GENEVA (29 March 2022) - The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has issued its findings on Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, Switzerland and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the five States parties which it examined during its latest session.
The findings contain positive aspects of each country's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Committee's main concerns and recommendations. Some of the key highlights include:
The Committee was concerned that people with disabilities do not have a mechanism to make decision out of autonomy because of their disabilities. It recommended that Hungary amend its legislation to ensure that the country's supported decision-making mechanisms respect the dignity, autonomy, and will and preferences of people with disabilities in exercising their legal capacity.
Regarding Hungary's latest decision to refurbish and transform the existing institutions, the Committee recommended that the State party redesign its measures and redirect its effort and budgets into community-based support services, such as personal assistance. The Committee stressed the importance of providing support to people with disabilities to live independently and equally with others in the community, regardless of the type of impairment they have.
Jamaica was the first country to ratify the Convention in 2007, however, there had been a considerable delay in the country's corresponding legislation. The Committee recommended that Jamaica accelerate all necessary legislative measures, such as the operationalisation of the Disabilities Rights Tribunal and the Jamaica National Council for Persons with Disabilities, and ensure the availability of sustainable and appropriate human and financial resources to carry out their mandates.
The Committee was also concerned about the absence of a National Human Rights Institution. It called on Jamaica to establish one and to designate an independent mechanism so that people with disabilities and representative organisations can effectively monitor the country's implementation of the Convention.
The Committee noted the lack of strategy to include people with disabilities in the community at state and federal levels. It recommended that Mexico adopt administrative and financial policies to support people with disabilities to live independently and in the community. It also called on the authorities to take expedited measures to end the institutionalisation of people with disabilities.
The Committee noted that women with disabilities, particularly those who live in indigenous communities and who are under guardianship or in institutions, have limited access to justice in cases of gender-based violence. It called on Mexico to provide legal aid, counselling and personal assistance to women with disabilities when they need to lodge their legal complaints. It also urged the State party to eradicate gender-and disability-based stereotypes in the justice system and ensure that all prosecutions and trials are conducted in a gender-and disability-sensitive manner.
The Committee expressed concern at the lack of recognition of the right of people with disabilities to equality before the law. It recommended that Switzerland amend its Civil Code and other legislation to repeal any laws and associated policies that deny or diminish the recognition of anyone with disabilities as a person before the law. It called on the authorities to establish supported decision-making procedures to ensure that the will, preferences and individual choices of people with disabilities are respected.
Concerning the institutionalisation of adults and children with disabilities, including people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities and autistic people, the Committee called on Switzerland to end all such kinds of institutionalisation, including small residential homes. It asked Switzerland to support people with disabilities to live independently and in the community.
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Concerning the lack of protection of women and girls with disabilities from discrimination, gender-based violence and the harmful effects of the economic situation in Venezuela, the Committee called on the State party to adopt public policies with a gender perspective and focus in order to prevent sexual violence and human trafficking.
The Committee remained concerned about the lack of a comprehensive plan to ensure the accessibility of the physical facilities. It urged Venezuela to ensure that people with disabilities have access to transportation services, including public transportation in cities and provinces, and are able to enter and use other public facilities.
The above findings, officially named Concluding Observations, are now available online on the session webpage.
CRPD is due to hold its next session from 15 August to 9 September 2022.
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The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities monitors States parties' compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which to date has 185 States parties. The Committee is made up of 18 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.
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