Monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has the juridical tool of a monitoring body in the different member-states that have ratified the Convention. This mechanism is to ensure maximum transparency and full citizen involvement in the process of the full implementation of the Convention within the local juridical systems.

This monitoring body should be comprised of  organizations that are somehow involved with the rights of persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, practice shows that many of the Independent Living organizations are excluded from this body.

One of the examples is Portugal where ENIL representatives are not included in the monitoring body. Despite the professionalism and the high level of understanding of disability issues, the Portuguese representative of ENIL is not part of this official monitoring process.

Bulgaria on the other hand has recently ratified the Convention. At the beginning of the year, the Bulgarian National Assembly had finally ratified the document and since then there is a coordination procedure in order to implement the Convention texts within the local juridical system. The issue is that for more than 6 months the Government managed to create one very broad working group which created an action-plan to implement the Convention. The problem of this so called “action-plan” is the very long terms that the State is setting out for the implementation process. One of the points of the action-plan is to create an easy-read version of the Convention at the end of 2013. The government has not checked that there is already an easy-read version available in English and this only needs to be translated.  In 2014, the Government should start the process of promoting the Convention. This is influencing the monitoring body too. No one knows when this body is going to fully function and how this is going to happen. This leaves the Independent Living organizations in Bulgaria wondering if the Convention will be implemented in Bulgaria and if they will included in the monitoring bodies or not.

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