Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Canadian Human Rights Commission Survey on Article 33.2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 33.2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires State Parties to the Convention to implement a “... promote, protect and monitor implementation.”  Within the “framework” a number of governmental and civil society entities may be connected.  In addition the CRPD requires that there be “…one or more independent mechanisms…” involved in the process.  In creating the framework, states are to take into account the Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993.  For an accessible and instructive introduction to Article 33 see Meredith Railey’s blog post here.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has recently carried out a survey on behalf of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protections of Human Rights (ICC) and with the assistance of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  See here.  The decision to undertake this survey followed a meeting of the National Human Rights Institutions attending the Third Conference of States Parties to the CRPD in September 2010 in New York.  It was agreed that it would be timely to survey National Institutions on their experience to date regarding implementation of Article 33.2.  In December 2010 the Chair of the ICC sent a questionnaire to all accredited members of the ICC and a follow-up email was sent in February 2011.  Forty-five percent of A Status NHRIs (35) responded and this data is now available in this Report.  See here

This is an extremely important initiative and provides interesting information that can inform debates around the world as to the different approaches that can be taken in developing a framework to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the Convention.  Importantly the CRPD does not require states to name existing Paris Principle compliant National Human Rights Institutions to be the independent mechanism.  The Convention only requires that in establishing these mechanisms that the Paris Principles be taken into account.