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Putting the UN Disability Convention into practice Sara Brunet, Senior Lawyer and UNCRPD lead officer, EHRC.

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Presentation on theme: "Putting the UN Disability Convention into practice Sara Brunet, Senior Lawyer and UNCRPD lead officer, EHRC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Putting the UN Disability Convention into practice Sara Brunet, Senior Lawyer and UNCRPD lead officer, EHRC

2 The UN Disability Convention International human rights agreement signed by the UK Government Recognising disabled people continue to face barriers to equal participation and violations of their human rights Commitment to ensure disabled people enjoy the same human rights as everyone else without discrimination

3 Human rights framework Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that everyone is entitled to They are about how the state treats you Universal Declaration of Human Rights – no new rights Specific Convention to ensure disabled people’s rights become everyday reality Convention is based on the social model of disability

4 Whose job is it to implement the Convention? UK Government in partnership with the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Office for Disability Issues is ‘focal point and co-ordinating mechanism’ within UK – Co-ordinates action to implement the Convention across government departments and devolved administrations – UK Gov submitted first state report to the UN Disability Committee in November 2011

5 What obligations does the Convention place on Government? Ensure disabled people have protection from all forms of discrimination including failure to make reasonable adjustments Pass new laws and make new policies where appropriate Abolish or change laws and practices that discriminate against disabled people

6 What obligations does the Convention place on Government? Take account of disabled people’s human rights in its policies and programmes – ‘mainstreaming’ Collect and disseminate data and statistics – Measuring progress, developing better policies Ensure public authorities comply with the Convention – For example, local councils, health boards, police, regulators such Care Quality Commission

7 Role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission EHRC is an ‘independent mechanism to ‘promote, protect and monitor’ the implementation of the Convention Monitors progress by the governments of Britain in implementing the Convention Report on that progress to the UN Disability Committee in a ‘shadow report’ – The Commission will involve disabled people when developing and writing its report

8 The Commission’s work on the Convention Raising awareness and encourage participation Providing advice and information to disabled people and public authorities – E-updates; UNCRPD Guide Mainstreaming the Convention across our work – Disability Harassment Inquiry – Intervention in Burnip(legal case)

9 Know the Convention: your rights Specific rights called ‘articles’ Key principles (articles 1 –5) – apply across all the rights Articles across all aspects of life e.g. – Making your own decisions / right to legal capacity (article 12) – Independent living and being included in the community (article 19) – Education (article 24)

10 Know the Convention: your rights Protection for specific groups – Disabled women (article 6) – Disabled children (article 7) Reservations and interpretive declarations Immediate obligations and ‘progressive realisation’

11 Know the Convention: Optional Protocol Communications procedure – Individual complaints Inquiry procedure – Investigation into severe or widespread violations of the Convention

12 How the Convention relates to our domestic laws Domestic laws must meet Convention’s requirements Not directly part of domestic law BUT courts should use it to interpret Human Rights Act and disability discrimination law especially Public Sector Equality Duty Government and public authorities – Must take account of and act in accordance with the Convention in their work

13 Monitoring and involvement: role of disabled people and their organisations “Nothing about us, without us” – disabled people are central to implementation of the Convention Your right to be involved (article 33) – Government must involve disabled people when they are monitoring progress – Fulfilling Potential Office for Disability Issues Shadow reporting – UK examination expected in late 2014 or 2015

14 Role of the United Nations (UN) The UN Disability Committee – Monitors what each country that has ratified the Convention is doing to put it into practice – Two then four yearly report and examination process – Concluding observations: Recommendations about what the government can do to deliver disabled people’s human rights Optional Protocol

15 How to use the Convention Raise awareness among disabled people Write and submit a shadow report – Get involved with other UN monitoring Conventions on rights of women and children Raise awareness with researchers and survey designers Use for advocacy and influencing national and local services

16 How to use the Convention Ask public authorities what they are doing to comply with the Convention To support human rights arguments in legal cases Parliamentary questions JCHR inquiry on independent living Tool for human rights impact assessment

17 Getting involved Contact your local or national disability organisation, for example: Disability Rights Watch UK Deaf and Disabled People’s Legal Network

18 Getting involved Working with the EHRC Sign up for e-bulletin Use our UNCRPD Guide and web pages : rights/human-rights-practical-guidance/guidance- from-the-commission/a-guide-to-the-un-disability- convention rights/human-rights-practical-guidance/guidance- from-the-commission/a-guide-to-the-un-disability- convention

19 Getting involved Take part in the Government’s work developing ‘new cross-government disability strategy’ - Fulfilling Potential potential/index.php potential/index.php

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