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Dementia and Human Rights – Part 14


I finished the last blog on the UN Convention of Right of Persons with Disabilities on Article 31, the collection of statistics.


From here on, the remainder of the Articles are very important, but there is a reason that they are at the end and are possibly not the most exciting or even impactful day to day in a perceived way, but I’m sure they would be noticed if they were missing!!


So Article 32 is about International Cooperation.  This is about discovering best practise and sharing it.  It is also about research into technical and scientific research.  So for people with dementia, this is about looking at things like whether pet therapy works or music therapy for example.  It is also about aspects of what technological support works, so in the work that I have been doing with the Prime Ministers Challenge, it is looking at whether wearing a GPS tracker has a benefit.  Anecdotally, I’ve heard of an instant where someone went missing who was wearing a GPS tracker and they were found quickly and they were uninjured and returned to a place of safety, so in short, GPS trackers do work!


Article 33 is National Implementation and Monitoring – There is a clue in the name here, but the Article does make clear that people with disabilities should participate fully in the monitoring process.


Article 34 is Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.    This creates a UN Committee with a panel of 12, increasing to a maximum of 18 members, who shall be experts in their area and as expected of a UN Committee, the members shall be of high moral standing and recognised competence and experience within their field.  The State nominates their candidate and the members are elected by secret ballot by the UN.  The members are elected for a term of 4 years.  The Secretary General of the UN shall provide the staff and facilities, currently Ban Ki-moon, although I suspect he has staff that organises that sort of thing!!


Article 35 is Reports by State Parties.  The UN States have to submit reports on the measures that they have taken to give effect to the obligations of this Convention to the Committee created by it in Article 34.  A report has to be submitted every 4 years to the Committee.  So how are these reports managed – Article 36 – Consideration of Reports, of course!! The Committee will look at the reports and make suggestions and recommendations as appropriate.  The Committee can chase for the report if it is “significantly overdue”.  The reports are available to all State Parties and to the public within their own country.  The Committee can seek help from specialised agencies, funds and programmes of the UN (and other bodies) for advice or assistance.  The relationship between State and Committee is managed via Article 37 – Cooperation between State Parties and the Committee – each State should assist and cooperate to fulfil their obligations.


Article 38 – Relationship of the Committee with other bodies.  The Committee can invite other bodies to consult with, assist and advise them.  Article 39 – Report of the Committee, the Committee shall report to the UN General Assembly and to the Economic and Social Council every 2 years.  Article 40 is Conference of State Parties, the States should meet “regularly”, and shall be convened by the Secretary General (currently Ban Ki-moon) every 2 years, again, I think he has people who organises that for him!


I’m going to leave the convention there, as the remaining Articles are not as interesting as the ones that I have gone through.  In convention terms, they are important, as for example Article 42 – signature, that this Convention shall be signed by all States at UN headquarters in New York but, as indicated, is not as interesting or relevant to the discussion points of this series of blogs.