19 October 2015

Congo-Kinshasa: Convention On the Rights of Persons With Disabilities and Its Optional Protocol

press release

Kinshasa — David Gressly, Deputy Special Representative for the Rule of Law and Acting Head of Mission, and Jose Maria Aranaz, Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, commend the Government of the DRC for its accession to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol

"Persons with disabilities are full human beings and the specific rights recognized to them require particular attention and positive measures reflecting the solidarity of the entire national and international community. By acceding to these instruments, the DRC has reaffirmed to the world its political will to establish as one of its priorities, the mainstreaming in Government policies of the protection of the rights of this category of persons who have often been neglected," stated David Gressly.

On 30 September 2015, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) acceded, without reservations or interpretative declarations, to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional protocol. The Convention, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006 and came into force on 3rd May 2008, is intended to promote, protect and ensure the dignity, equality under the law, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities. As for its Optional protocol, it pertains to the competence of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to receive and examine communications from individuals or groups of individuals alleging violations of the Convention by a State party.

"I am pleased to note that the Senate and National Assembly have initiated for the current session the procedure for the adoption of the Bill on the Protection and Promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities following the meeting of the joint Socio-Cultural/External Relations Committee of both Houses. All of these commendable initiatives are encouraging signs that demonstrate the sustained efforts of the Country's authorities to progressively achieve the realization of the rights covered by the same Convention", declared Jose Maria Aranaz, Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office and Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the DRC.

Notes to editors:

The DRC's accession to the Convention coincided with the organization, at the initiative of the Ministry for Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity, of a workshop from 30 September and 1st October 2015, with the theme of "Guidelines for data collection regarding the situation of persons with disabilities in the DRC", in which the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office actively participated.

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