5 September 2018

20th session of CRPD Committee marks disability rights milestone

The latest meeting of the Committee represents a milestone for the rights of persons with disabilities – 10 years since the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) came into effect. In 2008 the CRPD had been ratified by 20 states. Today 177 parties, including the European Union, have committed to its implementation.


The CRPD Committee, which first convened in February 2009, is the body of independent experts which monitors the implementation of the CRPD by State Parties. Its 18 experts meet twice a year to discuss disability rights and assess whether states are fulfilling the duties set out in the Convention.


As the CRPD passes its 10-year anniversary, the 20th session of the Committee is looking at one of the big issues for disability rights today – how best to consult and involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, in decision-making processes through representative organisations. Specifically, the Committee is discussing, and potentially adopting, the Draft General Comment n° 7 on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3).


Comment n° 7 aims to guide State Parties in the implementation of the CRPD by giving an extensive interpretation on how persons with disabilities, including persons with psychosocial disabilities, should be included in decision-making processes. For more on MHE’s contribution to this discussion, see: https://www.mentalhealtheurope.org/contribution-arts-4-33-crpd/


The Committee – which is currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland – is also discussing reports on the implementation of the CRPD from several European State signatories to the Convention, namely Bulgaria, Malta, Poland and Macedonia. Consideration is also being given to issues highlighted by Austria, Germany and Sweden, which are due to submit reports next year.


For more information on the review process by the CRPD Committee see: https://www.mentalhealtheurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Toolkit-on-the-review-process-of-the-UN-CRPD.pdf

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