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Brief description of the inquiry procedure

The inquiry procedure aims to address grave or systematic violations of any of the rights established in the CRPD. Under article 6 of the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, if the Committee receives reliable information indicating grave or systematic violations by a State party of the rights set forth in the Convention, the Committee will invite the State party to submit relevant observations.

Based on submitted observations by the State and any other reliable information, the Committee may designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry. The inquiry may include a visit to its territory if the State Party concerned consent to it. The Committee will transmit the findings of the inquiry to the State party with comments and recommendations. Governments are required to submit their observations regarding such findings and, when required by the Committee, to report on the advancements accomplished in the matters of the inquiry. Together with the concluding observations, the general comments and the individual communications, these views constitute an essential part of the CRPD Committee jurisprudence, and particularly important in terms of accountability of State Parties.

Role of OPDs in the inquiry procedure

Organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and civil society organizations may make submissions to the Committee, with relevant information to be considered under article 6.1 of the Optional Protocol, requesting an inquiry (please see guidance below).

Moreover, if the Committee conducts a visit in State Parties, OPDs and civil society organizations are encouraged to collaborate with the proceedings. In fact, the Committee may invite OPDs and civil society organizations other than the inquiry requesting organization, to provide relevant information and collaborate with the Committee during a visit within the inquiry procedure, respecting the confidentiality of the procedure. Finally, OPDs and civil society organizations are encouraged to provide follow-up information to the Committee.

How to request the CRPD Committee to conduct an inquiry?

If the State Party has ratified the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, it is possible to request an inquiry procedure by sending a writing submission marked as confidential to crpd [at] ohchr.org and hfuentes [at] ohchr.org 

To check if a State Party has ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention, please visit this page: OHCHR Status of Ratification Interactive Dashboard

What information should be sent to the CRPD Committee?

According to the CRPD Guidelines on the Participation of Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) and Civil Society Organizations in the work of the Committee, submissions should include:

  1. Identification of the submitting organization, and in the case of OPDs, their mission/vision statement and what role persons with disabilities play in the organisation.
  2. substantiation on grave and systematic violations of rights set forth in the Convention by a State Party to the Optional Protocol
  3. credible and reliable information on which the submission is grounded
  4. Recommendations to the Committee
  5. Suggestions of other references for additional information regarding the matter of inquiry that may contribute to the procedure, such as universities, human rights institutions, and other local organizations such as women’s and/or children’s rights organizations

Other UN Treaty Bodies (like the CEDAW Committee) provide additional guidance on submissions to activate the inquiry procedure: 

  • Indicate the State party to the Optional Protocol alleged to be violating rights under the CRPD
  • Be written in one of the United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish)
  • Provide a factual description of the alleged violations and indicate the rights under the Convention which are alleged to have been infringed by these violations and, where possible, should indicate the extent to which infringement of these rights by the State party is grave or systematic
  • The document should be written in a succinct manner without using abusive language and must contain supportive data, in annexes, which may be referred to in the body of the submission
  • Contain relevant documents, in an official UN language, that support the submission. All annexes to the submission should be numbered consecutively and indexed by the date of the document and each should be accompanied by a short description; and
  • Not be exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media.
  • The document should provide basic personal information on the individual(s) or the non-governmental organisation(s) which they represent such as name, postal address, phone number and e-mail address. If they do not wish their personal identity or that of the non-governmental organisation which they represent to be disclosed, this should be indicated in the submission.

Please make sure to submit information and annexes in accessible formats.

Find more information about the procedure on the CRPD website.

Summaries of inquiries

To date, the CRPD Committee has conducted 3 inquiries under article 6 of the Optional Protocol to the CRPD. To facilitate access to previous inquiries, IDA produces summaries of the inquiries conducted by the CRPD Committee.

Please find below brief descriptions of the inquiries in reverse chronological order (most recent first) and the link to download IDA´s summary on each inquiry.

Please note that IDA’s summaries contain links and instructions to access the full texts of the Views adopted by the Committee in the different UN languages available.

Inquiry concerning Hungary (2017)
In 2017, the CRPD Committee received information from Hungary, where persons with disabilities continued to be systematically deprived of their right to equal recognition before the law, resources were destined to expand institutionalization and persons with disabilities were subjected to guardianship. The Committee carried out a confidential inquiry including a country visit in 2019 and found that the number of persons with disabilities living under guardianship or inside institutions was increasing while community-based services and support were underdeveloped and insufficient; these structural barriers also resulted in children with disabilities excluded from education and particularly affects persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. The Committee determined grave or systematic violations of the rights stated by articles 12, 19, and 5, in line with article 4 of the CRPD. Download IDA summary

Inquiry concerning Spain (2015)
The inquiry, established in 2015, examined violations of the right to an inclusive and quality education in Spain. These violations are primarily related to certain features of the education system that continue to exclude persons with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities or multiple disabilities who go through medical model assessments that hinder their participation in mainstream education. The Committee found that despite existing initiatives and mechanisms to shift towards inclusive education, no major transformation has been implemented and that the educational future of children with disabilities depends on different local laws, and is determined by the will and capacity of their parents. The Committee found reliable evidence of grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities with regard to article 24 and 4 of the CRPD. Download IDA summary

Inquiry concerning the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2014)
The inquiry, established in 2014, examined the impact of the legislation, policies and measures adopted by the UK relating to social security schemes and to work and employment, from 2010 to the date on the rights of persons with disabilities. On the verification of the facts, The CRPD Committee found that the reform to the welfare system aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit resulted in a reduction of important disability benefits which, at the same time, were subjected to assessments based on medical approach. Additionally, such reform limited options of housing and community-based services and support allowances for workers with disabilities and affected the adequate living of them and their families. The Committee concluded grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities with regard to article 19, 27 and 28 of the CRPD. Download IDA summary