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Daily summary of discussions related to Article
STATISTICS AND DATA COLLECTION
UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Fourth session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 5, #3
August 25, 2004
ARTICLE 6: DATA AND STATISTICS
The vast majority of States supported retaining this as a separate Article.
The Chair noted that some delegations had opposed inclusion
of this article in the text and others had suggested its placement in
another part of the convention.
Chile supported the Ugandan proposal so that protection
is substantively reflected in the title. It supports the proposals of
Costa Rica, Mexico and Jordan for 6(c) and further proposes adding “and
their families.” It proposes adding a reference to public transportation
as well as “subsidizing of medication” in 6(e). It supports the more
detailed proposals of Mexico for 6(f). It supports the Lebanon proposal
to add a new 6(2) to reference the use of disability indicators in assessing
a country’s development, thereby acknowledging the close link between
poverty and development, with additions to read: “States Parties shall
include amongst the indicators for evaluating the development of a country
figures reflecting the close linkage between poverty and disability
affecting a cross-cutting analysis of statistics for holistic consideration
in legislation and public policy.”
New Zealand supported the inclusion of a separate Article
6 but considered its content to be an operational matter. The text should
not be overly prescriptive except insofar as it relates to ensuring
privacy, dignity and rights. It supports the EU proposal to shift the
article to the section on national monitoring, research and evaluation.
It further proposes using the EU text as a basis for further discussion,
with two deletions: the initial phrase “where necessary”, and 6(c) on
consultation with PWD which is better covered in Article 4.
Eritrea noted the importance of statistical data especially
qualitative data in protecting the rights of PWD. The title should be
changed to ”Research and Information” to reflect the use of both quantitative
and qualitative data, and a reference to the collection of “qualitative
and quantitative data ” should be added in the chapeau. The language
in 6(a) should cite “existing internationally accepted human rights
norms and standards and ethical principles of statistics in order to
maintain confidentiality of records and to avoid undue intrusion.” The
Article could be shifted to the section on monitoring.
Venezuela supported Mexico’s proposals for (a), (c)
and (f). In 6(e), it is important to include access to communication
because this is denied to many PWD, especially deaf people.
Australia queried the appropriateness of including
detailed provisions on administrative requirements in the convention,
though if they are to be included, they may be better referenced as
Mexico reiterated its AHC3 amendments to 6(1) and submitted
a redrafted 6(2) providing detailed guidance on information collection
to help States formulate and implement policies to give effect to the
The EU supported a short and concise separate article
provided it is moved near the article on monitoring (Article 25), as
its content relates to monitoring and implementation, and reflects the
streamlined language proposed by the EU at AHC3.
Canada recommended grouping this Article with Article
25 on monitoring and supported the EU’s reformulated language. The need
to protect privacy and confidentiality through legislative standards
should be specified in the WG text’s 6(a) or (b). Disability-related
information mentioned in 6(a) should be provided on a voluntary basis.
To ensure that 6(e) is not read exhaustively, the current text should
be replaced with “include full inclusion indicators such as access to
public policy.” The chapeau must be consistent with the purpose of the
convention and thus it may be necessary to add the language “ensure
to promote and protect.”
Guatemala asserted the usefulness of this Article both
for monitoring purposes as well as for providing data for the design
of policies and programs. It recommends language on the need to protect
confidentiality of such data.
Japan was flexible as to whether the article should
be placed elsewhere in the convention or remain where it is. The text
in 6(d) and (e) is overly prescriptive.
Serbia Montenegro supported the EU proposal, as amended
by New Zealand.
Republic of Korea recommended moving this article to
the monitoring section and noted, in terms of its drafting, that “less
Jamaica noted the proposal of Canada and indicated
its flexibility regarding the placement of this Article. It supports
amending 6(e) to read “access to public services and facilities” and
suggested revisiting whether the scope of 6(e) should be widened to
include private services and facilities as well.
Kenya supported the Ugandan amendment for the title
(Collection and Protection of…) as well as the proposals of Canada,
the EU and New Zealand. It called for the inclusion of ethical standards
to ensure anonymity, protection of privacy and confidentiality, and
human rights standards. The chapeau should be stronger, as indicated
by the EU.
Thailand supported moving Article 6 to the monitoring
section. It supports maintaining privacy and confidentiality in data
circulation. Data and statistics should be made accessible to PWD, consistent
with access to information in Article 13.
The Philippines supported a stand-alone article given
the crucial role of statistics in giving effect to the convention. It
supports Mexico’s proposal in 1(f) with an amendment to include a reference
to non-discrimination in the use of statistics.
Costa Rica supported the placement of Article 6 in
the monitoring section. It will submit a proposal describing the idea
of monitoring with indicators.
Lebanon pointed out that data collection is not an
end in itself, but a means to implementation. It supports moving the
article to the section on monitoring.
South Africa emphasized the importance of the protection
of data and the need to ensure that data collection only serves to enhance
the quality of life of PWD and their rights. It supports the proposals
of Uganda and Colombia in this regard.
Yemen requested that its proposals made in relation to Article 5 be
applied to the discussions for Article 6 and apologized for the misunderstanding.
The Chair thanked Yemen for the clarification.
International Disability Caucus recommended moving
Article 6 to Monitoring with amendments taking into account the importance
of: safeguarding the rights of PWD in line with ethical standards on
data collection; detailing information on access to public services
and programs relevant for PWD as well as barriers faced by PWD in exercising
their rights; gender, age, indigenous status and other factors. States
Parties must promote international cooperation in collecting and gathering
Save the Children Alliance highlighted several points
from the previous Caucus intervention from the perspective of a child
rights organization. Collection of data in 6(a) should clearly be on
a voluntary basis. 6(e) should reference detailed information on the
realization of the rights of PWD. A new paragraph (h) should provide
for the collection of data from PWD who are victims of crimes, including
disabled children who are disproportionately impacted by violence. Articles
3 & 5 of CRC should guide the rights of children in the context
of data collection and statistics.
Qatar noted that some statistics are not used for program
or policy design, so there is a need for definitions relating to statistics
that should be used. Statistics and data should be used in the development
of policies and programs.
Uganda noted that the collection and protection of data may qualify
as a sort of monitoring mechanism in and of itself, as in this case
it is a method of safeguarding the rights of PWD. It opposes merging
Article 6 with Article 25 as the latter deals with monitoring the convention
as a whole, and a merger could weaken it.
The Chair adjourned the meeting.
ARTICLE 6: DATA AND STATISTICS - (Cont)
DPI stressed the importance of data collection, as evidenced
by the practice of human rights treaty bodies and Rule 13 of the UN
Standard Rules, while ensuring that the rights of the subjects of statistical
inquiry are respected.
ILO emphasized the need for data gathering, both for
monitoring as well as planning and programming purposes, and to show
demographic changes of societies over time. In many countries PWD are
invisible in national censuses, labor force and other surveys. Information
on PWD should be gathered in the same way as for all people in a population.
It called for a separate article in the convention.
UN Statistics Division informed the Committee of international
standards on statistics, (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/statorg/FP-English.htm)
including the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, which
seek to ensure that rights of people are respected in the course of
Volume 5, #7
August 31, 2004
AFTERNOON SESSION: INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
ARTICLE 6: STATISTICS AND DATA COLLECTION
The Coordinator noted that in earlier discussions the UN statistics
division highlighted an existing 1994 international agreement that could
be referenced to address the concerns over safeguards. The safeguards
in the use and collection of data was a primary concern for many delegations.
The 1994 agreement will be distributed in the morning and the issue
of safeguards addressed at that time. Many delegations supported moving
the article to Article 25 on monitoring, but others expressed opposition
on the grounds that the data should be used for more than just monitoring.
The Coordinator obtained the agreement of the room to proceed on the
basis that Article 6 would be retained in the early part of convention
for the present, though it could be moved later. The EU had proposed
a shorter version of the article and they were invited to elaborate
whether it went further than redrafting the safeguards protections.
The Netherlands (EU) had felt Article 6 too detailed
and prescriptive, in particular sections (d) and (e) addressing issues
of disaggregation of data and types of information to be collected.
The goal of the EU proposal is an article with a clear provision on
the obligation to collect data and statistics, with general provisions
on safeguards both national and international. It is not necessary to
refer to specific instruments here as they are included. The EU proposal
could be further shortened as (c) may become superfluous in light of
recent discussions addressing the concept of working in partnership
with PWD. The Coordinator invited comments on deletion of (d) and (e).
Costa Rica had made proposals related to paragraphs
the EU wished to delete, but could accept the EU proposal. However,
it wishes to include an obligation to create a general index of the
kind mandated in General Assembly res 4788 and A/Res 49/153, which would
go beyond simply listing data.
Japan supported the deletion of (d) and (e) which is
in line with its preferences for articles that are not overly prescriptive
or too detailed.
Norway had questions regarding the EU proposal but
would reserve them for the resumption of the session in the morning.
The Netherlands (EU) clarified that the EU proposal,
available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc4da6.htm,
went beyond simple deletion of Article 6(d) and (e). For example, its
chapeau refers to “appropriate information” rather than “statistics”
which can be a sensitive term for many.
The Coordinator announced that tomorrow morning the
UN statistics division information would be distributed, and then discussions
would resume on Article 6. Discussions would then move to Article 7,
with time reserved in the afternoon for the Facilitator’s groups to
address Articles 5 and 6.
The session was adjourned.
Volume 5, #8
September 01, 2004
DATA AND STATISTICS – ARTICLE 6 (Contd.)
The Coordinator informed the Plenary of his intention to make
available to facilitators relevant informal sessions papers on Draft
Articles 5 and 6. A Briefing Note by the UN’s Statistics Division was
Australia does not favor the inclusion of prescriptive
and operational measures within the body of a convention. While it believes
that issues such as Data Collection and Statistics should therefore
be placed elsewhere, Australia is flexible on the options proposed and
will support the EU proposal.
Colombia [no English interpretation taped]
South Africa recognised that statistical information
is an essential basis for planning policies and programs for the rights
of PWD but only for demographic purposes. The privacy and confidentiality
of data should be ensured and data should not be used to the detriment
of PWD. In line with this need for safeguards, the Fundamental Principles
of Official Statistics in the Collection and Dissemination of Statistics
could be referenced in the Preamble. Article 6 should be a separate
article, but kept concise and not prescriptive, given the many agencies
at the national level that can fulfill this responsibility. This Article
should not be merged with the Article on Monitoring, but can be moved
closer to it, and this is more a matter of structure than substance.
There should be a reference to data collection in the current formulation
of the Article on Monitoring.
Regulated, official, national data collection can assist in the work
of monitoring by providing baseline information on PWD, especially regarding
the equality of opportunities and economic and social rights generally.
For this reason 6(e) is limiting; and while South Africa does not support
all aspects of the EU’s amendments, it shares the EU’s preference to
delete both (d) and (e).
China [no English interpretation taped]
The Coordinator requested the Committee to address
the EU proposal to delete (d) and (e), in light of the alternative possibility
of referencing internationally accepted standards and ethical principles
instead. It is clear that delegations want the importance of safeguards
with regard to the collection and use of statistics maintained in this
Article. The Committee could therefore consider whether the UN Briefing
Note on Fundamental Principles could sufficiently cover this safeguards
Canada agreed with the EU that (d) and (e) are overly
prescriptive, and modified other proposals from the EU so that: (1)
the chapeau is amended from “shall collect” to “should undertake to
collect” as this is a middle ground from the original text of the WG;
(2) once collection of information has been decided, however, then the
obligation of States to adhere to safeguards should be strengthened,
so the last word in the chapeau should be amended to “shall”; (3) in
line with the Coordinator’s request and given the contribution of the
UN Statistics Division, the language in EU (b) should recognize international
norms and principles in addition to human rights to read ”comply with
internationally accepted norms and principles, including or in particular
those relating to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”
but without specifically identifying any particular standard by name.
The obligations in (c) on consultation with PWD are of a lesser nature
and should not be mandatory like those in (a) and (b) on legal standards
and human rights norms; therefore (c) should begin with “and should”
to make this distinction. While this Article should not be merged with
Article 25 on Monitoring, both Articles should be placed together.
New Zealand shared the position of many to keep the
text less prescriptive and more streamlined, so it is applicable over
time. In alignment with the EU text, and using the information of the
UN, perhaps the concerns over safeguards could be addressed with the
following amendment to (a): “comply with the legally established safeguards
consistent with internationally accepted standards and ethical principles
of statistics set up by the UN Statistics Commission.” With respect
to Canada’s recommendation the reference to the UN Statistics Commission
could be omitted; however, unlike the Canadian proposal, the more specific
language in the remainder of the New Zealand proposal should be retained.
New Zealand supports the rest of the Canadian recommendations, in the
chapeau and (b). The EU’s (c) is covered under General Obligations and
could be deleted.
The Coordinator confirmed the preliminary agreement
during the discussion on General Obligations that 6(c) would be incorporated
into Article 4, and affirmed the recommendations of a large number of
delegations that (d) and (e) should be deleted. He drew the attention
of the Committee to two new proposed texts, from the New Zealand delegation
on safeguards, and from the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) that, by
drawing on the UN Standard Rules neatly brings in international human
rights standards, UN guidelines, as well as ethical principles of statistics
while also spelling out what these principles are. The LSN text was
read out as follows: (a) “Ensures that the methods and procedures for
the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical
data comply with internationally accepted human rights norms and standards
and ethical principles of statistics, including the avoidance of undue
intrusion, informed consent, protecting the human rights of subjects,
maintaining confidentiality of records, and prohibiting the disclosure
of identities;” (b) “Ensures that disability statistics and data collection
address the living conditions of PWD, including access to public services,
rehabilitation programs, education, housing and employment.” Israel
favored the LSN language, which encapsulates both the importance of
data collection and the need to preserve confidentiality. To streamline
the Article, (d) and (e) should be deleted. Article 6 and 25 should
be placed close together, or in a possible chapter on implementation
could that appear at the end of the Convention. Several amendments to
the EU’s chapeau were proposed: “shall” should be changed to “undertake
to” as per the Canadian proposal; “including statistical information”
should be added after “appropriate information”; and the following new
language should be added making clear that the information collection
should be placed at the disposal of PWD and their organizations: “and
to enable PWD and their organizations to promote and realize their rights
under the Convention;” in the place of deleting (d) and (e) but without
being prescriptive there should be an explicit reference to the 2 key
areas in which this Article should apply, at the end of the chapeau:
“Such information shall include, inter alia, details in relation to
accessibility of public services and services provided to PWD.” Finally,
new language at the end of the Article should expressly refer to the
need of PWD to access this information: “Subject to complying with safeguards
to ensure confidentiality and respect for privacy as previously mentioned
in this Article, States Parties shall make the information collected
pursuant to this Article available to the public in general and PWD
and their organizations in particular in accessible formats.” For the
reasons the Coordinator has pointed out 6(c) should be deleted.
Yemen favored the comprehensive LSN text for this Article,
which should be included in the Convention after Article 25. Information
and data collected should be for the benefit of PWD, and in the implementation
of programs and policies for them, and not simply to provide statistics.
As per the EU proposal (d) and (e) are too detailed and should be deleted.
Namibia supported a separate Article on Data and Statistics as its language,
including in (d) and (e), ensures that it will be used for “developmental
not monetary purposes”. If (d) and (e) are to be deleted then Namibia
calls for the insertion of the LSN language into this Article, including
the LSN proposal for (c).
China favored a separate article, which was the original
intent of the WG. While these issues can also be mentioned in the Article
on Monitoring the intent of the WG should not be deviated from. Data
and statistics involves more than implementation and monitoring. This
article fulfills the goals of the Convention by protecting the rights
of PWD by guiding the setting of policies and programs. China agrees
with the chapeau as formulated. Both specific situations in individual
countries as well as international norms like the UN Fundamental Principles
of Official Statistics need to be taken into consideration. The latter
states that “statistics collected by statistical agencies for statistical
compilation, whether referring to natural or legal persons, are to be
strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes,”
and it is important that this allowance does not lead to uses in other
contexts. It agrees (d) and (e) are too detailed and should be deleted.
Privacy should be emphasized. China agrees with the inclusion of (c),
given the “teamwork” required between the Government and the people
from whom information is collected.
Thailand reversed its recent position in which it agreed
to a merger of this article with that on Monitoring. Having now heard
delegations’ arguments of its practical importance to many developing
countries for formulating programs and policies to protect and promote
the rights of PWD, it is returning to the original position it took
in the WG, and calls for a standalone article. Thailand also supports
the LSN text for (a) and (b), Israel’s proposed amendments relating
to accessibility, and would like to submit new language ensuring that
the lack of adequate data and statistics shall in no way be a condition
for not implementing the Convention.
The Coordinator indicated that while delegations are
free to submit new proposals, and Thailand’s is accepted, the intent
now is to reduce this number. In addition, it is clear that the original
recommendation in the Compilation to merge Articles 6 with 25, or any
other Article, no longer has wide support. However it remains to be
decided where their relative placement should be, either in a chapter
on implementation and monitoring or elsewhere, given that the article
has general application as noted by Namibia. This point can be revisited
during discussion on the structure of the Convention.
Mexico also supported a standalone Article and was
flexible on its placement. The Article should refer to firstly, data
collection and procedures and guidelines to be followed; and secondly,
the use of the information. With regard to the second point, Mexico
favors the LSN text as a good basis, and proposes two additions: in
(b) the need to identify and take into account the obstacles encountered
by PWD in exercising their rights, on which Mexico has already submitted
text; and in (c) the need to disaggregate data based on geographical
distinctions. With regard to the management and use of information,
Mexico agrees with Costa Rica that this information should be integrated
into development indicators of a country, and this idea should be reflected
in this Article. The idea of promoting research to improve the stock
of information available on PWD, and the Israeli proposal to make information
accessible to PWD should also be reflected.
The Coordinator confirmed that Mexico’s draft language
in relation to these proposals is included in the latest “Modifications
to Daft Articles 1 to 15 and 24 bis presented by governments to the
AHC. As of 30 August 2004.”
Uganda also supported a standalone article, and favors
(a) and (b) of the LSN text because this covers (a), (b), (e) and (f)
of the WG text, leaving only (c) which will be covered in Article 4.
Uganda is not convinced that (d) should be deleted. Countries already
maintain population statistics disaggregated by age and sex, and there
is no reason why disability should not be a criterion as well. In disability
planning it is essential to know the age and sex of PWD. “Disability
is not homogenous” and unless the types of disability are disaggregated
it will be difficult for governments to plan.
Norway noted its initial position that this Article
should be streamlined and focused in its message, and welcomed the EU’s
proposal. In the chapeau it supports the EU’s replacement of “statistics
and data” with “information” as this has wider application, and it could
support the Israeli proposal to include references to both. The Canadian
amendment from “shall” to “should undertake” is also acceptable. The
current language on confidentiality could be strengthened using language
from the UN Fundamental Principles without referring to a specific instrument.
The LSN text merits some reflection but is too prescriptive. It should
be pointed out as Mexico already has that the idea of dissemination
is not included in the EU text. In this regard “disseminating” could
be added following “collecting” in the chapeau, thereby making it clear
that this is also an obligation of states.
Serbia-Montenegro welcomed South Africa’s proposal
to reference the UN Fundamental Principles in the Preamble. It also
supports the EU text, the deletion of the WG text (d) and (e), the Canadian
amendments to the EU text, New Zealand’s amendments to the EU’s (a),
Norway’s inclusion of wording on “dissemination” as also reflected in
the Mexican proposals, and finally the LSN text, which it considers
another example of “a quality contribution of the disability movement”
though this text should perhaps be streamlined. Article 6 should be
placed closer to the Article on Monitoring.
The Philippines was convinced that this Article should
not be merged with the Monitoring Article as monitoring is only one
of the several uses of statistics, and a merger would restrict statistics
to “an ex post facto” use. Statistics are a prerequisite for monitoring
the equality of opportunity. By retaining the standalone Article the
Convention recognizes that one of the fundamental obstacles in developing
countries to promoting the rights of PWD is the lack of information.
However, the current formulation needs to be less prescriptive.
Eritrea favored (a) of the LSN text because it adequately
addresses concerns regarding the right to privacy. The texts do not
fully capture all the kinds of data that should be collected, and is
weighted towards quantitative data. The chapeau should reflect the fact
that it is equally important to collect qualitative data, on behaviors,
attitudes, beliefs and experiences with PWD and their families, and
their community at large.
Lebanon reminded the Committee of the reasons behind
the existence of paragraphs proposed for deletion. Para (d) is meant
to avoid data from being collected as if PWD form a single block, and
also to prevent the stereotypical disease or medically driven categories
by which data on PWD is often enumerated. Lebanon is ready to work with
the Coordinator to reach an appropriate redrafting of this Article.
The LSN text (b) is an improved formulation of the content of WG text
(e), and is preferred, with the additional phrase at the end following
“employment”: “and in other areas.” LSN text (a) corresponds to the
principles and basic requirements that should be adhered to when collecting
information. Finally, the chapeau’s use of words such as “promotion”
or “facilitation” should not in any way dilute the obligations of states
or imply that the process of collecting information is a condition for
implementation. In this regard, Lebanon supports the text that may be
introduced by Thailand.
Kenya highlighted the importance of a standalone Article
but is flexible on its placement. The protection of the subjects, the
principle of informed consent, and the principle of confidentiality
should be reflected. The LSN text reads better than the other proposals
on the table, comprehensively covers most of the issues that delegations
would like to see addressed, and is an improvement on the EU text which
is too vague in its reference to international standards. States Parties
tend not to take seriously nonbonding declarations and guidelines, and
therefore explicit reference to the specific ethical principles in the
UN standards are necessary, perhaps in the Preamble, emulating the CRC
which refers to the Beijing Rules on Juvenile Justice in its own Preamble.
There should be a linkage between the obligation to collect statistics
and the obligation to ensure that the information is used to ensure
accessibility of PWD to public services. For this reason Kenya supports
(b) of the LSN text, but perhaps in a more streamlined form without
the detailed listing at the end: “… Disability statistics and data collection
should address the living conditions of all PWD and create access to
Colombia supported the LSN proposal and clarified that
“statistical studies are not only on disabilities but there is also
proper management of these variables as well as different information
systems of these countries.” It agreed with delegations calling for
language ensuring that these studies are made available in accessible
Venezuela supported the LSN proposal as it addresses
the fundamental issue of privacy of data, the Namibian recommendation
that data on both geographical location and type of disability should
be gathered so as to more effectively design programs, and the suggestion
that disability should be incorporated into country development indicators.
Venezuela is flexible as to placement of this article.
Republic of Korea noted that its concerns as expressed
in the WG on privacy and confidentiality of data are fully accommodated
and appreciated in the existing text. It reiterates that this article
should be shifted to Article 25, not because its content is any less
important but because it primarily serves the purpose of planning policies
and programs for PWD. Statistics and data is not a human right of PWD
per se and structurally should not be in a separate article. It agrees
with the EU proposal to delete (d) and (e), noting that simply providing
statistical data does not mean that this will actually be used, and
delegations should keep in mind that obligations here should be based
on a realistic assessment of the utility of data. What is gathered and
what is utilized in the provision of services and programs are often
not the same.
India supported (a), (c), and (e) of the LSN proposal
but finds (d) too prescriptive, preferring this to be left up to States.
The article should remain separate and placed towards the end of the
Convention text. Statistics have uses broader than simply monitoring,
such as program formulation, resource allocation and developmental planning.
Jamaica likewise called for a separate article that
could be placed in a section on monitoring. It supports the LSN proposal
but with the additional mention of “scientific” principles in (a), which
are as fundamental as human rights and ethical standards, and the removal
of the reference to “human rights” which could be seen to qualify all
that comes after it. Taking the above amendments into account, it proposes
2 alternative formulations of the LSN text: in the interest of brevity,
deleting the second part of the sentence after “including”, or, if the
entire sentence is to be maintained, then adding “and maintenance of
reliability and validity” to its second part.
Costa Rica summed up the two texts currently being
considered. The longer proposal by LSN as announced by the Coordinator
itemizes in (a) the safeguards, and in (b) the standards that need to
be covered. The EU proposes a similar text highlighting the need for
safeguards but without listing them. While Costa Rica identifies with
the principle of “more is less,” and is flexible on either approach
as long as both (a) and (b) are maintained, it notes that given the
suggestion from Israel and the consideration of the LSN text, the Committee
seems to be moving towards a more detailed Article. If the Committee
prefers the more succinct EU text, Costa Rica agrees with the amendments
proposed by Canada, changing “shall” to “undertake to”, and by Mexico
to add “regulations” to states’ obligations to “formulate and implement
policies.” This Article should remain separate but moved to the chapter
on Monitoring, and the monitoring mechanism in Article 25 should have
as one of its duties the elaboration these indicators, thereby linking
it with this Article.
The Coordinator thanked Costa Rica for clearly outlining
the alternatives for consideration by the Committee and noted that a
detailed text with examples makes it more likely that more delegations
will intervene with more examples. While these may be valuable it also
results in long lists, which tend to become unwieldy, and in turn makes
for a longer discussion. The Coordinator noted that the topic at hand
is relatively simple, and in this regard cited the CRC’s General Comment
#5 that spells out the crux of this issue: “collection of sufficient
and reliable data on children disaggregated to enable identification
of discrimination and/or disparities in the realization of rights.“
The EU acknowledged the Committee’s general lack of
support for a merger of Article 6 with 25 and therefore will accept
separate articles as long as they can both be in a Monitoring section,
but highlighted to the Coordinator that the EU’s position did reflect
that of 25 Member States. The EU’s logic behind proposing the merger
was that its Monitoring obligations apply to the entire Convention,
and therefore Article 25 had wide scope. The EU appreciated the amendments
proposed by Canada. The focus in (a) of the LSN text on statistical
data is too limiting, which is why the EU chose to make “appropriate
information” the subject of the Article in its chapeau. Likewise, referring
only to safeguards for statistics in the LSN text’s (b) would not do
justice to the intention of the Article. The EU might accept language
proposed by Canada to “norms and principles, including those relating
to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” The EU
was surprised at delegations agreeing to the deletion of the WG text’s
(d) and (e) while favoring what was essentially the same language in
the LSN text’s (b). Building on the LSN text would be overly prescriptive,
and does not help the Committee reach the goal of a concise article
that gives States freedom and flexibility to formulate their own policies
and decide accordingly the kinds of information they need. The Israeli
proposal to the chapeau was also of concern because it implies a focus
on statistics, when in fact the focus should be to collect reliable
information, which better serves the purpose of this Article. Norway’s
proposal to add the obligation to disseminate deserves further consideration.
However it is doubtful that this obligation belongs in the chapeau as
it is unclear how it relates to the obligation to formulate and implement
policies, and so it may have an inherent value in and of itself. The
EU reiterates that the focus of (a) in its text is national law, and
while this is not explicitly mentioned it can be inferred from the subsequent
obligation in (b) citing international standards.
Cuba called for a separate article and aligned itself
with the LSN text, which it did not consider too elaborate, and to which
some amendments could be made. It agrees with Jamaica that “scientific
principles” should be cited, making this language consistent with the
Principles put forward by the UN Statistical Commission at its Special
Session of April 1994. It also agrees with Mexico’s proposals regarding
the treatment of data, which should conform to international standards.
Finally, Cuba suggested a general reference to the disaggregation of
data on gender, type of disability, living conditions, and barriers
to public access, by summarizing (b) and (c) of the LSN text, which
could resolve the concerns over this issue.
Lebanon enquired whether the language in its own proposals
and that of Mexico and Costa Rica, which it supports, dealing with the
use of disability statistics in national development indicators, would
The Coordinator highlighted that the Committee had
moved forward since the WG discussion when there was a lack of consensus
on whether there should be a separate Article. There is now general
support for placement of a separate Article in a Monitoring section
of the Convention. While there was a majority of States favoring a streamlined
article, there were some delegations that wanted to see more detail.
The paper circulated by the UN Statistical Division was found very useful,
and there was broad support for the LSN text’s formulation on the ethical
principles of statistics, though the interventions calling for adding
scientific standards are also noted. The Coordinator therefore suggests
that the language on norms relating to ethical principles of statistics
in (a) of the LSN text could be usefully introduced into (b) of the
WG text, which would then eliminate the need for more detailed references
to protecting and not misusing the collection of statistics. There was
support for the EU’s streamlined approach, including amendments in the
chapeau from “shall” to “undertake to”, the deletion of (d) and (e)
of the WG text, with (c) being covered elsewhere in Article 4. There
was a strong view the Article should not be unduly prescriptive and
delegations who believe that specific elements are particularly important
could include these elements into their policies at the national level.
Language from the General Comment #18 of the CRC, one of the existing
fundamental human rights conventions, could offer an alternative middle
ground, as it captures, briefly, the essence of the discussion. The
Mexican proposal on the use to which this data is put is detailed and
could potentially unbalance the text, though proposals to specify research
and the inclusion of disability data in development indicators did garner
support and could be included in a more concise formulation of the Mexican
text. In the event that the resulting abbreviated text omits fundamental
principles of concern to delegations then the Committee will need to
revisit this Article. However the most expeditious approach at this
stage would be to go for a clear and succinct text. The Coordinator
requested the Committee’s approval to take this approach, and called
on the facilitator of Article 6 to move forward accordingly.
Israel stressed that its language on transparency of
information collected, and the need to make it available to the public
in general and to PWD in particular, should be strongly considered and
taken into account.
The Coordinator suggested that Israel consult with
Mexico on this point as it relates to the use rather than collection
of data, the language of which Mexico will be attempting to reformulate
for facilitators meeting in the afternoon. .
Volume 5, #8
September 01, 2004
AFTERNOON SESSION: INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
STATISTICS AND DATA COLLECTION – INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
The Facilitator outlined the mandate from the Coordinator:
there will be no discussion about placement of this Article, and discussion
should aim to keep the text concise. For this session agreement needs
to be reached on 3 specific areas, in this order:  what is the purpose
and objectives of this Article and why should it exist; ie what are
the uses of data collection;  what is the scope of the Article and
the areas it should cover;  what is the procedure by which the objective
and scope are to be determined, keeping in mind the need to take into
account existing international agreements already in force, so that
any new language would not conflict with existing norms. Delegations
should refrain from expressing support for the proposals of others with
the understanding, due to the lack of time, that silence will reflect
The Facilitator opened discussion with two proposals for the chapeau,
which he noted would be that portion of an Article where its objective
and purpose would be outlined: the WG text with the objective being
to “formulate and implement appropriate policies to protect and promote
the rights of PWD” as amended by Mexico with the addition of the word
“regulations”; and the EU text which outlines the objective as being
to “give effect to this convention”.
The EU clarified that the logic behind its proposed
text should be understood in light of the Committee’s view that the
provisions of this article are about implementation and its decision
to move this article to the implementation part of the Convention. The
EU text is broader than that of the Mexican proposal as the Convention
would therefore be the point to which one would refer back to as the
subject of this Article.
The Facilitator asked that the group first agree on
the overall conceptual framework as this will make drafting specific
Mexico highlighted the fact that it is working with
the delegation of Israel towards formulating a concise Article incorporating
all the views expressed so far, and that it will shortly submit this
to the group for further comment.
Kenya recalled the morning discussion on this article
given the EU text and the more detailed LSN text, that both garnered
support. It highlighted the suggestion from the Coordinator that the
LSN phraseology regarding compliance with international standards as
well as the Jamaican proposal could be brought into the EU formulation.
It recalled that while there was general agreement this Article should
remain standalone, because it dealt with both policy and implementation,
the matter of placement remains to be discussed.
Canada did not recall that differences in conceptual
approach had been addressed in previous discussions between the EU and
Mexican texts. Canada does not see the difference between the chapeau
of the two texts given that the Convention is about protecting and promoting
the rights of PWD. Canada would prefer the EU text over that of LSN
given Canada’s preference for brevity; however given the wide support
that elements of the LSN text also garnered, Canada is open to proceeding
with further discussion on that.
The Facilitator asked the EU whether, pursuant to Canada’s
point, it would agree that there is no substantive difference between
its own text and that of Mexico.
The EU clarified, pursuant to the Kenyan intervention
that no delegation has put forward, or sought to propose the acceptance
of, the entire LSN text as “its proposal”. The LSN text is very long,
and no delegation has submitted for consideration proposed text identical
to that of the LSN text. The EU is open to considering borrowing elements
of the LSN text but is not prepared to accept the LSN text as a working
Norway echoed comments of Canada, EU and Kenya and
given the short time available highlighted the clarity with which the
way forward had been laid out by the Coordinator this morning. The Coordinator
suggested that the group start off with the simplest proposed text,
as the longer the text the greater the discussion around it. Norway
accordingly suggests that the group now proceed concretely, displaying
the short EU text on the screen, and seek to refine that with additional
elements as needed.
The Facilitator enquired as to whether there was agreement
about Norway’s suggestion.
Mexico disagreed and pointed out that the purpose for
its new draft was because there had been a number of comments and concepts
that had been accepted by the Plenary, and these have now been incorporated
substantively if not with the same specific wording. The article now
focuses on specific needs that exist for PWD in terms of information
and statistics. The Article should be renumbered 24(bis) but this question
on placement can be revisited. Mexico thanked Israel for its contributions
in laying the groundwork for this new proposed text.
The Facilitator recalled from the morning Plenary that
the Coordinator had requested Mexico and Israel to produce a new text
Namibia enquired whether the purpose of this Article
was for monitoring alone, or whether it was to function for planning,
formulating and implementation purposes as well. If it was to serve
the latter purpose then it should be separate from Article 24 as well.
Namibia would support the new Mexican draft if it incorporates both
the LSN text and that from the WG. He recalled that the Coordinator
this morning also drew the Plenary’s attention to language from the
CRC General Comment #5 on the disaggregation of data, which, if too
long, could also be left to the national level.
Cuba objected to the fact that its interventions are
being left to the end. It should be kept in mind that all delegations
can make proposals, they are all legitimate and valid, and there should
not be any limits to the debate. Cuba was prepared to accept the LSN
text only to be told in this session that this was not really a proposal.
Yet the Coordinator himself had submitted this as a proposal this morning
and accordingly the Cuban delegation and many others had begun to work
on that text, which was done in good faith, is objective and should,
even in amended form, be taken into account. Now there is yet another
proposal from Mexico / Israel with elements from the EU text. Cuba will
support this new proposal if it also incorporates information from the
LSN text. Cuba calls for scientific aspects in data gathering exercises
to be mentioned, as cited in the resolution from the Commission on Statistics
Costa Rica endorsed the new proposed text from Mexico
and Israel because it reflects the discussion from this morning as well
as the EU text. Costa Rica suggests that this text should now become
the basis for further negotiations and seeks the views of other delegations,
in particular that of the EU, on this possible way forward. It also
enquired about the extra wording “present sufficient and reliable information”
in the chapeau. It is unclear to whom this information is to be presented
and in what format. After “policies” the word “regulations” should be
added as per the original Mexican proposal. In order for policies to
be effective there has to be information. As was stated by Jamaica and
Cuba, scientific aspects need to be incorporated in 6(2)(a). There seems
to be agreement that 6(2)(b) is already addressed in a prior article
and therefore can be removed. The obligation in (b) to make information
available to PWD is however important and this idea is better placed
in 6(2)(d) and this entire para (d) be moved elsewhere. Finally Costa
Rica was unclear as to the purpose of 6(3), and proposes that it be
deleted entirely along with 6(2)(d), leaving only (a) (b) and (c) in
The Facilitator asked the Committee to comment on the
Mexico / Israel text as well as the others.
China supported the Mexican proposal to move this Article
to 24(bis). It notes that the Mexico / Israel proposal seeks to accommodate
proposals from all sides, including many elements of the EU proposal.
Therefore China endorses this as a basis for further discussion. 2(a)
could be simplified. Scientific principles should be specified as a
method and procedure for collecting information. The right of privacy
of PWD should also be protected in the use of information. As such internationally
accepted norms should be complied with, for example those referred to
by the UN Statistical Commission.
China proposes simple wording in the second sentence
for 2(a) of the Mexican / Israeli text, which can take care of all concerns:
adding “strictly confidential” and “used exclusively for statistical
The Facilitator withdrew his earlier recommendation
for conceptual input and encouraged specific textual proposals from
Israel outlined the structure and logic of its new
draft proposal with Mexico. The EU text is the basis, integrated in
various sections with proposals from the Chair and other delegations
as put forth in the morning sessions. 6(1) is essentially the EU text
with mostly linguistic editions and the additional Israeli reference
to “including statistical data”. 6(2)(a) is the LSN text which received
general if not unanimous agreement for encapsulating concerns that the
overarching need to protect privacy and confidentiality be covered.
6(2)(b) is the draft as suggested by the Coordinator and is targeted
at implementation of the Convention. 6(2)(c) is from the original proposal
by Mexico, and retained for the reasons as provided by Mexico. 6(2)(d)
gives expression to the principle of transparency and the need to make
information collected available to PWD who are the main subjects of
the Convention. 6(3) is from the original proposal by Mexico. Proposals
received on 6(2)(a) to recognize “scientific” principles will be incorporated.
Yemen commenting on the WG text agreed with its chapeau
and paras (a), (b) and (f), and supported the EU proposal to delete
(d) and (e) as they are too detailed. This Article should be placed
after that on Monitoring.
Japan accepted generally the EU proposal though with
a few amendments. It also agreed with the Mexican / Israeli proposal
with the following comments: 6(2)(c) remains overly prescriptive, as
this Convention should not dictate the variables to be collected; 6(2)(d)
needs a qualifying clause to ensure that information that would be made
available to the general public would constitute general information
or be subject to the privacy protection afforded to PWD. The substance
of 6(3) seems to extend beyond the reach of the Article itself, which
should be restricted to statistics, and Japan has “great reservations”
on its new language on states’ obligations with regards to research.
Eritrea supported the Mexico / Israel draft, which
addresses in the chapeau of 6(1) its concerns about the quality of the
data being collected, and in 6(3) about national and international research.
The EU declared its formal acceptance of a separate
article on this issue. Superseding its previous intervention, the EU
also asserts its new understanding that the Mexico / Israeli proposal
is to be the basis for negotiation. It appreciates the inclusion of
its own text in their proposal and notes that the additional elements
remain to be considered. It is not convinced of the need to include
the details to “process, store and present” information or the mention
of “including statistical data”. It still considers 6(2) and (3) to
be overly specific. It reminded the group of the essence of the Article’s
purpose – “the formulation and implementation of policies to give effect
to this Convention”. Even if states scrupulously give effect to everything
in these two paragraphs they could still formulate bad policies that
would fail to serve the overall purpose of giving effect to the Convention.
The statistics and data are of no use if they are not used to formulate
proper policies. It would be wiser for the Article to limit itself to
establishing strict safeguards to ensure there will be no misuse of
the information, and leave it up to States to decide the methods and
types of information to be collected and what to do with it. This will
increase the likelihood that policies will be aligned with the goals
of the overall Convention. It highlighted proposals made this morning
to delete the second half of (a) of the LSN text, from the word “statistics”.
It reminded the Committee of the many proposals to delete WG text (d),
which, the EU noted, parallels (b) of the current Mexico / Israeli text.
There is “far reaching specificity” in (c) that the EU would prefer
to avoid. There was a strong expression of will in the Committee this
morning that consultation with PWD and DPOs as mentioned in (d) is a
cross cutting issue that is more appropriately dealt with elsewhere;
however the EU is open to further discussion regarding the second point
made in (d) on the distribution of information. The EU has the same
misgivings as Costa Rica regarding 6(3) and is unclear as to its purpose.
Jordan expressed concern that the language of 6(1),
in particular the reference to “enable”, gives the impression that the
implementation of the Convention hinges or is conditional upon the collection
of information. The detailed nature of 6(2), in particular the reference
to health and employment, does not help states to collect information
with regard to disability and PWD. The obligation in 6(3) to “serve
as a basis” for the promotion of the rights of PWD is poorly drafted
and requires further explanation.
Thailand supported the essence of 6(2) but shared the
EU’s concerns that it is too detailed. If agreement could be reached
that the subject of consultation with PWD should be moved to the General
Obligations, then 6(2)(d) could be restricted to covering the availability
of statistics in accessible formats. Pursuant to its concerns expressed
this morning Thailand has circulated language that both acknowledges
the critical importance of statistics to implement disability policies
and programs, but which also emphasizes that the absence or lack of
such statistics shall in no way be used as an excuse for not implementing
the Convention. Thailand calls on the Committee to incorporate this
concept in this Article noting that it is flexible on both its exact
formulation and placement.
The Philippines shared the EU’s concerns on the need
for a more general approach to this Article.
Lebanon echoed the concerns of Jordan and Thailand on the use of “enable”
in 6(1), highlighting that statistics is only one of the ways to facilitate
the formulation and implementation of policies, regulations “and others.”
The details in this Article are not overly prescriptive and are necessary,
serving the purpose of limiting any possible damage that may occur from
the misuse of data. Lebanon supports the Jamaican addition of “scientific”
principles. The obligation in 6(3) on research is interesting but needs
to be re-worded so that its link to the substance of the rest of the
article is made clear; currently it is presented as a separate idea.
Serbia-Montenegro accepted the Mexican /Israeli proposed
text with the following amendments: replace “sufficient and reliable”
with “appropriate” information in 6(1); there is too much detail in
6(2)(c) as per the EU’s position; 6(2)(d) is more appropriate elsewhere,
perhaps in the Article on accessibility, and needs to be more clearly
and concisely worded.
Mexico responded to the comments on its text. It disagreed
with Costa Rica’s position but will consider including the term “disseminate.”
The absence of the word “scientific” is an oversight and will be added
to the reference to principles in 6(2)(a). As all delegations noted,
consultations with PWD in the first part of 6(2)(b) are sufficiently
covered elsewhere in the Convention especially Article 4, so the thrust
of this subparagraph will be restricted to its second part. The language
of 6(3) drafted entirely by Mexico needs to be clarified as “research”
has a meaning in English that may not be what Mexico was aiming to imply.
Its purpose is to highlight the collection and use of statistics should
benefit from the participation of NGOs, governments, academia and the
private sector. That is, the whole of society should be involved. This
is not just a question of governments vis a vis PWD but should be brought
to the attention of all sectors of society.
Korea opposed the insertion of “scientific” principles
because data collection and statistics is in itself a science and not
The Facilitator indicated that he has adequate material
with which he will consult with the Coordinator to produce a text that
will take into account the views expressed.