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PHILLIP FRENCH DIRECTOR AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR DISABILITY LAW 2012 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Key concepts in international.

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Presentation on theme: "PHILLIP FRENCH DIRECTOR AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR DISABILITY LAW 2012 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Key concepts in international."— Presentation transcript:

1 PHILLIP FRENCH DIRECTOR AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR DISABILITY LAW 2012 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Key concepts in international human rights law

2 Session overview Introduction to the CRPD – typology, status Overview of the CRPD – target group, structure, interpretation, underlying policy & major themes CRPD cross-cutting obligations – other general & cross cutting obligations Specific obligations – CRPD recognised human rights & fundamental freedoms

3 What is the CRPD? CRPD is a human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006 Purpose is to promote & protect the rights of persons with disability & ensure that these rights are fulfilled Also aims to promote respect for inherent dignity of persons with disability Associated with an Optional Protocol – separate treaty

4 Typology of the CRPD ‘Comprehensive’ or ‘hybrid’ human rights treaty incorporating:  Social development,  Non-discrimination, &  Other human right subject matter Incorporates:  Civil & political rights,  Economic, social & cultural rights, and  Arguably, some ‘new’ classes or types of rights Thematic Convention – deals with the human rights concerns of a specific population group

5 Status of the CRPD Same status as other ‘core’ human rights treaties  Same status as International Bill of Rights  Same status as other thematic human rights treaties, eg Means that for the first time human rights of persons with disability are of central importance in international efforts to promote, protect and fulfil human rights

6 Rationale for the CRPD Developed because of international concern that:  Existing human rights instruments had failed to effectively protect the human rights of persons with disability  Even though they have always applied to persons with disability on an equal basis with other persons CRPD attempts to overcome this problem by:  Ensuring that persons with disability are now highly visible ‘right- bearers’  Tailoring and applying traditional human rights to some of the specific human rights problems persons with disability  Building capacity in human rights implementation efforts to effectively respond to the human rights of persons with disability

7 Relationship to other human rights instruments All other human rights instruments continue to apply to persons with disability on an equal basis with other persons:  Eg Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women continues to apply to women & girls with disability on an equal basis with other women & girls Therefore, CRPD must be implemented in an integrated way with other human rights obligations Gives rise to two related implementation concepts:  Twin-track approach  Mainstreaming approach Generally speaking, the CRPD supersedes earlier non-binding disability focused human rights instruments

8 Enforcement of CRPD rights - 1 CRPD requires state parties to lodge a baseline & periodic reports outlining compliance with CRPD rights & progress towards their attainment  Shadow reports from National Human Rights Institutions and non- governmental organisations are also considered  May result in concluding observations and recommendations for action to improve compliance

9 Enforcement of CRPD rights - 2 CRPD Optional Protocol allows:  Allows individual communications to CRPD Treaty Body about CRPD right violations  Allows CRPD Treaty Body to conduct inquiries into grave or systemic violations of CRPD rights

10 ‘Target group’ Applies to ‘all’ persons with disability Includes those with long-term physical, intellectual, psychological & sensory impairments Class of persons protected by the CRPD is open, rather than closed ‘Disability’ viewed as an evolving rather than fixed concept

11 Structure of the CRPD - 1 CRPD is compromised of a Preamble & 50 articles Articles vary considerably in density First human rights instrument to have article titles Not formally divided into sections – but does have different types of articles

12 Structure of the CRPD - 2 ElementArticlesInterpretation PreambleParagraphs a to yOutlines international concern; highlights key issues for interpretation Interpretive articlesArticles 1 & 2Set out general purpose; define key terms General obligationsArticles 3 to 9Set out cross-cutting principles & measures Specific obligationsArticles 10 to 30Detail specific human rights & fundamental freedoms Implementation & monitoring elements Articles 31 to 40Set out arrangements of national & international implementation & monitoring Operational elementsArticles 41 to 50Set out administrative & legal issues Optional ProtocolArticles 1 to 18Separate treaty – sets out a communications & an inquiry procedure

13 Interpreting the CRPD - 1 Mostly written in straight-forward, easy to understand way But CRPD rights & obligations will be subject to interpretation & elaboration over time Interpretation – the principal role of treaty body – jurisprudence will be developed through:  ‘general comments’  ‘observations’ made about state party reports  ‘observations’ made in the adjudication of communications This process has only just commenced (October 09)

14 Interpreting the CRPD - 2 Key inter-relationships between categories of CRPD rights – dynamic (rather than linear) structure To ascertain the scope of each specific obligation it is necessary to consider its intersection with each of the interpretive articles, general obligations & national implementation & monitoring articles Also, there are important inter-relationships between some specific obligations – implementation action in relation to closely inter-related rights ought to be co- ordinated

15 Interpreting the CRPD - 3 Intersection of Article 6: Women with Disabilities with Article 10: Right to Life Article 10: Right to Life: State Parties affirm that every human being has the inherent right to life & shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disability on an equal basis with others Article 6: Women with Disabilities: (1) State Parties recognise that women & girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination, & in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full & equal enjoyment by them of all human rights & fundamental freedoms. (2)... Measures (examples) Breast screening equipment is accessible for women with disability who use mobility devices Women with intellectual disability are supported to participate in regular cervical screening on the same basis as other women Emergency accommodation services for women escaping domestic violence are accessible to all women with disability

16 CRPD – Underlying policy & major themes - 1 Underlying policy –  Preamble  Article 1: Purpose  Article 3: General principles Positioning –  persons with disability as human right-bearers  Disability concerns as human rights challenges Social model  Disability results from persons with impairment attempting to interact with a barrier-filled environment  Action implication – dismantle barriers to full enjoyment of human rights  State obligations almost exclusively focused on the removal of barriers.

17 CRPD Underlying policy & major themes - 2 General principles – core (foundation) values to guide & underpin CRPD interpretation & implementation  Respect for the inherent dignity  Right to autonomy & independence  Respect for difference & acceptance of impairment & disability as part of human diversity  Right to inclusion & participation in society  Right to equality & non-discrimination  Right to an accessible environment  Right of women & girls to equality  Right of children & young persons to recognition of their specific needs

18 CRPD cross-cutting obligations - 1 Obligations that must be taken into account in the interpretation & implementation of each specific obligation Focus:  Articles 4: General obligations  Article 5: Equality & non-discrimination  Article 6: Women with Disabilities  Article 7: Children with Disabilities  Article 8: Awareness raising  Article 9: Accessibility  Article 31: Statistics & data collection  Article 33: National implementation & monitoring

19 CRPD cross-cutting obligations - 2 Levels of obligation  Recognition of the treaty – must enact laws & develop policies & programmes to give effect to CRPD rights  Respect treaty rights – state parties must refrain from action that arbitrarily interferes with CRPD rights  Protect treat rights - state parties must prevent non-state actors from arbitrarily interfering with CRPD rights  Fulfil treaty rights – state parties must take positive action to ensure that treaty rights are realised in fact

20 CRPD cross-cutting obligations - 3 Illustration of levels of state obligation: Right to Life Levels of obligationMeasures Recognise Enact legislation incorporating the right to life, including its CRPD elements, into Australian law Combat negative social attitudes that view the lives of persons with disability as less valuable or less worth living than others respect Abolish the death penalty Strictly control state security forces (army, police, prison officers) protect Enact laws prohibiting homicide - (disability dimension - neglect) Enact laws prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability in the provision of medical & health services fulfil Ensure that public health measures, eg, in tobacco control & nutrition, equitably target persons with disability Establish policies & programmes to meet the specific health needs of persons with disability

21 The specific obligations - 1 Each article deals with specific subject matter – some articles have multiple elements ‘derived’ from existing human rights But specific applications of these rights  Affirmations of existing rights with respect to persons with disability (eg Article 10: Right to Life)  Affirmations of existing rights & disability specific measures (eg Article 12: Equal recognition before the law)  New specific applications of traditional rights (eg Article 11: Situations of risk & humanitarian emergencies) 20 articles:  15 civil & political rights  5 economic, social & cultural rights

22 The specific obligations - 2 Civil rights:  Article 10: Right to life  Article 11: Situations of risk & humanitarian emergencies  Article 12: Equal recognition before the law  Article 13: Access to justice  Article 14: Liberty & security of the person  Article 15: Freedom from torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment  Article 16: Freedom from exploitation, violence & abuse  Article 17: Protecting the integrity of the person  Article 18: Liberty of movement & nationality  Article 19: Living independently & being included in the community  Article 20: Personal mobility  Article 22: Respect for privacy  Article 23 Respect for the home & family

23 The specific obligations - 3 Political rights:  Article 21: Freedom of expression & opinion & access to information  Article 29: Participation in political & public life Economic rights:  Article 27: Work & employment  Article 28: Adequate standard of living & social protection Social rights:  Article 24: Right to education  Article 25: Right to health  Article 26: Right to habilitation & rehabilitation Cultural rights:  Article 30: Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure & sport


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