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Eighteenth session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities takes place in Geneva from 14 to 31 August 2017

BACKGROUND RELEASE

Reports of Panama, Morocco, Montenegro, Latvia, Luxembourg and United Kingdom to be reviewed

GENEVA (9 August 2017) - The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will meet from 14 to 31 August in Room XVII of Palais des Nations in Geneva, to hold its eighteenth session and examine measures taken by Panama, Morocco, Montenegro, Latvia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Committee will open the session at 10 a.m. on Monday, 14 August. It will hear an address by a representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, consider the report of the Chair on inter-sessional activities and adopt the programme of work for the session.

During the session, the Committee will consider the initial reports of Panama (CRPD/C/PAN/1) on 15 and 16 August, Morocco (CRPD/C/MAR/1) on 16 and 17 August, Montenegro (CRPD/C/MNE/1) on 17 and 18 August, Latvia (CRPD/C/LVA/1) on 21 and 22 August, Luxembourg (CRPD/C/LUX/1) on 22 and 23 August, and the United Kingdom (CRPD/C/GBR/1) on 23 and 24 August.

The Committee will hold a day of general discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to equality and non-discrimination (article 5 of the Convention), as part of the process leading to the preparation of a draft general comment on that matter, on Friday 25 August.

On Tuesday, 29 August, the Committee will review the progress made by the working group established to draft a General Comment on article 19 of the Convention concerning the right to live independently and be included in the community, with the view of moving towards the adoption of the General Comment. In closed meetings, the Committee will consider the complaints submitted under the Optional Protocol to the Convention and the conduct of inquiries.

The reports and other documents before the Committee, including the programme of work, are accessible on the webpage of the session.

The Committee’s dialogues with the delegations will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be webcast live. Summaries of the public meetings will be available on the United Nations Office at Geneva news and media page.

The Convention adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities, reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and promotes respect for their inherent dignity. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the body of 18 independent experts, monitors the implementation of the Convention by States parties. The Optional Protocol to the Convention gives the Committee competence to examine individual complaints with regard to alleged violations of the Convention by State parties to the Protocol.

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. It is the first human rights treaty to be ratified by a regional integration organization, the European Union.

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. They reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law and 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 160 States, and ratified by 174 Parties - 173 States and one regional organization.

They are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, 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, Micronesia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, the Netherlands, 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, Samoa, 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, Suriname, 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, which ratified the Convention in December 2010.

Optional Protocol to the Convention


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. The Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 by the General Assembly and entered into force on 3 May 2008.

To date, 92 countries 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, Central African Republic, Chile, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, 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, New Zealand, 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, Thailand, 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. Ahmad Al Saif (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Danlami Umar Basharu (Nigeria), Mr. Munthian Buntan (Thailand), Mr. Imed Eddine Chaker (Tunisia), Ms. Theresia Degener (Germany), Mr. Jun Ishakawa (Japan), Mr. Samuel Njuguna Kabue (Kenya), Mr. Hyung Shik Kim (Republic of Korea), Mr. Stig Langvad (Denmark), Mr. Lászlo Gábor Lovaszy (Hungary), Mr. Robert George Martin (New Zealand), Mr. Martin Babu Mwesigwa (Uganda), Mr. Carlos Alberto Parra Dussan (Colombia), Mr. Coomaravel Pyaneandee (Mauritius), Mr. Valery Nikitich Rukhledev (Russian Federation), Mr. Jonas Ruskus (Lithuania), Mr. Damjan Tatić (Serbia), and Mr. Liang You (China).

The Committee’s Chairperson is Ms. Degener, Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Basharu, Mr. Pyaneandee, and Mr. Tatić, while Mr. Kim is the Rapporteur.

Proposed Programme of Work

Monday, 14 August
10 a.m. Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Tuesday, 15 August
10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Consideration of Panama (CRPD/C/PAN/1)
Wednesday, 16 August
10 a.m. Consideration of Panama (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of Morocco (CRPD/C/MAR/1)
Thursday, 17 August
10 a.m. Consideration of Morocco (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of Montenegro (CRPD/C/MNE/1)
Friday, 18 August
10 a.m. Consideration of Montenegro (continued)
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Monday, 21 August
10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Consideration of Latvia (CRPD/C/LVA/1)
Tuesday, 22 August
10 a.m. Consideration of Latvia (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of Luxembourg (CRPD/C/LUX/1)
Wednesday, 23 August
10 a.m. Consideration of Luxembourg (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of the United Kingdom (CRPD/C/GBR/1)
Thursday, 24 August
10 a.m. Consideration of the United Kingdom (CRPD/C/GBR/1)
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Friday, 25 August
10 a.m. Day of general discussion on article 5
3 p.m. Day of general discussion on article 5
Monday, 28 August
Closed meetings
Tuesday, 29 August
10 a.m. Adoption of the draft general comment on article 19
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Wednesday, 30 August
Closed meetings
Thursday, 31 August
10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Closed meeting
5 p.m. Public closing of the session

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For use of the information media; not an official record