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UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

Following our ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 8 June, I am pleased to announce that the explanatory memorandum and Command Paper for ratification of the optional protocol to the convention will be laid before Parliament later today.

Ratification of the optional protocol is an important step and underlines the messages in the convention about respect for the human rights of disabled people.

As my statements of 3 and 27 February indicated, the optional protocol builds on the convention by establishing two additional procedures in respect of implementation and monitoring of the convention itself.

The first is a procedural avenue that, subject to meeting conditions set out in the optional protocol, will enable individuals or groups of individuals to bring petitions to the UN Committee that has been established to monitor implementation of the disability convention if they believe that their rights under that convention have been breached. The second is an inquiry procedure giving the Committee authority to undertake inquiries when reliable information is received into allegations of grave or systematic violations of convention rights.