Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MDAC announces project on effective monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

by Charles O'Mahony

The Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) recently announced a yearlong project that seeks to provide direction to governments and civil society on the effective implementation of Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Article 33 deals with domestic implementation of the Convention. Practical guidelines and checklists will be developed that will assist governments and NGOs in understanding the obligations of States Parties under Article 33. The project will also apply these guidelines in order to determine whether State Parties to the Convention are meeting their obligations under Article 33. A summary report will be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to assist the Committee in holding States Parties to account.

The UNCRPD is one of only two international human rights treaties to contain a specific provision on the role and structure of domestic implementation and monitoring mechanisms of the Convention (Article 33). (The only other similar provision is the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture). The outcomes of this project will be hugely useful to civil society groups, policy makers and researchers here in Ireland. It will also be very useful in benchmarking the implementation of the Convention here.