- August 22, 2023

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Welcome to the weekly Newsletter to the 29th Session of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee meeting

Week 1, 14th to 18th August

The 29th Session of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee meeting will take place from Monday, August 14th to Friday, September 08th at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. You can follow all the sessions on the UN WebTV platform here.

The first week of the 29th session of the CRPD Committee

Last week was the first week of the 29th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Following its formal opening on Monday 14th August, the CRPD Committee dedicated the public meetings of the week to four main activities:

  • The review of Malawi
  • The review of Andorra
  • The review of Mongolia
  • Panel Discussion on Deinstitutionalization (sharing views and experiences related to deinstitutionalization processes, and the implementation of the right to live independently and be included in the community, in line with Article 19 of the CRPD, General comment No. 5 and the Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization)
Read more here

IDA Executive Director, Mr. Vladimir Cuk, delivered a statement at the opening of the 29th CRPD Session

The public opening session started at 10 AM CET and was held for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Following the representative of the Secretary-General, several stakeholders delivered statements before the Committee.

Mr. Vladimir Cuk delivered a statement on behalf of the International Disability Alliance. Among other things, Mr. Cuk expressed that “IDA is thankful and enthusiastic about the CRPD Committee’s decision to be ambitious in the process of developing comprehensive guidance on the many complex issues covered by Article 11 of the CRPD.” Mr Cuk further added “As the work on the general comments on Article 11 proceeds, we look forward to increased attention in this and future sessions on issues such as:

  • The role of organizations of persons with disabilities in peace-building processes;
  • States’ implementation of UNSC resolution 2475 in the context of Article 11;
  • Developing standards on asylum claims based on a well-founded fear of disability-related persecution;
  • Climate action and implementing a just and disability-inclusive transition.

Read the full statement here

Reviews of Malawi, Andorra and Mongolia 

More than a decade later: A first for Malawi
On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, the Committee kicked off State reviews with a constructive dialogue with Malawi. This was the first time Malawi was being reviewed by the Committee since its ratification of the Convention on 27th August 2009.
Various issues dominated the interactive dialogue between the Committee and the State delegation. Topics such as the delayed process of amending and enacting the Persons with Disabilities Bill, implementation of rights of women and girls with disabilities including the adoption of gender-sensitive and disability-inclusive laws and policies, freedom from abuse and violence and access to health including sexual and reproductive health services and information, were discussed among others
The Committee further noted the absence of an independent monitoring mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Convention, inadequate funding to the Malawi Human Rights Commission, and the ripple effect it has on carrying out its mandate effectively.   
Missing voices of OPDs: Awakening call for more OPD engagement
The CRPD Committee held its constructive dialogue with Andorra on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Andorra is an exceptional country due to its small population and size, and its geographical location, which has recently adopted legislation to incorporate concepts from the CRPD (Act 27/2017).
The CRPD Committee consulted the State on how it supports the National Federation of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (which did not engage in the review process). The Committee has also addressed issues related to pending legal and regulatory reforms, for instance on the legal capacity of persons with disabilities and on the disability assessment, this last still in a pilot phase. 

A second for Mongolia: An audit to implementation of 2015 concluding observations

On Thursday 17th afternoon, and Friday 18th morning, the CRPD Committee held its constructive dialogue with Mongolia.
Guided by the 2015 concluding observations and other emerging issues, the CRPD Committee raised concerns about the lack of concrete measures to implement 2015 concluding observations, the low-level literacy levels among deaf women, inadequate sign language interpreters and interpretation on local television channels, and the lack of implementation of the 2016 Law on Persons with Disabilities.
The committee further noted with concern that institutionalization and violence against children with disabilities in special schools remain prevalent and the State is yet to fully implement an inclusive education system.

Click for the videos of the public meetings related to Malawi, Andorra and Mongolia

Participation of organizations of persons with disabilities 

For and throughout this week, the International Disability Alliance provided logistical and technical support to ensure the participation of representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities from Malawi and Mongolia.
For Malawi, the International Disability Alliance collaborated with the Disability Rights Fund and Women Enabled International, who facilitated the attendance of OPD representatives from Malawi.
In the case of Mongolia, the International Disability Alliance, the World Federation of the Deaf, the Korea Differently Abled Federation, and Women Funds Asi facilitated one of the most diverse delegations. A record of four deaf participants, one woman, hard of hearing, and a 50-50 women and men with disabilities delegation, actively engaged throughout the review.


Malawi team with CRPD Committee Members

“What has been most exciting is our engagement with the CRPD Committee and the fact they had a lot of interest in the status of the implementation of the CRPD in Malawi. It's our plea to our government that they take this seriously, and the commitments that were made during the signing and the ratification of the Convention, have to be brought to reality. Persons with disabilities in Malawi must start enjoying the fruits of the CRPD.” 
Simon Munde, Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi, Acting Executive Director  

“The review process was a meaningful and empowering experience for DIWA. It allowed us to have a direct impact on the promotion and protection of the rights of women with disabilities in Africa. Voices of women with disabilities have been loud and clear throughout the review process. As a result, we feel more confident and empowered to continue advocating for the rights of women with disabilities in Africa.” 
Ruth Mkutumula, Disabled Women in Africa (DIWA), Executive Director 

Mongolia team at the CRPD 29th Session

“I would like to thank IDA for giving me an opportunity to participate in the review of Mongolia and raise the voices of hard-of-hearing persons. Our diverse delegation had persons with disabilities from different backgrounds and constituencies and we were able to raise our issues before the CRPD Committee. We have learnt a lot of things and my knowledge of the human rights of persons with disabilities has been broadened. It was a pleasure to meet with many CRPD Committee members and beyond briefing them, connect and receive advice and guidance, which is key to our future advocacy”. B.Yumjirdulam, Board member of the Mongolian National Association of the Deaf 

“On behalf of persons with disabilities of Mongolia, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to IDA and KODAF for their support to representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities, technically and financially, enabling us to raise the voices of persons with disabilities during the review. We all gained experiences in drafting shadow reports, highlighting priorities during informal meetings with CRPD Committee members, and the entire review process.”   
Ts.Oyunbaataar, Mongolia National Federation of organization of persons with disabilities

CRPD Committee’s Panel on Deinstitutionalization

On Friday 18th afternoon, the CRPD Committee held a panel on deinstitutionalization to commemorate the first anniversary of the Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization, adopted during the 27th session, last September. The conversation gathered the CRPD Committee, representatives of organizations persons with disabilities and of non-governmental organizations advocating for deinstitutionalization at the national, regional and global levels, and even former CRPD Committee member, Jonas Ruskus, former Chair of the CRPD Committee’s Working Group on Deinstitutionalization.


On behalf of the International Disability Alliance, Juan Ignacio Pérez Bello, Senior Advisor on Human Rights, highlighted among other things: “We need inclusive policies to respond to emergencies, of course, but we cannot stress more the pressing need for more and better support systems and services for persons with disabilities and for parents with children with disabilities, in line with Article 19(b) and 23 CRPD, as to prevent institutionalization.” He later on added that “the current conversations on the support and care agenda at the international level provides with an opportunity to combat the easy and inertial recourse to institutionalization of persons with disabilities on which States rely and to provide with conceptual clarity and political momentum to demand in increased efforts from States in the good direction.” 

Beyond the CRPD Committee: OPD engagement with other UN agencies 


Active engagement of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations is key in the work of other UN agencies. At the sidelines of the session, IDA, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Human Rights and Disability Unit), held an information-sharing and sensitization session.
During the session, OPDs had an opportunity to share information on their national situation highlighting progress and existing challenges, and their collaboration with UN agencies. On the other hand, OHCHR provided information on its role and responsibilities, opportunities to contribute to the current theme on disability-inclusive care and support systems, and upcoming reports.

What’s next this second week of the CRPD Committee review? 

During this second week, beginning today, Monday, 21st August, the CRPD Committee will conduct three private briefings with organizations of persons with disabilities and three constructive dialogues with the States Parties. The public meetings for constructive dialogues are scheduled as follows: 


Tuesday, Aug 22nd, 3 PM to 6 PM CET
Wednesday, Aug 23rd, 10 AM to 1 PM CET



Wednesday 23rd, 3 PM to 6 PM CET
Thursday 24th, 10 AM to 1 PM CET



Thursday 24th, 3 PM to 6 PM CET
Friday 25th, 10 AM to 1 PM CET


All these are public sessions and will be webcast by UN Web TV where you can follow the sessions live. 
Follow us live on Twitter for the newest updates from the sessions @IDA_CRPD_Forum

For more information on the session, including reports by States and organizations of persons with disabilities, visit the CRPD Committee-specific website


To access the Newsletter online, click here

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