilities have equal access to governmental housing programs; and
- persons with disabilities have access to information about
available community services, including support services.
3. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to promote the provision of
in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance, necessary to support them persons with disabilities to live and participate living and inclusion in the community with choices equal to others, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community. States parties shall ensure that these support services are provided in a manner that recognises the autonomy, individality and dignity of persons with disabilities and, in particular, that access to personal support is consistent with the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose a residence.
4. States Parties shall take effective measures to ensure
liberty of movement mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including facilitating access by persons with disabilities to high-quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries. including by making them available at affordable cost.
5. States Parties shall take all appropriate and effective measures to ensure the equal right of persons with disabilities to opportunities for economic development and financial independence including to rent, own or inherit property, to control their own financial affairs, and to have equal access to bank loans, mortgage and other forms of financial credit.