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New Zealand is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD or the Convention). The Convention is important as an explicit inclusion of the rights of disabled people in the international human rights framework. It recognises that despite the protections afforded by other international human rights instruments:
… Persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the world.
The purpose of the Convention is to:
Promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
It is important that the Convention is not seen as something that only benefits disabled people. Meeting New Zealand’s obligations under the Convention benefits the country as a whole.
 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Preamble. Accessed at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-2.html
 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Article 1 – Purpose. Accessed at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-2.html
Article 33, one of the Convention’s most innovative aspects, describes how State Parties should implement and monitor the Convention. Its three parts require States:
- Designate a focal point for matters relating to the implementation of the Convention and consideration of a coordinating mechanism
- Establish a framework including an independent mechanism to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the Convention
- Ensure the participation of disabled people and their representative organisations in monitoring the implementation of the Convention.
The requirement for the participation of disabled people in monitoring the implementation of the Convention reflects the participation of disabled people in drafting the Convention.
Against this background, the active and informed participation of persons with disabilities in the implementation and monitoring of the CRPD is not only consistent with the Treaty, but it is also a requisite of a human rights-based approach.
The importance of the Convention and the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) are recognised in Government’s response to the UNCRPD Committee’s concluding recommendations.
New Zealand meets its obligations under Article 33 by:
- Identifying the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) as the focal point to lead a whole-of-government approach to implementing the Convention
- Designating the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues as the coordinating mechanism for implementation within government
- Designating the IMM consisting of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the Office of the Ombudsman (OTO) and the Convention Coalition Monitoring Group (CCMG).
The objective of this review was to review the effectiveness and efficiency of the ‘disabled people led monitoring of their rights’ initiative and to provide recommendations to inform future arrangements. It focused on:
- How effective has the disabled people led monitoring initiative been?
- How efficient have been the arrangements for the disabled people led monitoring initiative?
- In particular, the review examined the:
Methodology used to undertake the disabled people led monitoring
Governance and coordination mechanisms
The interrelationship between the CCMG and other IMM partners
Awareness of the disabled people led monitoring initiative
- Design, operation, governance and reporting of the disabled people led monitoring
- Relationships between the CCMG and the wider disability sector and government stakeholders
- Opportunities for further developing monitoring in the future.
The review collected information through interviews and document review. Interviews were completed with:
|Interview participant group||
(with number of people)
|CCMG – workshop||1 (3)|
|DPO Coalition – workshop||1 (8)|
|CCMG member organisations – individual interviews||3|
|Monitoring team members||3|
|Disability sector stakeholders||6|
|Government stakeholders/report end users||4|
|UNCRPD Committee member||1|
The project also included a review of the documentation of the monitoring in New Zealand and a scan of the literature on international practice in UNCRPD monitoring. The scan of international practice included Australia, Austria, the United Kingdom and Canada.
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