UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

The UN Convention is an international treaty where the signatory states committment to promote, protect and  guarantee the human rights of people with disabilities.

In Austria the ´United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities´ has been in force since October 26th 2008. The legislation, the administration as well as the law have to respect the Convention. Since Austria has also ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention, there is also an option for individual complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for people with disabilities in Geneva.

Therefore, according to international law, Austria is committed to implement and guarantee the standards that are laid down in the UN Convention by Austrian law. With respect to national implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Austria under Article 33 precautions must be taken in three respects:

  • Designation of one or more focal points within government for matters relating to the implementation of the present Convention
  • Establishment or designation of a coordination mechanism within government to facilitate related action in different sectors and at different levels
  • Establishment of an independent mechanism for the promotion, protection and monitoring of the imple- mentation of the Convention

The focal point of the Federal Government is the Ministry of Social Affairs. In accordance with Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Austrian Federal Constitution, the countries have to set up their own contact points for their area of competence.

The Austrian coordination mechanism ensures the Ministry of Social Affairs, involving the Federal Disability Advisory Board and considers in particular the required involvement of civil society. Since December 2008, in the government sector a monitoring mechanism in accordance with Article 33(2), UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, exists. (Monitoring Committee according to § 13 BBG). The countries have also set up monitoring bodies under their jurisdiction.

Austria has submitted the first national report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to the UN in October 2010. In this national report Austria assessed the first two years since the  entry into force of the Convention in Austria.

Since 2012, as part of the implementation of the Optional Protocol in terms of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Engl. abbreviation OPCAT), the Ombudsman Institution, concerning their commissions,  is also in charge of preventing exploitation, violence against and abuse of people with disabilities within the meaning of Article 16(3) of the Convention. For this purpose all of their institutions and programs that are intended for people with disabilities are effectively monitored (violence prevention mechanism). As an advisory body, a Human Rights Advisory Board has been established by the Ombudsman Institution.

Text taken from the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs:
http://www.sozialministerium.at (31th July 2014)

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