Findings of New Zealand's UN Disability Convention examination

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has published a paper on their concluding observations on New Zealand’s examination. You can read the report by going here.

The examination looked at the progress New Zealand is making to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The breadth of the recommendations in the report is wide which makes a short summary impossible, however noted below are some of their recommendations on a few “hot disability topics”.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommended that the Government:

  • ratify the Optional Protocol as soon as possible (the protocol puts in place  a process that allows complaints about matters in the Convention not being implemented to be taken to the United Nations when local complaints processes are not effective)
  • make sure family carers are paid the same as other carers and can make complaints about any unlawful discrimination regarding family care policies
  • promptly establish guidelines on the application of reasonable accommodation (ways of making adjustments so barriers are removed) for people with disabilities, especially in the area of employment
  • increase the provision of reasonable accommodations (ways of making adjustments so barriers are removed) in primary and secondary education for disabled children
  • eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint for people with mental illness
  • amend our laws to bring in supported decision-making as opposed to  substituted decision making for disabled people
  • ensure that all public buildings, as well as public webpages providing services for all, be made accessible and that consideration be given to ensuring that new private houses be made fully accessible. Also remove the accessibility exemption for factories and industrial premises where fewer than ten people are employed
  • strengthen programs and initiatives to protect persons with disabilities, especially those living in institutions, from violence and harm, and ensure a system is put in place to detect and respond effectively to cases of abuse
  • bring in legislation prohibiting the use of sterilisation of boys and girls with disabilities, and of adults with disabilities, in the absence of their prior, fully informed and free consent, and
  • take further steps to increase the employment levels of persons with disabilities.