On 25th March, the 13th Session of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) started in Geneva, taking place until 17th April. During this Session, the Committee has started the review of the EU report on the implementation of the UN CRPD, published in June 2014. As first step, the Committee will adopt a List of Issues by which the EU will provide further information of the report, highlighting at the same time the main areas in which the Committee is more concerned.
CBM, as active member of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), was there from 31st March to 2nd April with the purpose of advocating for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies as well as in International Cooperation.
This review has an added value considering that the EU is the first regional body on signing and ratifying a human rights treaty body, in addition to its influential role in International fora as the largest donor in International Cooperation. Due to this reasons, IDDC organised a side event, with the collaboration and support of the European Disability Forum (EDF), focused on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the EU external actions. I had the pleasure to represent the IDDC EU Task Group (TG) as one of the co-chairs; Ulriche NLast from Handicap International and member of the IDDC EU TG, gave an overview of the implementation of the EU on Article 11; and finally Yannis Yallouros, member of the Executive Committee of EDF and Catherine Naughton as EDF Director, demonstrated their support and expertise on this field as the umbrella organisation of persons with disabilities in the EU.
The main messages of this event were:
- The need of a legal framework for disability-inclusive policies and frameworks towards EU external actions
- The lack of mechanisms which monitor both quantitatively and qualitatively the impact of EU policies in the life of persons with disabilities
- The establishment of the participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations from the design until the implementation and monitoring of EU policies
— Diane Kingston (@Diane_CBM) April 1, 2015
IDDC would like to thank the Members of the Committee for the great participation of this side event, as well as for the intense and fruitful discussion after the several presentations, in which monitoring systems or the support of the EU for an inclusive Post-2015 framework were some of the main topics.
This discussion was the basis for IDDC to provide more concrete information to the Members of the Committee during the side event organised by EDF on 2nd of April, in which IDDC participated as well as several members of EDF, i.e., Inclusion Europe (IE), International Fedeation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) or the European Network for Independent Living (ENIL). This side event meant the opportunity to present the EDF shadow report and to raise the voice of persons with disabilities in different fields that need to be strengthening by the EU.
— Diane Kingston (@Diane_CBM) April 2, 2015
The EU has a leadership role and a responsibility for a further implementation of the UN CRPD. Civil Society and organisations of persons with disabilities were together in Geneva with the aim to ask for the adoption of financial instruments and policies frameworks that respect the principles and values of the CRPD. We also ask for the establishment of quality monitoring system and the provision of accessible information for all persons with different disabilities.
CBM is looking forward to working on the List of Issues, which will be published in the coming weeks. We will also support the work of the UN CRPD Committee as well as the EU for a stronger inclusion of persons with disabilities in developing countries.