UN Advocacy

MDAC advocates before various UN bodies. We took part in several sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee which developed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN Commission for Social Development said in 2008 that “New and innovative thinking and collaboration are required to utilize the Convention so as to bring the maximum benefit to persons with disabilities and society.” MDAC strives to innovate in its work to encourage States to effectively implement the Convention. We are also busy ensuring that the multiple forms of discrimination are addressed by other, non-disability specific, organs of the UN. Some examples of our recent work are:

Legal capacity in Russia. In November 2009 the UN Human Rights Committee – the  treaty body on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) – called on Russia to reform its legal capacity / guardianship laws and to ensure human rights for people with disabilities. Its Concluding Observations on Russia are the Committee’s most comprehensive analysis to date of how the right to legal capacity is a concern under the This was prompted by MDAC’s shadow report to the Committee.

Child rights in the Czech Republic. In June 2011 we worked with the European Roma Rights Centre, Open Society Foundations and the Czech League of Human Rights on a report for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The report focused on the right to inclusive education for all children.

Torture and ill-treatment in health settings. In May 2011 MDAC worked in concert with colleagues from Open Society Foundations, Human Rights Watch and the Center for Reproductive Rights to speak at a briefing for members of the UN Committee on Torture on governmental accountability for torture and ill-treatment in health settings.

Monitoring rights of detainees. MDAC is an active member of the OPCAT Contact Group – a network of NGOs working to implement the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, which ensures that places of detention – including psychiatric and social care institutions – are regularly monitored by independent inspectorates.

Human rights of all people with disabilities. MDAC participated in the negotiations which led to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, taking active part in discussion around legal capacity, forced psychiatric interventions. We have taken part in all sessions of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since its establishment, actively contributing to the annual days of general discussion.

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