EDF met the UN Committee & defended its Alternative Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the EU

2 April 2015

Today the disability movement met the UN Committee in Geneva and presented its Alternative Report raising its concerns about how the EU implements the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

The EU ratified the UN CRPD in 2010 making it the first international human rights treaty that was ever ratified by a regional organisation. Last year, the EU had to submit a report to the UN Committee to explain what actions it has taken in favor of its 80 million citizens with disabilities.

EDF prepared the EDF Alternative Report in order to give the view of citizens with disabilities all around Europe and to cover gaps that the EU report has.

Today, the UN Committee in Geneva examined for the first time the report by the EU and also had a meeting with EDF. During this meeting, EDF defended its Alternative Report and underlined its priorities and its main concerns about the implementation of the CRPD by the EU:

  • EU does not have a specific strategy aimed at the overall implementation of the UN CRPD by all EU institutions and Member States. We call for the development of a European Disability Pact to be included in the EU's main economic strategy and to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in this strategy.

  • To date there has been no campaign either in the EU or within EU institutions to raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and the UN CRPD. We call for the EU to launch an accessible, visible, well-organised and resourced public campaign to raise awareness on disability rights.

  • There is no clearly structured or documented process for the consultation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. We call for the EU to develop a code of conduct for consultation and involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in all EU decision making processes.

  • Today, the focal point in the EU lacks the necessary resources and the coordinating mandate to mainstream the UN CRPD in all EU policy levels. In addition, the monitoring mechanism lacks independence and funding. We call for an effective focal point within the EU institutions on the implementation of the Convention and for the independence and allocation of resources for the EU monitoring Framework.

  • Persons with disabilities need freedom of movement! We call for the EU to publish and swiftly adopt the European Accessibility Act covering a maximum of policy areas including transport, built environment, emergency services, ICTs etc.

  • Some Member States have used EU Funds to maintain and promote a system of institutional care. We call for the EU Funds to fund services and support which facilitate the right to live independently in the community by all persons with disabilities.

  • Although the EU is the largest donor in the field of international cooperation, it has not yet undertaken all appropriate measures to enhance EU disability-inclusive development policies and programmes. We call for the adoption of an EU Disability and Development Policy and Action Plan.

  • Persons with disabilities all over the EU are deprived of their legal capacity, and they are put against their will in institutions, forced to undergo treatment and therefore live in inhuman situations. We call upon the EU to issue guidelines to the member states to ensure that persons with disabilities receive support to exercise their legal capacity, and that compulsory psychiatric detention and/or treatment based on disability is not permitted.

  • Women and children with disabilities face multiple discrimination in the EU today. We call upon the EU to fight against all forms of discrimination.

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Find out more!

Download EDF Alternative Report here (in accessible PDF format with Easy-To-Read translation)

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