MDAC launches project focusing on monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

1 April 2010. Today MDAC launched a one-year initiative in which it will seek to provide guidance to governments and NGOs on the effective implementation of Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the provision which focuses on domestic implementation of the Convention.

Through a grant by the UK Government Strategic Programme Fund, MDAC will develop practical guidelines and checklists to assist governments and NGOs on the obligations of States Parties to the CRPD under Article 33, apply the guidelines in order to determine whether and how countries within Europe are meeting their Article 33 obligations, and produce a summary report for the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to assist the Committee in holding States Parties to account.

Along with the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, the CRPD is the only international human rights treaty to include a specific provision on the role and structure of national implementation and monitoring mechanisms, and it does so in Article 33. Ensuring the domestic implementation of international human rights standards has long been a challenge to the UN system of international human rights promotion and protection. Ensuring the domestication of the CRPD presents a particular concern given the vulnerability and political marginalisation that persons with disabilities across the world experience. Article 33(1) of the CRPD offers a means of ensuring policy coherence and coordination across Government through the designation of focal point(s).

Article 33(2) fosters national implementation through the establishment of an independent monitoring mechanism. Furthermore, by explicitly requiring States Parties to involve civil society organisations, including persons with disabilities, in monitoring the implementation of the Convention, Article 33(3) aims to ensure that the unprecedented involvement of civil society in the negotiations of the Convention is sustained in monitoring its implementation.

Launching the project, MDAC's Executive Director Oliver Lewis said: "National Human Rights Structures will play a key role to ensure that this Convention is implemented, and we hope that MDAC's project will contribute to this process".

MDAC will seek input from organisations during the project's lifespan and make information available on its website. For additional information please contact Kathryn Vandever, Policy and Advocacy Officer:

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