Sunday, July 10, 2011

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Guide on the CRPD

by Charles O'Mahony

The British Equality and Human Rights Commission have published a useful guide for disabled people and disabled people's organisations on the United Nations Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities. See here. The Equality and Human Rights Commission in line with best practice created an easy to read version of the guide, which is available here.

The guide is broken into four parts. Part 1 introduces the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and explains its background, importance, its relevance to people in Britain, the rights outlined in the CRPD. It also clearly explains technical aspects of the CRPD such as reservations and how international human rights law relates to domestic law. There is also a discussion on how UK Government, in partnership with the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are responsible for ensuring that the Convention is implemented and that Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is currently the focal point and coordinating mechanism within the UK Government. The guide explains that the Convention requires that "civil society" and disabled people and their organisations must be closely involved in monitoring the implementation of the Convention.

Part 2 sets out the key principles that the British government should adopt and embed in policy and practice. There is also a useful and very accessible explanation of the different rights set out in the various articles of the Convention. There is also an explanation of reservations entered by the UK (as was the case with Article 12). Part 3 of the guide is entitled making rights a reality. This section provides information for people becoming activists in ensuring the realisation of the rights contained in the Convention at the local, national and international level. This includes an outline of the relevance of the CRPD to public bodies and a discussion on monitoring, reporting and making complaints to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For a further discussion on monitoring and reporting and individual complaints see a previous blog here. Part 4 entitled further information, is a useful reference for CRPD documents and resources, the UN Disability Committee and other Convention Guides and Toolkits. There is also specific information on the Convention in England and Wales, Great Britain and Scotland.