*Essential reading materials
*CRPD Articles 4, 8, 31-33, 34-39, 40, Optional Protocol
*OHCHR 2009 Thematic Study on key legal measures for ratification and implementation of CRPD (not necessary to read in full, but read general section and as much as you wish on specific articles)
International law and national frameworks, especially 1.7 ‘International law and municipal law interface’ – in Compilation of International Norms and Standards Relating to Disability. **Note, this reading is pre-CRPD and other parts of Compilation are outdated, but good to supplement lecture.
*One or more of these on shadow reporting:
10 Steps to Writing Shadow Report (this is USA-based and focused on ICCPR, take as example and modify accordingly)
IDA 2010 Guide to Shadow Reporting (especially section 3 on Reporting Process – lengthy document, and biased in favor of joint comprehensive report by DPO coalition – user/survivor organizations usually contribute to joint report and also submit their own)
Using shadow reports for advocacy (online discussion in 2009 hosted by Regional Centre for Minorities, useful re pros and cons)
CRPD Committee additional materials
Communications and Inquiry Procedure (general information on the communications/complaint and inquiry procedures under Optional Protocol)
More on interface between domestic law and international law
*Example of Urgent Appeal by UN Special Procedures, case of forced psychiatry in Norway
Fall 2017 materials:
Spring 2017 materials:
Activities/assignment options for final assignment. **There are three options; you only need to do one, as they require some additional research and take more time than previous assignments.**
1. Preparing for CRPD implementation and monitoring
Using internet search engines or other sources of information, investigate what you can think about the legal basis and the political potential for CRPD ratification, implementation and monitoring/enforcement in your country, in relation to issues we have been discussing in the course.
Has your country has ratified CRPD, and if so has it also ratified the Optional Protocol (follow links in segment #1)? Has it made any reservations, understandings or declarations? How might those R/U/Ds impact your country’s implementation, monitoring and enforcement?
If your country has ratified CRPD: does your country’s law treat the CRPD as part of its national law, or only an international obligation? How would different governmental branches view their relationship to the CRPD and their potential obligations and powers related to its implementation and enforcement? Consider administrative, legislative, and judicial branches and both federal and sub-federal levels in a federal state. You do not have to do exhaustive research, but think about what you already know and what you can find out from an internet search that fits your level of knowledge about law and government.
Also if your country has ratified CRPD, has it designated one or more focal points for implementation, and has it designated one or more national monitoring mechanisms? Consider the potential for constructive engagement with those entities. Will they help in implementing the abolition of forced treatment and forced hospitalization (for example)?
If your country has not ratified CRPD, consider and investigate what are some creative ways that human rights advocates can approach the various branches and levels of government to adopt, implement and enforce the same obligations.
You might consider what is the role of government compared with civil society and private entities. Does it make sense, for example, to bypass government and work directly with service providers, or will you need to work with government in order to make the needed changes? What kind of campaign might you need to build, where would you look for potential allies?
2. CRPD shadow reporting
Consider using this assignment to think about how to go about preparing a shadow report to the CRPD Committee, if your country has ratified CRPD or if you anticipate ratification.
For this assignment, I would suggest to think concretely about issues we have discussed in the course, and how you would present information to the CRPD Committee about your country in relation to forced psychiatry as torture/violence, legal capacity, abolition of psychiatric detention, and having the support the person wants and needs. Where would you start? Is there an ‘ask’ you have in mind already, a policy or enactment of law that you want to focus on (such as repeal of mental health act)? Do you want to survey people with psychosocial disabilities to find out what are the most pressing issues in their lives, what are the areas where they are being misunderstood and need to be heard? Is there an egregious violation that you want to highlight as a wedge for systemic change (for example, a high rate of long term institutionalization)? These questions are meant to stimulate your thinking, and I invite you to bring all your experience and advocacy and knowledge, including everything you have already learned in this course and what you know about your own country, to this assignment.
What would be your ideal outcomes? Can shadow reporting serve multiple aims (such as human rights education, finding allies, establishing contact with government officials, highlighting thematic issues for the CRPD Committee itself) as well as obtaining recommendations with which to influence government action? How does shadow reporting fit into your advocacy agenda and approach?
If your country has already been reviewed once by the CRPD Committee it is a good idea to read at least the Concluding Observations from the earlier review, and other background materials to the extent relevant (see Sessions page as discussed in lecture for segment 6).
3. Other international human rights mechanisms
Let’s consider the whole range of human rights mechanisms, including Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, other UN treaty bodies, the Universal Periodic Review, and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as the CRPD Committee country reviews and communications under the CRPD Optional Protocol. (There are links for all these in the slides for segment 6).
Which ones are available to you in your country? Thematic Special Procedures and Universal Periodic Review are available to people in all countries; others depend on whether your country has ratified a particular treaty or protocol. You can find country-specific information and more linked on this page for Human Rights Bodies.
Which ones are supportive, knowledgeable, interested in the issues of concern to you? Investigate their previous output and consider carefully whether a particular mechanism is likely to give you a favorable result. Consider your own tolerance for risk, e.g. whether you and your community need a favorable result to inspire you to keep going or whether you can afford to work on persuading a wider range of mechanisms with a long term campaign. Advantages and cautions in selecting mechanisms is discussed in the lectures for segments 6 and 7, but you may need to investigate more on your own. Also consider whether there are under-utilized mechanisms that might be interested and relevant.
Given the situation in your own country, its legal and political approaches to human rights obligations, the mechanisms available, any upcoming visits or reviews, your knowledge and resources, and the needs of users and survivors in your community, how you might use human rights mechanisms in your advocacy related to issues discussed in the course.
(c) Tina Minkowitz 2017