IDA Disability Rights Bulletin November 2010

December 3, 2010

Global News

IDA Seminar on Key implementation challenges of the CRPD  

IDA will hold a Seminar in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on December 10th, 2010, entitled “Identifying Key Challenges in the Full and Effective Implementation of the CRPD”. The seminar will be attended by participants from UN entities, States representatives, experts from international disability and development NGOs. The purpose of the Seminar is to help to identify the main implementation challenges of the CRPD and start to see how we can address them, focusing on a variety of issues, including challenges in reforming mainstream and disability-specific legislation, establishing and/or modifying policies compatible with the CRPD, etc. Speakers will include, among others, representatives from the OHCHR and international disability rights experts.


European Disability Strategy 2010-2020

On 15 November, Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, announced the adoption of a new strategy to promote equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. The strategy includes a list of concrete actions with the purpose of create a barrier-free Europe for persons with disabilities. The Commission will regularly report on the plan’s achievements and progress complying with its obligations under the CRPD, which it has signed. The Commission will also consider whether to propose a “European Accessibility Act” by 2012 to further develop the Single Market for accessible products and services. Please click here to read The European Disability Strategy and here to read more about this announcement.


CRPD ratifications reach 96

The ratification of the Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (OP) by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on 29 October 2010 and the ratification by Turkmenistan of the OP on 10 November 2010, has increased to 96 the number of States Parties to the CRPD, while the OP has 60 ratifications. The number of Signatures of the Convention is 147 while the OP has 90 signatures.


Treaty Bodies

The CESCR Committee held its 45th session from 1 – 19 November and examined the reports of the Netherlands, Switzerland, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka. Click here to read IDA’s disability analysis of the adopted Concluding Observations. Click here to read the disability analysis of the state reports and here for IDA’s recommendations for Concluding Observations. 

During this session, the CESCR Committee held a Day of General Discussion devoted to the theme of the right to sexual and reproductive health on 15 November 2010.  IDA chair, Diane Richler represented IDA during this event.  Click here to read IDA’s submission for the Day of General Discussion.

The 45th session of the CAT Committee took place from 1 – 19 November to review the reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Mongolia and Turkey.  To read IDA’s disability analysis of the adopted Concluding Observations click hereClick here to read the disability analysis of the state reports and here for IDA’s recommendations for Concluding Observations. The CAT Committee also discussed the plans to draft a General Comment on Article 14, the right for victims of torture to redress and the enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.

The Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) held its 12th session from 15-19 November 2010.  It announced its provisional programme of visits for 2011 which includes country visits to Brazil, Mali and Ukraine. IDA and IDA member, the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) have joined the OPCAT Contact Group which is a group of NGOs involved in work related to OPCAT implementation, on 18 November IDA and WNUSP representatives took part in a meeting of the OPCAT Contact Group and the SPT.

The Human Rights Committee completed their first reading of Draft General Comment no 34 on the freedom of expression.  The revised version of the draft is now available online here and NGOs are invited to send comments on the draft to the Committee Secretariat by 30 December 2010.  Comments should be sent to  IDA will be making a submission to the Secretariat highlighting the right to freedom of expression, including the right to information, of persons with disabilities. 

The CEDAW Committee during its 47th session held in October, adopted two General Recommendations: General Recommendation no 27 on Older women and protection of their human rights and General Recommendation no 28 on the Core Obligations of States Parties under Article 2 of the CEDAW.  With respect to General Recommendation no 27, IDA made a submission to the CEDAW Committee with several suggestions to include and address older women with disabilities.  As a result, this General Recommendation serves as a strong instrument on the rights of older women with disabilities.  Click here to read General Recommendation no 27 and here to read General Recommendation no 28. 


Universal Periodic Review

The 9th session of the Universal Periodic Review took place in Geneva from 1-12 November 2010. Countries reviewed included Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Panama, Maldives, Andorra, Bulgaria, Honduras, the United States of America, Marshall Islands, Croatia, Jamaica, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Micronesia, Lebanon, and Mauritania.  A number of countries indicated that they would consider ratifying the CRPD, such as Andorra and Bulgaria. Bulgaria agreed to examine recommendations received regarding persons with mental disabilities, and said it is in the process of changing legislation with a view to ratification. Lebanon accepted recommendations to ratify the CRPD, and agreed to continue efforts on inclusive education. Micronesia, Honduras and Jamaica agreed to consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the CRPD. Croatia supported a recommendation of Canada regarding mental health residential facilities. The U.S. expressed its commitment to ratifying the CRPD but did not yet accept any recommendations to ratify. All of the States under review must report back to the Council at its March 2011 session to indicate definitively whether they accept the recommendations made. They may present progress made on recommendations already accepted. The final outcome documents of the review will be adopted in the March 2011 session.


Update on the 65th Session of the General Assembly

The Third Committee of the 65th session of the General Assembly has adopted during this session a specific resolution on the rights of persons with disabilities, under the title "Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond". This resolution highlights the urgent need for integrating the disability perspective in the MDGs. To have access to this Resolution, please click here.

Other resolutions adopted by the Third Committee also include references to persons with disabilities: the rights of the child, extreme poverty, right to development, Literacy Decade: education for all, Protection of Migrants, Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. For further information on these resolutions, please click here.



The World Health Organization has recently published guidelines on community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities. The document, which includes five components: health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment, offers practical ways to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities as well as practical suggestions to programme managers on how to develop or strengthen community-based programmes that are inclusive of people with disabilities and their families. Key agencies and organisations such as WHO; the International Labour Organization; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) have been involved in the development of this document, which is a strategy for the equalization of opportunities and social integration of persons with disabilities and an important additional tool to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Please click here to access the Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) guidelines.


About the IDA Disability Rights Bulletin

This bulletin is intended for experts advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, in particular within the Geneva-based human rights framework.  It is prepared by the IDA Secretariat, which also provides support to the Group of States Friends of the CRPD.

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