Canada tables the Optional Protocol to the UNCRPD

Americas, Misc., December 6 2017

OTTAWA: The Government of Canada is taking further action to uphold and safeguard the rights of people with disabilities and further enable their inclusion and full participation in Canadian society.

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, on behalf of the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is proud to announce that the Government of Canada tabled in the House of Commons the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Optional Protocol). The Optional Protocol would allow individuals in Canada to make a complaint to the United Nations if they believe their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) have been violated.

The Convention protects and promotes the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. In 2010, Canada became a Party to the Convention and committed to promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.

Accession to the Optional Protocol would provide added protection by allowing the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider complaints against Canada. The Committee is a specialised committee with expertise in disability issues.

In December 2016, the Government of Canada announced that it had begun the process toward possible accession to the Optional Protocol. Consultations were launched with provincial and territorial governments, who play an important role in Canada’s accession, as well as Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, and civil society. The Government of Canada thanks all those that contributed to this process for their invaluable input.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3. This is an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the progress we’ve made in making Canada an accessible and inclusive country and the work we still need to do.

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