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Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities holds fifteenth session from 29 March to 21 April 2016

BACKGROUND RELEASE
 
Committee to Consider Reports of Portugal, Thailand, Chile, Slovakia, Serbia, Lithuania and Uganda
 
GENEVA (23 March 2016) - The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will hold its fifteenth session from 29 March to 21 April at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, to review the reports of Portugal, Thailand, Chile, Slovakia, Serbia, Lithuania and Uganda on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
 
The Committee will open the session at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 29 March by hearing a representative of the Secretary-General.  It will then adopt its agenda and programme of work, discuss the submission of reports, and consider other organizational matters.  It will also hear the report of the Chairperson on inter-sessional activities and discuss cooperation with United Nations bodies, specialized agencies and other competent bodies.
 
All seven countries will be presenting their initial reports, which can be accessed through the following links: Portugal (CRPD/C/PRT/1), Thailand (CRPD/C/THA/1), Chile (CRPD/C/CHL/1), Slovakia (CRPD/C/SVK/1), Serbia (CRPD/C/SRB/1),Lithuania (CRPD/C/LTU/1), and Uganda (CRPD/C/UGA/1). 
 
In addition to its review of country reports, the Committee will discuss its methods of work, the implementation of General Assembly resolution 68/268 on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system, and communications under its Optional Protocol, in closed meetings.  The Committee will hold a public reading of its General Comment on women and girls with disabilities on 12 April, and a day of general discussion on the right to independent living and to be included in the community on 19 April.
 
The country reports and other documents before the Committee are accessible on the Committee’s webpage.  At the end of the session, the concluding observations of the Committee on each State party will also be accessible on this website.
 
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
 
Adopted on 13 December 2006 by the General Assembly, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May 2008.
 
The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.  Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
 
States parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.  States Parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law.  Specific measures which are necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of the present Convention.
 
States parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and have committed themselves to take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.  States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law.  States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.
 
Each State party is obliged to submit to the Committee, through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a comprehensive report on measures taken to give effect to its obligations under the present Convention and on the progress made in that regard, within two years after the entry into force of the present Convention for the State Party concerned.  Thereafter, States parties shall submit subsequent reports at least every four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.
 
States Parties to the Convention
 
The Convention has been signed by 161 States.  At present there are 161 States and one regional organization which have ratified this instrument. They are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first human rights convention to provide for ratification by regional integration organizations, such as the European Union. The European Union ratified the Convention in December 2010.
 
Optional Protocol
 
Also adopted on 13 December 2006 by the General Assembly and into force since 3 May 2008, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals who claim to be victims of a violation of the provisions of the Convention by a State party.
 
To date, 88 countries and one regional organization have ratified the Optional Protocol: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chile, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,  Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and Zimbabwe.
 
Committee Membership
 
The members of the Committee are elected for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-election once.  The 18 independent experts are:
 
Mr. Mohammed Al-Tarawneh (Jordan); Mr. Danlami Umaru Basharu (Nigeria); Mr. Monthian Buntan (Thailand); Ms. Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes (Chile), Ms. Theresia Degener (Germany); Mr. Hyung Shik Kim (Republic of Korea); Mr. Stig Langvad (Denmark); Mr. László Gábor Lovaszy (Hungary); Ms. Diane Kingston (United Kingdom); Mr. Martin Babu Mwesigwa (Uganda); Mr. Carlos Alberto Parra Dussan (Colombia); Ms. Safak Pavey (Turkey); Ms. Ana Pelaez Narvaez (Spain); Mr. Coomaravel Pyaneandee (Mauritius); Ms. Silvia Judith Quan-Chang (Guatemala); Mr. Jonas Ruskus (Lithuania); Mr. Damjan Tatic (Serbia); and Mr. Liang You (China). 
 
The Chairperson of the Committee is Ms. Cisternas Reyes.  The Vice-Chairpersons are Ms. Degener, Ms. Kingston and Ms. Quan-Chang.  Mr. Mwesigwa is the Rapporteur. 
 
  
Programme of Work
 
Tuesday, 29 March

10 a.m.       Opening of session, adoption of the agenda, adoption of the programme of work, report of the Chair on activities undertaken between the fourteenth and fifteenth sessions of the Committee, submission of reports by parties to the Convention, cooperation with other United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, organizations of persons with disabilities and other competent bodies
 
3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Portugal CRPD/C/PRT/1
 
 
Wednesday, 30 March
 
10 a.m.         Portugal (continued)
 3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Thailand CRPD/C/THA/1
 
Thursday, 31 March
 
10 a.m.         Thailand (continued)
 3 p.m. Consideration of the initial report of Chile CRPD/C/CHL/1
 
Friday, 1 April
 
10 a.m.         Chile (continued)
 3 p.m.           Closed meeting


Monday, 4 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Slovakia CRPD/C/SVK/1
 
Tuesday, 5 April
 
10 a.m.         Slovakia (continued)
  3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Serbia CRPD/C/SRB/1
 
Wednesday, 6 April
 
10 a.m.         Serbia (continued)
 3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Lithuania CRPD/C/LTU/1
 
Thursday, 7 April
 
10 a.m.         Lithuania (continued)
 3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Uganda CRPD/C/UGA/1
 
Friday, 8 April
 
10 a.m.         Uganda (continued)
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Monday, 11 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Tuesday, 12 April
 
10 a.m.         Public reading of General Comment on women and girls with disabilities
 15:00           Public reading (continued)   
 
Wednesday, 13 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Thursday, 14 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Friday, 15 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 5 p.m.          Methods of work of the Committee
 
Monday, 18 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Tuesday, 19 April

10 a.m.       Day of general discussion on the right to independent living and to be included in the community
3 p.m.         Day of general discussion (continued)
 
Wednesday, 20 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Thursday, 21 April
 
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
 12 p.m.        Public closing of the session
 
 
For media requests, please contact:
Liz Throssell – UN Human Rights Office Media Unit
(+41 (0)22 917 9466/ +41 (0)79 752 0488 ethrossell@ohchr.org)

For media accreditation to attend the public sessions and the news conference, please see:
http://www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B9C2E/(httpPages)/70991F6887C73B2280256EE700379C58?OpenDocument
 
More information on the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
http://ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx
 
Protecting your rights – pdf guide to the UN human rights Committees: 
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/TB/TB_booklet_en.pdf
 
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