April 15, 2013 - 9:00am

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held its 9th session in Geneva from 15-19 April 2013, in which it reviewed Paraguay, adopted List of Issues on Australia, Austria and El Salvador and held a half day of general discussion on women and girls with disabilities. 

The session opened on Monday 15 April during which five new members (Martin Babu Mwesigwa, Monthian Buntan, Laszlo Lovaszy, Diane Mulligan and Safak Pavey) pronounced their solemn declaration to formally join the Committee. Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes was elected as new Chair of the Committee and a new bureau was elected composed of Ron McCallum, Theresia Degener and Carlos Rios Espinosa as Vice Chairs, and Martin Babu Mwesigwa as new Rapporteur of the Committee. 

On 15 and 16 April, the Committee proceeded to its seventh review of a State Party to the CRPD, this time entering into an interactive dialogue with Paraguay. On 17 April, the Committee held a half day of general discussion on women and girls with disabilities.  During the lunchbreak, the International Disability Alliance and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund hosted a side event on indigenous women and girls with disabilities.  Following the half day of general discussion, the Committee adopted a statement in English and Spanish in which it announced that a working group on Article 6 of the CRPD has been set up to elaborate an in depth report that analyses all the information submitted during the discussion, as well as to draft a General Comment on women and girls with disabilities.

On 15, 16, 17, 18 April, country specific briefings were held before the Committee respectively on Paraguay, Austria, Australia and El Salvador.  For the remainder of the week, the Committee met in closed sessions to adopt the Concluding Observations on Paraguay, as well as the list of issues on Austria, Australia and El Salvador

Views on individual communication no 1/2010, Szilvia Nyusti & Péter Takács v Hungary, were adopted. The case concerns two individuals with visual impairments who had separately contracted private account services with OTP bank and were denied access, on an equal basis with others, to the use of their banking services and transactions on account of their bank’s inaccessible ATMs.  The Committee found that Hungary failed to ensure accessible banking services for persons with visual impairments including those provided by OTP and other private financial institutions in violation of Article 9(2)(b) of the CRPD. It upheld the obligation on the State party to ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services open or provided to the public, take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities, regardless of contractual relationships concluded between individuals and private entities.

Additionally, the Committee established a working group to prepare guidelines for the participation of non-governmental organisations and organisations of persons with disabilities in the Committee’s meetings.

At the 10th session (2-13 September), the Committee will review Austria, Australia and El Salvador, as well as adopt list of issues on Azerbaijan, Costa Rica and Sweden, for which the following country rapporteurs have been designated respectively, Martin Babu Mwesigwa, Silvia Quan Chang and Stig Langvad.  A meeting with States Parties will be held during the second week of the Committee’s 10th session.  The 10th session programme of work is available here.

All public sessions, including the opening, review of Paraguay, half day of general discussion and IDA & DRAF side event on indigenous women and girls with disabilities were webcast live by IDA and have been archived for subsequent viewing.

Related documents and information:

CRPD Committee documents

IDA summaries

Parallel Reports

Half day of general discussion on women and girls with disabilities

Webcast archives

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