Dear WFD Ordinary Members,
As you might be aware, the World Federation of the Deaf is closely working with the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHC) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The CRPD is an international law treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. WFD had been involved in its draft and negotiation. Thanks to this intense advocacy work, sign language is mentioned five times. This is the first time that sign language is recognised as a language in an international legal text.
The CRPD mandates a democratically elected committee- the CRPD Committee- to review and supervise the implementation of the Convention by the national governments. The CRPD Committee is composed of 18 independent experts who are elected for a term of four years by States parties to the Convention. Half of the CRPD Committee is elected every two years. Each member must be a national of a State party to the Convention, of high moral character, and have recognized competence in the field of international human rights. The CRPD generally holds sessions two times per year in Geneva, Switzerland.
The next CRPD elections will take place in June 2020 during the Conference of the States Parties to the rights of persons with disabilities (COSP) that will take place from 10 to 12 June 2020. After the elections, 9 new experts will join the CRPD Committee for a four-year mandate.
The actual composition of the CRPD Committee is as such that there is only one deaf person, Mr Dmitry Rebrov from the Russian Federation, and one hard of hearing person, Mr Lászlo Gábor Lovaszy from Hungary.
WFD believes it is crucial to ensure a better representation of deaf people within the CRPD Committee to ensure the perspective of deaf people are respected in the CRPD Committee work. For this reason, WFD strongly encourages national associations of deaf people to nominate a deaf expert from your country to your Minister of Foreign Affairs to serve as a member of the CRPD Committee for the next term.
The WFD Human Rights Officer, Mr Alexandre Bloxs, can provide you with any information and personalised support such as a letter of recommendation or guidance. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SG Mission: to serve our viewers by providing reliable, valuable, and important Deaf community oriented information in every newcast.