Opportunity to improve the rights of disabled people
Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Minister for Disability Issues
14th March 2018
United Nations review an opportunity to improve the rights of disabled people
Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni welcomes a UN announcement that begins the planned review of New Zealand’s implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has today publicly released a ‘List of Issues’ it wants the government to report on,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“I’m looking forward to receiving external feedback on the progress New Zealand has made to date on improving the rights of disabled people.
“The UN review also provides a valuable opportunity to make international comparisons and to seek feedback from our disability community.
“This is New Zealand’s second review since ratifying the Convention in 2008. It’s a robust, nearly two year-long process that starts with this ‘list of issues’ from the UN and ends with its ‘Concluding Observations’, which are their recommendations for further improvement.
“New Zealand was instrumental in the development of the Convention, and a New Zealander is the first person with a learning disability to sit on a UN Committee.
“Since becoming Minister I’ve met with many groups within the disability sector including the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) - the Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and Disabled People’s Organisations - to listen and understand the issues that face disabled New Zealanders.
“The ‘list of issues’ for this review is the combined result of the issues raised in our last review and the IMM’s report, and any additional topics of interest from the UN Committee.
“There are 100 issues on the list which relate to each of the Convention articles. These include questions about education, health, employment, accessibility, seclusion, restraint and data.
“The issues are far ranging, affecting all areas of disabled people’s lives. I encourage any organisation, group, or individual, to provide feedback during the consultation process as it is those with lived experience and working close to the issues whose opinions we want to hear from most,” Carmel Sepuloni said.