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Disabled People: UN Convention

Volume 707: debated on Thursday 12 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 3 February (WS 47), what are the reasons and the evidential basis for their decision to sign the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the light of their decision not to sign the First Optional Protocol to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [HL1340]

The decision to sign the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was reached in the light of our work towards ratification of the convention itself, and the outcome of the independent review into the UK's experience of ratifying the similar Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. In response to that review, the Government said that they would consider the merits of signing any other individual complaints mechanisms on a case-by-case basis. In the case of the Disability Convention, while disabled people already have access to various domestic mechanisms for enforcing their rights, we considered that signing the Optional Protocol would underline the messages in the convention about respect for the human rights of disabled people. Signature of the Optional Protocol to the Disability Convention does not set a precedent for acceding to other complaints mechanisms which will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consult Parliament on their proposals to make reservations to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. [HL1341]

Prior to ratification the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be laid before Parliament as a Command Paper. The accompanying Explanatory Memorandum will include information on the prospective reservations. In accordance with the Ponsonby rule, either House may call for a debate.