France: UN rights expert to assess the situation of persons with disabilities

Europe, Misc., October 2 2017

GENEVA: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, will conduct her first official visit to France from 3 to 13 October 2017 to assess the situation of people with disabilities in the country.

“This is my first visit to France and I am eager to learn about the concrete measures that the authorities are taking to implement the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. This is particularly relevant given President Macron’s decision to prioritize disability during his term in office,” Ms. Devandas-Aguilar said.

“I also intend to identify challenges and gaps in protection for people with disabilities in order to formulate concrete recommendations,” she added.

The Special Rapporteur will meet Government representatives at national and departmental levels, the national human rights institution and other independent bodies, as well as people with disabilities and their representative organizations.

During her 10-day mission, Ms. Devandas-Aguilar will travel to Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Avignon, where she will visit an inclusive school, institutions for children and adults with disabilities, psychiatric facilities, as well as a project to provide housing for people with psychosocial disabilities.

“My visit will focus primarily on the issue of institutionalization – including the practice of sending French people with disabilities to institutions in Belgium, as well as the situation of persons with autism and those with psychosocial disabilities.

“I will also examine social protection, and investigate efforts to prevent and address abuses against people with disabilities in France,” the human rights expert said.

Ms. Devandas-Aguilar will hold a press conference on 13 October at the end of her mission to share with the media the preliminary observations from her visit. It will begin at 2.30 pm at the Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme (CNCDH), Salle René Cassin, 35 rue St Dominique, 75007 Paris. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council, including her findings and recommendations, in March 2019.

Source: OHCHR

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