Independent monitoring/next steps
Better solutions to problems are likely to result if more ideas and information can be generated and more different perspectives gathered to start with. The Government has actively engaged in this way in disability issues as part of implementing the UN Convention.
This year, 2010, saw four significant reports on the status of disabled people released.
- Deaf Aotearoa's Deaf Way report in February 2010. This report presented recommendations on increasing access by Deaf people to government services and support.
- The Cost of Disability research report, produced by the Disability Resource Centre Auckland with the participation of the Centre for Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Auckland in August 2010.
- The Human Rights Commission included a chapter on disabled people in its report on Human Rights in New Zealand 2010 in December 2010.
- The Convention Coalition reported on its programme to monitor disabled people's individual experiences of rights, Disability Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand 2010, in December 2010.
Each of these reports provides information and perspectives that help us to understand the situation of disabled people.
Also of relevance is the annual reporting by the Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsmen and the other national preventative mechanisms under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
These reports, and other advocacy by the disability sector, is useful for government agencies when looking at their work priorities and responsiveness to disabled people.
In the future, this annual report on progress will monitor and highlight implementation of the Disability Action Plan. I also expect that government will need to have an ongoing involvement with the disability sector as the Disability Action Plan is implemented.
The next step in the reporting process on the UN Convention will be for the government to present the final report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, sometime in 2011 or 2012. The UN Committee will ask questions about New Zealand's implementation and make recommendations, which the Government will need to respond to.
Next year, 2011, should see the ground work we have prepared begin to bear fruit, as we get further along the track to disabled people being able to experience real benefit in their lives.
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