CCD Chairperson’s Update – November – December 2015

CCD Continues Its Role As A Convenor

In the disability community, CCD has a long tradition as a convenor, bringing together disability organizations, governments and others to remove barriers and create greater inclusion.

Most recently, CCD convened a consultation on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and helped the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities bring the community together to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which had as its theme, Inclusion Matters.

CRPD

In 2014, the Government of Canada filed its initial report to the UN describing how the CRPD is being implemented across the country. The CRPD elaborates the universal standard for the human rights of persons with disabilities and it envisions a robust role for the organizations of persons with disabilities in the monitoring process. To that end, on the 2015 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, CCD convened, at the offices of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, a meeting of disability organizations regarding the UN CRPD Committee’s review of Canada’s progress on ensuring the human rights of persons with disabilities and Canada’s civil society (or shadow) report to the Committee. The consultation, which was moderated by Steven Estey, Chairperson of CCD’s International Committee, had two main outcomes. Participants shared information and concerns that will enhance and strengthen our understanding of the lived experience of Canadians with disabilities and the solutions we want. As a follow-up mechanism to the consultation, participants agreed that CCD should serve as a secretariat to convene a process to advance the engagement of the disability community with the CRPD Committee throughout its review of Canada.

At lunch time, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, joined the consultation and shared comments about the promise of the CRPD and the value of shadow reports. “When Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2010, the dream of an inclusive and accessible Canada seemed more attainable than ever before. It was a big step, but clearly there’s still much work to be done, stated Madame Landry. “Your work here today also inspires us to think about what else can be done to make the realization of the rights in the UN CRPD a reality in Canada. Our collective contribution is central to an accurate assessment of the steps taken by Canada to comply with these international human rights standards. Your shadow report will provide both reliable and independent information to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Madame Landry reported that the Commission will issue a shadow report.

The International Disability Alliance’s Guidance Document: Effective Use of International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms to Protect the Rights of Persons with Disabilities explains the CRPD’s reporting process and how disability organizations can participate in human rights monitoring in the context of the CRPD.

Inclusion Matters

CCD partnered with Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, to organize the 2015 reception celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which had as its theme: Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment of People with All Abilities. At the reception CCD’s Executive Committee (Tony Dolan, Pat Danforth, John Rae, Carlos Sosa, and Carmela Hutchison) discussed with MPs and Senators from all parties how they can contribute to the implementation of the CRPD. Working together, and in close collaboration with our governments, on a non-partisan basis, we can achieve an accessible and inclusive Canada, and thus improve our standard of living and build a better society for all.

Season’s Greetings

The team at CCD wishes everyone a happy holiday season.

If making year-end charitable donations is on your “To Do List,” please remember that CCD is a registered charity and issues tax receipts to donors. Your gift will support CCD’s work to make Canada more accessible and inclusive. Donations can be made to CCD at Canada.Helps.org.

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/council-of-canadians-with-disabilitiesle-conseil-des-canadiens/

We will be taking a break starting on December 24, 2015, and resuming work on January 4, 2016.