The convention on the rights of persons with disabilities was crafted by the United Nations as an international legally binding treaty to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. In a bid to ensure that every member state in the EU, to their full capacity upholds these rights, the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović wrote a letter to the President of the Senate of Romania and the Chairperson of its Human Rights Committee.
This letter has been made public, urging the senate in Romania to appoint their new President of the CRPD Monitoring Council. The job of the monitoring council is crucial as they have to ensure that proper implementation and promotion of the conventions are taking place and it is set-up by the state itself. Although, they have to be an independent institution which functions largely as a national human rights institution.
To ensure that a human rights institution is working independently and in its full capacity without external interference, the Paris Principles were established by the UN. According to these principles, certain international standards like credibility, independence and effectiveness in upholding human rights are essential to its functioning. An important principle includes the involvement of various stakeholders and NGOs with these national human rights institutions to ensure proper cooperation. The CRPD in fact suggests that Monitoring Councils should ensure that persons with disabilities and NGOs supporting them should be fully involved to ensure their rights are being upheld.
However, during Dunja Mijatović’s recent visit to Romania in 2018 there were some important gaps in the monitoring system that was recorded in a report. It was found that the Monitoring Council in Romania lacked transparency in its relations with civil society. The commissioner pointed out that according to law, this council has to ensure that NGOs have easy access to institutions for persons with disabilities to ensure their human rights are intact. This was missing in the Monitoring Council of Romania. Taking the opportunity of appointment of a new President of the Monitoring Council of Romania, Commissioner Mijatović expressed the urgency to appoint a leader that can ensure that these necessary standard and measures are upheld by the Monitoring Council in Romania to implement CRPD better.
To read the full letter click here.