FRA addresses UN Disability Committee

FRA will address the opening of the 14th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 17 August in Geneva. It will use this opportunity to illustrate how robust evidence and independent expertise can help people with disabilities enjoy their rights on an equal basis with others.

In a speech to the Committee, FRA will give examples of how it works to identify what needs to be done to realise the rights of people with disabilities at the EU and Member State level. In this way, FRA is actively contributing to efforts to ensure that the aims of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are brought to life in the EU.

For example, FRA is developing human rights indicators on articles of the CRPD such as the right to participate in political and public life, and the right to live independently and be included in the community. Such indicators help to assess how policies and laws are changing the lives of people with disabilities. 

In addition, FRA has been looking at specific issues affecting people with disabilities. These include the transition from institutional to community-based support. It has also investigated the barriers faced by specific groups such as people with intellectual disabilities and people with psychosocial disabilities. These include issues ranging from legal capacity to involuntary placement and treatment.

At the same time, the agency has been ensuring the rights of people with disabilities are not looked at in isolation but taken into consideration in other areas of its work. FRA’s work on violence against children with disabilities is one example.

This research underlines how the CRPD is already acting as a driver of change. In a relatively short time, the CRPD has spurred significant legal changes that are empowering people with disabilities to be truly included in society. New standards to improve the accessibility of goods, services, as well as information and communications are one focus of such reforms.

The whole CRPD Committee session is also being streamed live.

This session is particularly important for the EU as the UN Committee will review the EU’s implementation of the CRPD. It marks the first time that the Union has been reviewed by a UN human rights treaty body. It will also reveal what the EU still needs to do to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are being fully realised.

On 27 and 28 August, the EU will discuss its progress in implementing its CRPD obligations with the Committee. FRA, as one of the members of the independent CRPD monitoring mechanism for the EU, will take part in this dialogue. The Committee is then expected to publish on 4 September its views and recommendations on what else the EU should do to meet its CRPD obligations.