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Comments on implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has presented its comments to the draft of the first report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The HFHR noted the existing problems related to the observance of the Convention rights afforded to persons with disabilities.

According to the HFHR, the report is very general and, to a large extent, presents only a legal framework without indicating any concrete actions. The comments emphasised that the provisions of the “Equality Act” fail to fully protect persons with disabilities against discrimination in access to social security, services, healthcare and education. The Foundation also observed that persons with disabilities have no guarantee of the full enjoyment of their political rights such as the right to vote or to be elected. At the same time, the HFHR pointed to the issue of insufficient judicial review of incapacitated persons’ staying in nursing homes.

The Helsinki Foundation also noted interventions of the Human Rights Defender which concerned, among other things, problems with public utility building accessibility for persons with physical disabilities. The Human Rights Defender also made note of the need to provide equal access to information disseminated by television and online services.

“Also in our statements, we have informed the public many times of the fact that the Convention rights of persons with disabilities are not observed”, says Dr Dorota Pudzianowska, coordinator of the HFHR’s “Article 32” Programme.

The comments referred to interventions taken by the HFHR, for example in the case of ATMs inaccessible for visually impaired persons or problems with disabled persons’ access to professional qualification examinations for legal professions.

Poland is obliged to submit the final report on the implementation of the Convention until September 2014.

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