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Romania: the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council should be an opportunity to strengthen the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities

Letter
Strasbourg 14/04/2021
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Romania: the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council should be an opportunity to strengthen the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities

In a letter to the President of the Senate of Romania and the Chairperson of its Human Rights Committee, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights invites the Senate to use the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council to strengthen the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

To this end, she calls on senators to seize the opportunity offered by the nomination of a new president of the Council for Monitoring the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (Monitoring Council) to enhance the independence, credibility and effectiveness of this institution.

The Commissioner recalls states’ obligation under the CRPD to ensure that mechanisms for promoting and monitoring the implementation of this convention are designated in line with the standards regarding the status and functioning of national institutions for protection and promotion of human rights, known as the “Paris Principles”.

Referring to the findings of her report on her visit to Romania in 2018, that the Monitoring Council’s activity and procedures lacked transparency, including in its relations with civil society, the Commissioner stresses the importance of effective co-operation between the Monitoring Council and NGOs. While the Monitoring Council is mandated by law to facilitate NGOs’ access to institutions for persons with disabilities, which plays a pivotal role in the effective protection of their rights, the Commissioner is concerned that this is still often not respected in practice.

The Commissioner notes that in accordance with a number of international standards which are also relevant for the Monitoring Council, a transparent, inclusive and merit-based appointment process is necessary to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the leadership of national human rights institutions. “The leadership of the Monitoring Council should enjoy the support and trust of NGOs, with which this institution is meant to work closely”, she writes.