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10 years on: What has changed and what remains to be done


The implementation of the CRPD and the monitoring mechanisms

Articles 34 to 40 of the Convention set out the Convention’s international control and monitoring mechanisms, and, in particular, the attributes of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One of the United Nations Committee’s major functions is to examine and make suggestions on the reports submitted by State Parties relating to how the rights enshrined in the Convention are being implemented. The drafting of alternative reports elaborated by civil society organizations is also crucial to this monitoring process. The following extracts from the interviews describe the elaboration and principles of these mechanisms, and provide concrete examples of how these mechanisms are now being implemented. [Learn more on UN-Enable Website]

Implementation: country-level policy changes

As an international benchmark, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can be used as a point of reference to compare different laws on disability at national levels. The interviews of our interviewees provide various examples of how the Convention can be used to make national legislation compliant with the principles that it promotes. Amongst these guidelines, some of the key ideas are inclusion, access to housing and mobility, inclusive education and exercise of legal capacity. The following quotes provide examples of how attempts were made to integrate these concepts into laws, action plans and development plans.

The role of civil society in bringing about change

Besides being a tool for the elaboration of national legislation, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also provides guidance on how to put the principles that it promotes into practice. In relation to this function, several of the testimonies collected underline the strong connection between the Convention and the implementation of inclusive local development. To this end, several of the following extracts insist upon the need for having an active civil society to exert pressure on governments, from the grassroots level up, in order to bring about real changes in people with disabilities’ daily lives. This requires that Disabled People’s Organizations be proactive and ready to be strong forces for bringing forth proposals and that there be trained leaders at local levels intent upon influencing policies.

What remains to be done: the challenges ahead

The 10 years that have elapsed since the Convention’s entry into the force have demonstrated an emerging awareness from authorities. However, many of the interviews collected point out that almost everything remains to be done at the grassroots level. Awareness-raising, inclusive education, social protection, income-generating activities, access to employment and experience-sharing opportunities are some of the main issues identified. Making people comfortable with disability, and favoring the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in political life are two suggested areas of work for generating change on these issues.

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