Towards the General Comment on Article 19 CRPD

Towards the General Comment on Article 19 CRPD

The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) sent two written submissions on Article 19 – the Right to live independently and be included in the community to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities earlier this month. The Committee is in the process of drafting the General Comment on Article 19 and the aim of the submissions was to provide detailed comments in relation to the suggested provisions.

Given the importance of the General Comment for understanding of the right to independent living, ENIL joined the European Disability Forum, Inclusion Europe and Mental Health Europe in forming a common position, and has also sent additional comments. Both submissions – under ENIL and the European Disability Forum – are available from the website of the CRPD Committee.

ENIL’s main criticism centred around the question of whether disabled people should be allowed to choose institutional care settings. It is our, and our partner organisations’, view that there should be no excuses for Governments or other providers to maintain institutional care settings, and that community-based alternatives must be developed and provided instead.

We are expecting the General Comment to be finalised during the next session of the CRPD Committee, in the coming month. Following its publication, ENIL will be making sure that all those involved in the CRPD implementation, including disabled people, are aware of the General Comment and know how to use it.

1 Comment

Stig Langvad

July 29, 2017, 8:51 am

Being chairperson of the working group within the UN CRPD Committee working on coming up with a General Comment upon article 19 I am pleased to read that ENIL is quite satisfied with the draft that has been out to be commented upon by those that are having an interest in how article 19 of the UN CRPD should be interpreted and implemented.

I am certain that the input from ENIL will be acknowledged and reflected in the final version that will be put in front of the Committee during the upcoming session starting on 14 August 2017.

The members of the working group are thanking ENIL for its contribution together with almost 70 other contributions from others having interest in how to interpret and implement article 19.

At the end of the day it is about eliminating any institutional setup limiting persons with disabilities to be able to live independently in the community, and I’m sure that the General Comment 5 will be a milestone on the path to inclusive and independent living within the community.

It is “just” the obligation of organizations of persons with disabilities and others to take action to change policies to be in line with the upcoming General Comment.

I wish you all the best success with your initiatives.

Stig Langvad
CRPD Member

Leave a comment