COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Concept note for a Day of General Discussion on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3), relating to the consultation and involvement of persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in decision-making and monitoring processes
- Date: Monday 11 June 2018, during the Civil Society Forum of the Eleventh Conference of States parties to the Convention
- Venue: New York, United Nations Headquarters
- Programme of work
- Accreditation. The deadline for accreditation is 19 April 2018.
- Written contributions: Please find information about written information on the Committee’s webpage.
The deadline for written contributions is 15 May 2018
- Registration for speakers during the Day of general discussion: a speaker list will be open at 9:15 a.m. on 11 June 2018.
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) was established in 2009 with the mandate to monitor how States parties to the Convention give effect to their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention). At its 19th session, the Committee established a working group on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3), relating to the right of persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, to be closely consulted and actively involved in decision-making and monitoring processes, through their representative organizations. The Working Group is preparing a general comment (CRPD/C/1/Rev.1 Rule of procedure No. 47) to promote a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of articles 4 (3) and 33 (3) of the Convention as well as to advance the further implementation of the Convention and to assist States parties, with close consultation and active involvement of persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in fulfilling their obligations.
Throughout the process of drafting, negotiation and adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations played a fundamental role. Their opinions, participation and effective involvement in all issues concerning the implementation of the Convention have also been the main feature in the implementation of the Convention and in the mandate and work of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As with all general comments, the Committee also aims at assisting partners, including international organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to efficiently foster the realization of the rights established under the Convention (CRPD/C/5/4, paras. 54 – 57).
According to the Committee’s Working Methods, the drafting of a general comment is a participatory process including consultations with a variety of stakeholders such as representative organizations of persons with disabilities, specialized agencies, NGOs, academia and human rights agencies (CRPD/C/5/4, para. 56). In this regard in its 19th session, the Committee also decided to collaborate with the International Disability Alliance and other partners to devote one day of the Civil Society CRPD Forum ahead of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention (11th COSP), to a general discussion on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3), to take place on 11 June 2018 at the United Nations in New York (CRPD/C/1/Rev.1, para. 28). The inputs and outcome recommendations of the Day of General Discussion will feed into the drafting process of the general comment.
The work of the Committee is in line with initiatives taken by other human rights mechanisms. In its resolution 20/26, the Human Rights Council requested the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, to prepare a study, to be presented at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council, on the right of persons with disabilities to participate in decision-making, in consultation with States parties and other relevant stakeholders, regional organizations, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, and national human rights institutions (A/HRC/31/62).
Overall objective and outcome of the 2018 Day of General Discussion
The Day of General Discussion aims at identifying the key issues that the General comment needs to address regarding the implementation of articles 4 (3) and 33 (3) of the Convention. The Committee has among others encountered the need for clarification of the defining elements of ‘representative organizations’ of persons with disabilities and ‘individuals with disabilities’ as to referring to those cases where representative organizations do not necessarily include all constituencies (i.e. persons with psychosocial disabilities), including the use of terminology, as well as regarding the scope of involvement of organizations of parents and relatives of persons with disabilities, and on how to include all groups of persons with disabilities in decision-making and monitoring processes, regardless of their cultural, sexual and political background. Moreover, the scope, criteria and legal effect of the involvement of persons with disabilities, through representative organizations, as well as the obligation to ‘consult closely’ and ‘actively involve’ persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in decision-making and monitoring processes, remains vague and divergent from one State party to another.
The Committee calls for highlighting and identifying good practices with regard to the implementation of articles 4 (3) and 33 (3) at the national level, including the direct engagement with representative organizations of women with disabilities, representative organizations of children with disabilities, organizations of self-advocates composed of and representing persons with intellectual disabilities, as well as representative organisations of persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or individuals with psychosocial disabilities, and the establishment of permanent consultation mechanisms with representative organizations of persons with disabilities.
The Committee also seeks to analyze the main causes for failure of implementation of articles 4 (3) and 33 (3), including as crosscutting provisions of the Convention (i.e. the disaggregation of data, the development of indicators, and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development); to identify necessary support systems within State parties, including facilitation of participation processes, accommodation, funding, capacity-building, etc., to ensure accessibility of persons with all kinds of impairments, through their representative organizations, to all facilities and procedures related to public decision-making and monitoring processes; and to learn about experiences of exclusion and discrimination related to the close consultation and active involvement of persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in decision-making and monitoring processes at the national level.
The Committee considers crucial to get perspectives from all geographical regions and to engage with States parties, focal points, coordination mechanisms, independent monitoring frameworks, National Human Rights Institutions, equality bodies, United Nations funds, programmes, and specialized agencies, entities in the private sector, civil society organizations, and particularly representative organizations of persons with disabilities, academia and other interested parties.
In line with the spirit of article 4 (3) of the Convention, the organization of the Day of General Discussion, by the Committee and the Civil Society Coordination Mechanism, will seek to ensure that panel composition duly include mainly representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities of all constituencies on the basis of parity, including those more marginalized, such as women with disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, persons with intellectual disabilities, deaf-blind persons, older persons with disabilities, etc.. Children with disabilities should also be represented, and parents should have a supporting (not substituting) role to allow for their views to be taken into consideration. The composition of panels should also be attentive to count with speakers with appropriate legal background and expertise to address the concrete legal issues referred to previously. The organizers will seek to frame the opening of the consultation in the most open and accessible way possible, to allow all interested parties to have the opportunity to express their views, regardless of technical language and skills, as time permits.
Expected outputs include written contributions prior to and on the Day of General Discussion as well as oral statements relating to the aspects of articles 4 (3) and 33 (3) of the Convention as per the preliminary outline of the General Comment. An analytic report of all written and oral submissions will be the outcome of the Day that will feed into the drafting process of the General Comment.
Documents and frameworks to inform the debate are, inter alia:
General Comments and other key documents by the CRPD Committee:
General Comments by other treaty bodies:
Participants to the Day of General Discussion and oral interventions
The Day of General Discussion is open to representatives of Governments, United Nations human rights mechanisms, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, national human rights institutions, and accredited civil society organizations (CSOs), including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and NGOs accredited to the COSP, as well as individual experts and children with disabilities.. Time will be allocated for oral interventions from the floor. A speakers' list will open at 9:15 a.m. for participants from the audience wishing to take the floor to participate in the interactive dialogue. All oral interventions should also consider the suggested preliminary outline of the General Comment (see paragraph 10 above). Although the Committee will try to accommodate all requests to make an oral intervention, it cannot guarantee that all speakers will be able to do so, given the time constraints and the expected number of such requests.
Draft Programme of work of the Day of General Discussion on Monday, 11 June 2018, Civil Society CRPD Forum, New York
10.00 – 10.30:
10.40 – 11.40: Panel on the scope, recognition and rights of organizations of persons with disabilities
11.50– 12.50: Panel on State parties’ obligations in the context of the right of all persons with disabilities to be closely consulted and actively involved, through representative organizations, in decision-making and monitoring processes: Structural measures, justiciability and enforcement
12.50 – 13.00: Wrap-up of the morning session
13.00 – 15.00: Lunch break (with the option to attend side events organized by civil society)
15.00 – 16.30: Panel on concrete measures to make participation of persons with disabilities meaningful and implementable by ensuring that no one is left behind. Good practices in implementing articles 4.3 and 33. 3 of the Convention
16.30 – 17.30: Interactive debate on all panels
17.30 – 18.00: Concluding remarks