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Studies have shown that people with cataracts are less likely to take part in productive activities than controls with normal vision (Hannah Kuper and Sarah Polack, ICEH/LSHTM)
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Update from the September CRPD Committee


The UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee held its 10th session between 2-13 September 2013. This session reviewed 3 state parties - Austria, Australia and El Salvator, whilst engaging with a number of non-state stakeholder to facilitate the implementation of the CRPD.

CBM Deputy Director of Advocacy and Alliance Diane Mulligan at the September 2013 CPRD Committee ©Danielle Kirby, OHCHR
CBM Deputy Director of Advocacy and Alliance Diane Mulligan at the September 2013 CRPD Committee
The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee meets a number of times a year to review reports submitted by states who have ratified the CRPD.

Until now, the committee has only been able to meet for two periods of one week, but has now gained additional working time as part of the wider treaty body strengthening process. This has enabled it to address the backlog of 41 state reports to be examined.

State Party reviews
From 2-13 September 2013 the Committee met for its 10th session and reviewed three states parties: Austria, Australia and El Salvador. Concluding observations of the reviews are available on the session's website.

Of particular interest to CBM are Articles 11 and 32, which relate to situations of emergency and international cooperation respectively. Diane Mulligan, the Deputy Director of Advocacy and Alliances for CBM and the United Kingdom’s elected member of the UN CRPD Committee, asked a number of questions on these issues which were noted in the concluding observations.

It was heartening to observe that the reviews from the independent monitoring bodies from both Austria and Australia demonstrated a high level of cooperation and transparency in their monitoring.

The Committee also adopted 'lists of issues’ on Sweden, Azerbaijan and Costa Rica. These comprise of questions that the States Parties will be asked when they are reviewed at the Committee’s 11th session from 31 March to 11 April 2014. This list of issues is available on the session's website.

Engaging with the wider community

In addition to the State Party reporting, the Committee also engaged with wider stakeholders. The 10th session saw the first ever meeting held between the Committee and States Parties, as well as a meeting with a UN agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO engaged the Committee in their consultation process of their forthcoming Disability Action Plan.

The Office of the High commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Regional Office of Europe provided an overview of a study on Article 33 (monitoring of the Convention) and the Secretariat of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention gave the Committee a brief of their work.
Private country specific side events were held for all countries (Austria, Australia, El Salvador, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Costa Rica). During these events, organisations of persons with disabilities had the opportunity to brief and exchange with the Committee on the priority issues related to the implementation of CRPD in their countries.

Working groups

In addition to private meetings on country-specific issues, members of the Committee are also involved in working groups developing general comments. The initial drafts of the Committee’s first general comments on Article 9 (accessibility) and Article 12 (legal capacity) have been finalised and will soon be available on the Committee’s website. These drafts are now open for contribution and comments from civil society.

Diane Mulligan is a member of the new working group on Article 6 relating to women and girls. The Committee also met with the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry to discuss the draft general comment of the Human Rights Committee on the right to liberty and security.

All public meetings of the Committee (opening, state reviews, meeting with States Parties) were Webcast by IDA and have been archived for subsequent viewing. The archived videos are available with English and Spanish audio as well as international sign interpretation and where relevant national sign language interpretation.

More reading

CBM’s engagement in advocacy

CBM is working with other organisations to advocate for a disability-inclusive society


United Nations CRPD

The purpose of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to promote, defend and reinforce the human rights of all persons with disabilities



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