The first annual report by the agencies responsible for independent monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Disability Convention) has been launched in Parliament by Minister for Disability Issues the Hon Tariana Turia.
“The most significant issue confronting those with a disability is the attitudes of wider society and the systems that exist, which fail to recognise the amazing determination of this community to be trusted to know what is best for themselves. There is so much that we need to continue to do to enable those with disabilities to live an ordinary life. The issues of silo funding affects the ability of individuals and families to be self-determining. To be an inclusive society we must be bold and develop the same attitudes that prevail amongst the disabled. Focus positively on their abilities not the impairment. Can be and can do are the attitudes that we should all aspire to,” says the Hon Tariana Turia.
As part of the work arising from the Disability Convention, the Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and the New Zealand Convention Coalition have been designated as an independent mechanism to monitor the implementation of the convention. The monitoring mechanism’s annual report of the Disability Convention contains the recommendations on achieving better realisation of rights for disabled New Zealanders.
The Parliamentary launch date was chosen to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, when the United Nations asks all countries to consider ways to make the world a better place for disabled people. This year the international theme is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.”
Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson said, “The Disability Convention has the potential to change the lives of some of the most forgotten, abused and poverty-stricken people in our global village. It empowers us to aim for not just an ordinary life, but a great life.”
The first annual report has set indicators and measures of progress for a range of rights for disabled New Zealanders. The report makes a total of 44 recommendations, with seven key recommendations singled out for priority. These include:
- The Ministry of Education meets its inclusive school targets
- The establishment of a board representing the Ministries of Health, Social Development and Education, Disabled People’s Organisations and disabled people and their people and Their families to align disability support services with international best practice
- Statistics NZ develops a programme to enable comparison for key outcomes for disabled and non-disabled people
- The Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Health to work together with the monitoring mechanism to ensure reasonable accommodation for prisoners with disabilities and treatment of people with an intellectual/learning disability or mental illness.
Download the report
Source: Human Rights Commission