NEW WESTMINSTER, BC–Today, the federal government announced the launch of a consultation process on Canada’s accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Optional Protocol).
The announcement, by Foreign Affairs Minister Stephan Dion and Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough, noted that provinces and territories have a key role in this decision and that consultations are currently taking place with them on this matter.
The Optional Protocol would provide a new safeguard for the rights of people with disabilities by establishing two procedures aimed at strengthening the implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention.
1. A complaint procedure allowing individuals and groups to bring petitions to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities claiming that their rights under the convention have been violated.
2. An inquiry procedure giving the Committee authority to investigate allegations of grave or systematic violations of the provisions of the convention by a state party.
The Optional Protocol was adopted by the UN in 2006 and entered into force in 2008. As of November 2016, there are 92 states parties to the protocol.
Inclusion BC will share more details, analysis of implications and how people can support this, as we learn more.
The announced provincial consultations on the Optional Protocol are distinct from the ongoing public consultation process already underway on planned federal accessibility legislation, which includes public hearings, an online survey and acceptance of formal written submissions until February 2017.
More on the federal Accessibility consultations