UN's Human Rights Recommendations to the EU: European Parliament & EDF work together for their implementation

Brussels,
27 January 2016

Today EDF participated in the European Parliament’s Public Hearing focusing on the UN’s recommendations to the EU on how to better promote the rights of 80 million people with disabilities.

For the first time in historyuy, last year the EU was reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the work it does to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The EU received [specific recommendations, the so called ‘Concluding Observations’, by the UN Committee on how to improve their work in this field in the coming years](Publish first the page on the new website http://www.edf-feph.org/Page_Generale.asp?DocID=13855&thebloc=34349).

The European Parliament is drafting a report on the implementation of the UN CRPD and especially the follow up to the UN’s Concluding Observations. MEP Helga Stevens (ECR, BE) is the rapporteur and more than 30 MEPs from several European Parliament Committees are contributing to the report creating a comprehensive overview of the European Parliaments approach to implementation of the UN CRPD. The rapporteur and other MEPs plan several moments of consultation with stakeholders including a close consultation with the disability movement. MEPs Helga Stevens and Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL, UK) hosted this public hearing as an opportunity for MEPs and representatives of the disability movement to have an open dialogue on how the European Parliament can contribute to and promote the successful implementation of the UN’s Concluding Observations.

At the opening of the hearing, EDF Vice-President, Gunta Anca, stated that the UN Committee’s Concluding Observations give the EU a powerful mandate to make the rights of persons with disabilities a top priority. She highlighted the UN Committee’s requests for the EU to review the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and connect it with the UN CRPD, to adopt a strong, wide-ranging and CRPD-compliant European Accessibility Act, as well as the EU directive on the accessibility of public websites, the equal treatment directive, among others. She recalled that the Concluding Observations include a detailed list of actions and measures which the EU has to take, across all policy areas: freedom of movement, non-discrimination, independent living, education, access to goods and services, employment, humanitarian aid and international cooperation, legal capacity, access to justice, health, participation in elections etc. That is why it is important that MEPs from so many different committees are involved in the European Parliament’s report and its follow-up.

Gunta Anca also underlined the importance of the active involvement of organisations of persons with disabilities in all EU policy and decision making processes: “The UN has asked the EU to set up a structured dialogue with persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. This means that organisations of persons with disabilities should be meaningfully and closely involved and consulted by all European institutions”.

EDF members and other civil society organisations and foundations were present in strong numbers at the hearing. They used the opportunity to explain important gaps in the EU’s implementation of the UN CRPD and gave concrete recommendations to MEPs on critical UN CRPD articles in relation to freedom of movement, legal capacity, political participation, refugees with disabilities, equal access to justice, inclusive education, equal access to cross border health care and deinstitutionalisation.

EDF is an umbrella organisation including over 130 organisations of persons with disabilities, and together with its members looks forward to work very closely with the European Parliament in the implementation of the UN’s Concluding Observations.

Find out more about EDF and its members’ campaigns on the implementation of the UN Convention and the EU review process on EDF’s website

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