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UN CRPD publishes findings on Andorra, Austria, Germany, Israel, Malawi, Mauritania, Mongolia, Paraguay

GENEVA (12 September 2023) - The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) today issued its findings on Andorra, Austria, Germany, Israel, Malawi, Mauritania, Mongolia and Paraguay, after reviewing the eight States parties during its latest session.

The findings contain the Committee's main concerns and recommendations on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as positive aspects. Key highlights include:

Andorra
The Committee was concerned about the lack of a monitoring mechanism that meets the Paris Principles requirements for the protection and promotion of human rights and the limited involvement of people with disabilities in monitoring the implementation of the Convention. It recommended that Andorra establish a national human rights institution that meets the Paris Principles, with sufficient human, technical, and financial resources. It also asked Andorra to ensure that people with disabilities are closely consulted and actively involved in monitoring the implementation of the Convention.

Austria
The Committee noted with concern that the Federal Government and the Länder lack a comprehensive and unified strategy for deinstitutionalisation and that people with disabilities do not have the right to choose their residence due to the lack of adequate residential accommodation and requisite support services in the community. The Committee recommended that Austria establish a comprehensive, nationwide deinstitutionalisation strategy, with benchmarks, timeframes, and funding, encompassing the competencies of the Federal Government, the Länder and the municipalities and ensuring close consultation with and the active involvement of organisations of people with disabilities.

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Germany
The Committee raised concerns about the lack of full implementation of inclusive education, the prevalence of special schools and classes, and the many barriers children with disabilities and their families encounter to enrol in and complete mainstream schooling. It called on Germany to develop a comprehensive plan to accelerate the transition from special schooling to inclusive education at Länder and municipal levels, with specific timeframes, human, technical and financial resource allocation, and clear responsibilities for implementation and monitoring.

Israel
The Committee expressed concern by reports that people with disabilities were killed by security forces at border controls, during public demonstrations and as a consequence of law enforcement operations and hostilities, including air strikes. It was also concerned about reports of ill treatment, sexual violence, and coercive measures, such as chemical and physical restraints and solitary confinement, being used particularly against people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities and the impunity related to these cases. It urged Israel to prevent the unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, including unwarranted lethal force by security forces against civilians, including people with disabilities. It also called on Israel to prohibit the use of coercive measures against people with disabilities in all detention settings, including prisons, large residential facilities, group homes and day care centres, and to ensure human treatment and dignity for people with disabilities, phase out institutionalisation, and ensure redress and access to justice for survivors.

Malawi
Regarding women with disabilities, the Committee expressed concern that the existing laws and policies did not sufficiently address gender-based violence, access to justice and economic empowerment for women and girls with disabilities. It called upon Malawi to mainstream the rights of women and girls with disabilities into disability policies and gender equality legislation, in particular the new Persons with Disabilities Bill 2023, the 2013 Gender Equity Act, the 2011 Deceased Estates (Wills, Inheritance, and Protection) Act. It also asked the State party to take measures to combat gender-based violence and make sure that women and girls with disabilities are consulted and participated in the design and implementation of gender- and disability-related policies and programmes.

Mauritania
The Committee was concerned about the stigma, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and inhumane treatment that children with disabilities continue to face. It raised concern over reported cases of exploitation, forced begging, violence and abuse against children with disabilities, including corporal punishment, in the home, schools and institutions. It asked Mauritania to combat the stigmatisation of all children with disabilities, protect them from multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, and provide them with social and healthcare services and an inclusive quality education system. Mauritania was also requested to repeal all provisions that allow corporal punishment and implement legislation and measures to safeguard children with disabilities from exploitation, including forced begging as well as violence and abuse.

Mongolia
The Committee remained concerned about the lack of progress in abolishing the guardianship and substituted decision-making regime under the Civil Code, which limits the legal capacity of people with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities. The Committee recommended that Mongolia repeal all discriminatory legal provisions on substitute decision-making systems, including guardianships and wardships, and replace them with supported decision-making systems that respect the autonomy, will and preferences of people with disabilities. It further called on Mongolia to ensure effective, independent participation of people with disabilities in the reform process and in the training of the relevant personnel for the mechanisms of supported decision-making system.

Paraguay
The Committee was concerned about the poor compliance with the legislation on accessibility to the physical environment in all schools and colleges in the country and regarding access to information and communication, especially for students with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities and students who require more support. It called on Paraguay to guarantee full accessibility of educational establishments, as well as the use of alternative and augmentative communication modalities and systems, such as Braille, easy-to-read formats, sign language education, the use of pictograms, and accessible signage, and to provide reasonable accommodation, support and adjustments for students with disabilities.

The above country review findings, officially known as Concluding Observations, are now available on the session webpage.

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