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Call for Submissions: United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Shadow Report

AsIAm are gathering submissions from the autism community on their experiences of accessing services and exercising their rights. This is to feed into a Shadow Report which will factor into Ireland’s first report on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

What is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a United Nations document which sets out rights and principles. Governments (also known as ‘States’) signed up to the Convention are obligated to ensure that people with disabilities can exercise these rights. Ireland adopted the Convention in 2018, making a commitment to protect, promote and advance the rights of disabled people.

All countries, including Ireland, must submit their first report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities within two years of adopting the Convention. The UN Committee is the body that oversees how Ireland makes the Convention into law. Ireland will submit its first report to the UN Committee in 2021.

What is a Shadow Report?

Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) and people with disabilities can report to the UN to help the Committee review Ireland’s progress on advancing disability rights called Shadow Reports. 

Shadow Reports are independent reports that ‘shadow’ Ireland’s record on disability rights, helping to hold Ireland accountable by responding to the Government’s record on implementing the CRPD and on disability rights published in the Draft State Report.

Why is it important to take part in the Shadow Reporting Process? 

The Shadow Report provides the UN CRPD Committee with an independent and accurate assessment of Ireland’s record on disability rights and makes recommendations for strengthening disabled people’s human rights. This will help the Committee assess Ireland’s progress on ratifying the CRPD.

The Shadow Report also allows you to tell the UN Committee what issues the State has made progress or fallen short on its obligations on the rights of people with disabilities. It is an international platform for autistic people to raise issues that matter to the autistic community and to hold Ireland accountable for how it treats autistic people.

The Committee can propose changes to Irish law and policy that strengthens the rights of autistic people and people with disabilities that Ireland should follow.

How is AsIAm involved in the Shadow Reporting Process? 

As part of the Shadow Reporting process, AsIAm is looking to gather information for the Shadow Report on the perspectives and lived experiences of autistic community in Ireland.

We also would like to hear from you if you have an opinion on any Article in the Convention that you wish to see highlighted in the Shadow Report, and addressed by the Committee. 

We will compile these submissions and send them to the DPO Coalition so it can be included in the Shadow Report. This will help to build strong recommendations on how Ireland can advance the rights of autistic people and disabled people. 

What can I do?

You can make a submission on any of topic that is included in the CRPD, including:

•   Women with disabilities, including autistic women

•   Children with disabilities, including autistic children

•   Accessibility and access to information

•   Access to justice and to equal recognition before the law

•   Housing and Independent Living – including Personal Assistance

•   Family life

•   Education

•   Health

•   Work and employment

•   Social protection and to decent living standards

•   Participation in political life

•   Participation in cultural life – including the arts, recreation, and sport

AsIAm would like to hear your experiences on exercising your rights, including accessing services related to this right, as an autistic person. This can include (but isn’t limited to):

•   Do you feel you have full access to this right?

•   What are some issues that affect your ability to enjoy this right?

•   Do you have choice and control over how you want to exercise this right?

•   What are some issues that you feel are affecting the wider autistic community and their enjoyment of this right?

•   What are some things Ireland can do to make this right more accessible to autistic people?

We will accept submissions in the following formats:

•   Written submission of up to 1,000 words in length

•   Audio or video recording of up to 15 minutes in length

Your submission can help us to prioritise the voices of autistic people and disabled people in holding Ireland accountable for its compliance with the CRPD. We wish to have the diversity of the autistic community reflected in our submissions to the Shadow Report, and to reflect the lived experiences of autistic people, in the CRPD Committee’s discussions with the Irish Government, on how to advance the rights of disabled people in Ireland.

When’s the deadline and where can I submit my piece?

If you would like to have your perspective included in our submission, you can send your submission (with the topic on the subject line) to submissions@asiam.ie before 5:00pm on Monday 8th March 2021.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us at info@asiam.ie.

Further Information

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (full text) – United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Easy to Read version)

Disability and Discrimination in Ireland Report – Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Disability and Discrimination in Ireland Report – Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Easy to Read version)

by - 19 March, 2021

Last updated by - March 19, 2021

in Autism, Community Voices

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