On Friday 9th September, the CRPD Committee closed its 27th session, in which the Committee reviewed and adopted concluding observations on Bangladesh, China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau), Indonesia, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Singapore*.

Prior to and throughout the session, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) provided technical and logistical support to organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) from the different countries involved for them to participate and present their main concerns and relevant information to the members of the CRPD Committee. In particular, in collaboration with other partners, IDA contributed to the participation of representatives of persons with disabilities from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

During the session, the CRPD Committee also worked on and adopted the following key documents:

In addition, the Committee has decided that it will start working towards a General Comment on Article 11 of the CRPD (Situations of risks and humanitarian emergencies). IDA warmly welcomes this decision.

Highlights of Concluding Observations 

The CRPD Committee adopted eight concluding observations, including numerous recommendations for States Parties, addressing almost all articles of the Convention. For each country, the full document should be read and analysed for a comprehensive picture of the current situation of the rights of persons with disabilities and the gaps in the implementation of the CRPD. 


Facing a context of restricted civil society space, the CRPD Committee recommended China to “[s]trengthen mechanisms for the effective involvement of persons with disabilities through their representative organizations in public decision-making processes [...], and adopt measures to safeguard their independence from public authorities and participation in the design, reporting and monitoring of legislation and policies aimed at implementing the Convention and the Sustainable Development Goals.” In the same regard, in Hong-Kong SAR, the Committee recommended the establishment of “an independent commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of police brutality against persons with disabilities who participated in public demonstrations.” Focusing on institutionalized persons with disabilities, the Committee requested China to “prevent any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons with disabilities in residential and psychiatric institutions and ensure access to justice and reparations for victims…”


Moving to Indonesia, the Committee criticized Law No. 1 of 1974 concerning marriage and other legislation and regulations that are discriminatory against women with disabilities, such as provincial regulations on exclusive breastfeeding leading to discriminatory practices against women with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities. It was recommended that Indonesia repeal or amend them, as necessary. The right to liberty of persons with psychosocial disabilities was discussed during the dialogue and the CRPD Committee recommended Indonesia “repeal all provisions that allow for the deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairment, including within Law No. 8 of 2016 on Persons with Disabilities and Law No. 18 of 2014 on Mental Health.”


At the interactive dialogue with Japan, the 2016 Sagamihara stabbings, where 19 persons with disabilities died and 26 were injured in a residential institution, were a matter of discussion. With that background, the Committee recommended Japan to “[e]stablish an independent monitoring, safeguards and complaints mechanism that is accessible to all persons with disabilities in all settings, to receive complaints, investigate and sanction institutions, centres and perpetrators of harmful and forced practices, violence, neglect, cruel and degrading treatment.” The Committee observed the negative trend of increased reliance on special education, and recommended to Japan to “[d]evelop an inclusive education strategy, with specific targets, timelines and budget, and coordinated responsibilities between national, provincial, city and regency levels, covering all levels of education.”

New Zealand

Among the recommendations to New Zealand, the need for increased participation of indigenous persons with disabilities must be highlighted. The Committee recommended that the State “[d]evelop legislative and policy frameworks that reflect the Treaty of Waitangi, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to ensure that Māori persons with disabilities are closely consulted and actively involved in decision-making processes and that their right to self-determination is recognised.” In New Zealand, the DPO Coalition is an active member of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism. The CRPD Committee called the State to “[s]trengthen its accountability processes and its partnership with the IMM to track and publicly report on the outcomes and implementation of recommendations of IMM reports,” as well as to “[a]llocate adequate resources, including financial support to the Disabled People’s Organisations Coalition to enable it to effectively fulfil its mandate as one partner of the IMM,”. The Committee also recommended that New Zealand “establish a co-design and co-production process” with OPDs to address concerns about the ‘Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill’. Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill,

Republic of Korea

At the dialogue with the Republic of Korea, very serious concerns were raised regardingto the right to life (Article 10 of the CRPD) due to: the high rate of suicide of persons with disabilities and allegations of cases of parents who lack support murdering their children with disabilities before committing suicide. In the concluding observations, the Committee recommended that the State “adopt and implement a national suicide and disappearances prevention strategy for persons with disabilities, with specific measures to target autistic persons, persons with psychosocial disabilities and families.” nder Article 19 of the CRPD, the Committee requested the State to “[r]eview the Roadmap to Support Independent Living of Deinstitutionalized Persons with Disabilities in consultation with organisations of persons with disabilities, and bring it in-line with the Convention and ensure that it includes sufficient budgetary and other measures…” This issue was among the main concerns of Korean organisations of persons with disabilities.


The Committee recommended to Bangladesh that the State review and harmonise the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities 2013 Act and other acts and regulations with the Convention, in particular to include a gender perspective and issues related to “women and girls with disabilities, persons with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities and persons affected by leprosy.”  Another issue that was brought up was the right to employment of persons with disabilities, in-line with the implementation of target 8.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (by 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value). On this, the Committee recommended to “[a]dopt and implement a national strategy to ensure access to employment by persons with disabilities in the open labour market both in the public and private sectors, including by providing incentives and affirmative action programmes.”

Please find the full Concluding Observations in the Website of the 27th session of the CRPD Committee. You can also see the recap of the sessions - Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 on Twitter. 

* Not yet published by the CRPD Committee.