Human Rights Officer
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty adopted in 2006 that reaffirms that all persons with disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It clarifies that all persons with disabilities have the right to participate in civil, political, economic, social and cultural life of the community.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights treaty adopted in 2006 that reaffirms that all persons with disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It covers rights related to all areas of life such as equality, accessibility, education, independent living, health, employment and freedom from violence.
At the international level, the respect of the Convention rights is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is a body of eighteen independent experts who have been nominated by the countries that have ratified the Convention. Find more information about the Committee.
The principal task of the CRPD Committee is the review of the progress in implementation of the Convention. States Parties are obliged to submit to the Committee reports on measures taken to implement the Convention two years after the entry into force of the Convention.
The Committee also adopts documents called “General Comments” to explain how the Convention must be understood and applied by States Parties. It is currently working on a General Comment on Work and Employment.
You can consult EDF’s guide for organisations of persons with disabilities on how to engage with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It gives information including how to participate in a country review and/or submit a complaint. Read it here.
In March 2022 the CRPD Committee held its 26th session and 15th pre-sessional working group, with the review of the following European countries:
No European countries are foreseen to be reviewed in the 27th session and 16th pre-sessional working group that will take place in August-September 2022.
In 2010, the European Union (EU) became a Party to the CRPD. As the main umbrella organisation of persons with disabilities in Europe, EDF plays an important role in monitoring the implementation of the Convention by the EU.
The CRPD provides for the establishment of a national mechanism for independent and transparent monitoring of the country’s obligations under the Convention. It must have a broad mandate to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the rights protected under the Convention. The continuous monitoring by this body of the national human rights situation is an incentive for the government to take seriously the obligations undertaken when ratifying the Convention and show genuine progress in fulfilling them.
The European Union set up the EU monitoring Framework to monitor the implementation of the CRPD. EDF is a full member, together with the European Ombudsman, the European Agency of Fundamental Rights and the European Parliament. The European Commission withdrew itself from the Framework, following the recommendation in the Concluding Observations of the CRPD Committee to the EU in 2015. More information about the EU Monitoring Framework.
As Party of the Convention, the European Union is evaluation by the Committee. The first review took place in 2015 and the second review started in 2022.
Our alternative reports gave information to the CRPD Committee about how the EU implements the Convention. Our first alternative report was prepared for the first review of the EU in 2015. It gave the view of 100 million Europeans with disabilities on the enjoyment of their political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights in the EU. The report was the result of collective work with EDF’s members, civil society organisations and other stakeholders. Giving a clear view of the situation of persons with disabilities all over Europe would not have been possible without their contribution and expertise.
In March 2022, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities starts the second review of the European Union. It will examine how the EU implemented the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, since it was evaluated for the first time in 2015.
The review starts with the adoption of a document called a “List of issues prior to reporting” that asks questions on how the EU implemented each article to the Convention.
To inform the Committee, EDF submitted an alternative report and suggested questions. You can download our report here. The Executive summary of the report is available in French and it will soon be available in Spanish and Easy to Read.
In addition, EDF contributed to two other submissions to the Committee:
In April 2022, the Committee published the List of Issues Prior to Reporting on the EU. The EU has 12 months to send its replies to the Committee.
EDF provides the CRPD Committee with information on the main issues faced by persons with disabilities in Europe before Committee’s session. It suggests questions and recommendations the Committee can adopt related to European-wide issues, for example about ratification of the Istanbul Convention on combating gender-based and domestic violence, transposition of the European Accessibility Act, or measures to implement the Victims’ Rights Directive.
EDF brings the European perspective in the work of the CRPD Committee by participating in consultations. For example, EDF sent written contributions on:
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is an alliance of networks of persons with disabilities at the international level. IDA brings together over 1,100 organisations of persons with disabilities and their families from across eight global and six regional networks. EDF is a member of IDA.
EDF is working together with IDA to:
EDF and IDA have given in person and online workshops to organisations of persons with disabilities on the CRPD and other related international instruments. For example, this year, an online workshop focused on the Optional Protocols to the CRPD and the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Optional Protocols establish individual complaints mechanism for individuals or groups of individuals who have seen their rights violated in their country.
Watch EDF-IDA workshop on Using the UN Optional Protocols to defend the rights of women and girls with disabilities:
Human Rights Officer