12 September 2018
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities today concluded its review of the initial report of Malta on measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Olaph Terribile, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the United Nations Office at Geneva introduced the report and said that Malta was developing the concept of the Office for Disability Issues that would manage policy implementation and direction, coordinate the discussions between all relevant stakeholders, and implement the upcoming National Disability Strategy. On 2 April 2018, the World Autism Day, Malta had launched the Autism Advisory Council, tasked with drafting a National Autism Strategy and with ensuring that national autism policy and practice were in line with the established norms and standards. The Maltese Sign Language had been recognized as one of the national languages and the Sign Language Council of Malta had been set up. New Personal Autonomy Bill aimed to bring national legislation in line with the principle of the equal recognition before the law enshrined in Article 12 of the Convention, and so facilitate a move away from the current substituted decision-making model enshrined in the guardianship regime, towards a system that placed the recognition of juridical equality at the very core. The Personal Assistant Fund and the independent community living schemes operated by Aġenzija Sapport - the national service provision agency for disabled persons, had been strengthened, and schemes to support the individual, introduced. The disability assessment system was being reformed into a function-based gateway assessment mechanism that would ensure that individual’s needs were better addressed, through a smother and more dignified process.
Committee Experts saluted Malta’s efforts to implement the Convention and especially the adoption of the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act, which gave persons with disabilities a fairer and better deal. However, serious areas of concern remained, in particular the still-lingering medical model of disability and the existence of three models of disability, all three based on the impairment paradigm. In terms of intersectional discrimination, it seemed that not much had been done; there was no system to document the cases, and the complaint and redress mechanism was lacking. There was no justiciable provision that dealt with access to information, and to information and communication technology, while the Personal Autonomy Bill did not adequately address the supported decision-making. Further, Malta had not yet adopted the procedures to implement the concepts of reasonable accommodation and age-appropriate accommodation, and the Mental Health Act remained a very serious issue as it still allowed for involuntary detention or hospitalization. Inclusive education was still not a reality and Malta had not yet articulated the social and economic benefits of inclusive education both for persons with disabilities and the society in general. Persons with disabilities still found it very difficult to find a job in Malta, and a concern remained about the methods of appointment and disability representation in the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Terribile, hoped that the information shared with the Committee during this dialogue shed light on the progress Malta made in the implementation of its obligations under the Convention.
Theresia Degener, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation of Malta for all the information and a lot of good intention in implementing the Convention.
The delegation Malta consisted of the representatives of the Ministry for Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity; Parliamentary Secretariat for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing; Office for Disability Issues; Ministry for Education and Employment; Agenzija Sapport; Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta; as well as members of the Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings will be available via the following link: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/.
The Committee will meet next at 3 p.m. today, 12 September, to start its consideration of the initial report of the Philippines (CRPD/C/PHL/1).
The Committee has before it the initial report of Malta (CRPD/C/MLT/1).
Presentation of the Report
OLAPH TERRIBILE, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in the introduction of the report, outlined the activities Malta had recently undertaken to implement the Convention, which included the efforts to restructure the national disability focal point in the Government and the development of the concept of the Office for Disability Issues, which would be mandated with managing policy implementation and direction, and coordinating the discussions between all relevant stakeholders. One of its priorities, the Ambassador emphasized, was creating a strong consultation mechanism, with the involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, those working with and for persons with disabilities, and other relevant actors, such as academia and equality bodies. The Office would also devote particular attention to the implementation, monitoring and updating of the upcoming National Disability Strategy.
On 2 April 2018, the World Autism Day, Malta had launched the Autism Advisory Council, in line with the Persons within the Autism Spectrum (Empowerment) Act of 2016. It was tasked with drafting a National Autism Strategy for Malta, and for overseeing it thereafter, and with ensuring that national autism policy and practice were in line with the established norms and standards, with the involvement of autistic persons and their families. The Council has already organised the first-ever Autism Spectrum Town Hall, where young autistic persons had discussed their concerns, together with members of the Council, and the Junior Minister for Disability Rights. The Maltese Sign Language had been recognized as one of the national languages and the Sign Language Council of Malta had been set up. Malta strived to ensure an ample provision of sign language interpreters, and for that end, the Government was funding the first sign language interpretation course at the University of Malta. In line with the principle of ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’, the Government would receive further proposals from the Council and from the deaf community geared towards developing a plan for development and retention of human resources in this field.
Malta was committed – also in the spirit of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - to ensure that no one was left behind, and was committed to guaranteeing that every person was able to exercise their autonomy and live in an accessible environment which would allow for the exercise of that autonomy. New Personal Autonomy Bill aimed to bring national legislation in line with the principle of the equal recognition before the law enshrined in Article 12 of the Convention, the Ambassador said, noting that this would enable a move away from the current substituted decision-making model enshrined in the guardianship regime, towards a system that placed the recognition of juridical equality at the very core. Malta had strengthened the Personal Assistant Fund and the independent community living schemes operated by Aġenzija Sapport - the national service provision agency for disabled persons, and had introduced new schemes, such as the Empowerment Scheme, to support the individual. The Government had also pledged to set up an Independent Living Fund, discussions on which were currently underway. Agenzija Sapport was implementing the INK (Person- focused Inclusion) project and the JESS (Job Enhancing Skills) Scheme; both initiatives aimed to provide persons with intellectual disabilities with general skilling and specific training, with a view to eventual work placements and ultimately, job retention.
The long-standing commitment to improving accessibility was enshrined in the Access for All design guidelines for the built environment, which had eventually been adopted as national standards by the Government, while the European Accessibility Act dossier was one of Malta’s priorities, during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017. Malta was transposing the European Union legislation related to implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty, side-by-side with the Directive on the Accessibility of the Websites and Mobile Applications of Public Sector Bodies. The Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools was currently carrying out improvements to schools and ensure accessibility in all its forms. It had consulted with the children who – in order to get their input and feedback - had been given an opportunity to design their ideal school. Draft Inclusion Policy and Framework documents, prepared in discussions with persons and children with disabilities, would be launched for public consultation soon. The ongoing amendments to the Education Act would task the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education, an independent regulatory authority, with the monitoring and oversight of inclusion in the education sector.
Malta was reforming disability assessment system into a gateway assessment mechanism, function-based instead of impairment-based, with regular reviews and a right to appeal, and connected with the relevant departments and agencies, such as the Department for Social Security or the national employment agency. This would ensure that individual’s needs were better addressed, through a smother and more dignified process, and that there was appropriate coverage for persons excluded by the strictly impairment-based system, such as those with rare diseases. The Equality Bill, currently before Parliament, paid considerable attention to the issues of multiple and intersectional discrimination, and added on to the provisions of the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act. Malta’s first national human rights institution, the Human Rights and Equality Commission, would be soon set up, and would include representatives of the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability, the country’s de jure independent monitoring mechanism. The funding to the disability sector had been increased by €5 million, bringing the total 2018 allocation to €20 million. Malta, concluded the Ambassador, was proud of its achievements all the while recognizing that the process of upholding human rights was an organic and ever-evolving process.
Questions by the Committee Rapporteur
COOMARAVEL PYANEANDEE, Committee Rapporteur for Malta, saluted Malta’s efforts to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially the adoption of the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act, which gave persons with disabilities a fairer and better deal. However, serious areas of concern remained, he said, noting in particular the still-lingering medical model of disability and the existence of three models of disability, all three based on the impairment paradigm.
In terms of intersectional discrimination, it seemed that not much had been done; there was no system to document the cases, and the complaint and redress mechanism was lacking. There was no justiciable provision that dealt with access to information and access to information and communication technology, while the Personal Autonomy Bill did not adequately address supported decision-making. Further, Malta had not yet adopted the procedures to implement the concepts of reasonable accommodation and age-appropriate accommodation, and the Mental Health Act remained a very serious issue as it still allowed for involuntary detention.
The Rapporteur was concerned that inclusive education was still not a reality and that social and economic benefits of inclusive education for persons with disabilities and the society had not yet been adequately articulated. Persons with disabilities still found it very difficult to find a job in Malta. The Committee was concerned about the methods of appointment and disability representation in the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability.
Questions by the Experts
Other Experts inquired about the steps taken to finalize the National Disability Strategy due to be launched in 2018, and about the efforts to consolidate the different methods of disability assessment so that a single person did not have to go through the assessment process several times.
The delegation was asked to explain how the Government enabled persons with disabilities and their organizations to actively participate in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of policies related to their rights. On accessibility, Experts asked about the sanctions for those who failed to comply with accessibility requirements and standards, and about the use of procurement policy to enhance accessibility.
An Expert asked the delegation to explain their interpretation of article 25(a) related to sexual and reproductive health for women and girls with disabilities, and the intentions to remove any restrictions to the full exercise of this right. What kind of training in disability rights was being provided to Government officials, people working in the justice system, and those working in the media?
What legislative and policy steps and measures had been taken to prevent multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities?
THERESIA DEGENER, Committee Chairperson, asked whether persons with disabilities and their organizations were involved in the design of the new disability assessment and whether it recognized and incorporated the human rights-based model of disability. Was the person being assessed actively engaged in providing information during the process, and would the new system eliminate multiple assessment methods thus increasing consistency and transparency of the whole process? Was the disability assessment process subjected to an independent scrutiny and review?
The Chair informed Malta, which was a member of the Council of Europe, that the Committee had sent a letter to the Council in which it had voiced its opposition to the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention, as it would allow involuntary and forced treatment of persons with psychosocial disabilities in direct violation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Would Malta express its concern about the Oviedo Protocol, as a number of other members of the Council of Europe had already done?
COOMARAVEL PYANEANDEE, Committee Rapporteur for Malta, asked the delegation to describe a system or a forum where children with disabilities could freely express their opinions concerning the decisions that affect them in their daily lives. Taking note of Malta’s approach to gradually implement the Convention, the Rapporteur asked about the involvement of and the consultations with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the implementation of the Committee’s General Comments? What was the budget allocated for awareness raising on the rights of persons with disabilities, at least in the 2017/2018 fiscal year?
Response by the Delegation
Responding to questions raised on the implementation of the National Disability Strategy, the delegation confirmed that it would be launched by the end of the year, and that the public consultation on the Strategy had already been concluded. Prior to the launch, the different stakeholders, including persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, would be consulted on the final draft.
Malta was committed to having a unified system of disability assessment which would cut down on red tape and ensure a more dignified process for persons with disabilities. It would indeed integrate a human rights-based model of disability, a delegate said, in line with Malta’s resolve to ensuring that this model underpinned all relevant laws and policies. The disability assessment process was indeed subjected to an independent scrutiny and review, notably through the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability, de iure monitoring mechanism for the implementation of the Convention, but also by the Human Rights and Equality Commission, soon to be set up in full compliance with the Paris Principles.
Persons with disabilities were being consulted on all relevant laws and policies, and the Government was working on establishing a formal consultation mechanism within the Office for Disability Issues in the form of focal points in various Government departments who would ensure consultation with persons with disabilities. The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability, which was the equality body in Malta, did have different committees that regularly consulted persons with disabilities on various issues, in line with the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act.
The current Government had pledged to ensure the presence of persons with disabilities on all major Government boards, and had now gone even further by extending the pledge across the board. “This is not a question of tokenism, or a matter of having a person with disabilities for the sake of having a person with disabilities on the board”, highlighted the delegate, stressing that the aim was to turn their presence and experience into a starting point for mainstreaming disability. So far, persons with disabilities had been included in the boards of the Housing Authority, National Commission for Further Higher Education, Jobs Plus (the national employment agency), National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (which would evolve into the national human rights institution), Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (the local regulator for non-governmental organizations), Transport Malta, and the Refugee Appeals Board, while the discussions on the matter were ongoing with the Broadcasting Authority and with the Commission for Domestic Violence, responsible for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention that Malta had recently ratified.
Explaining the dispute resolution mechanisms, the delegate said that the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability was the equality body for disability and that whenever a case was brought before this body, there was a mandatory mediation, followed either by a case resolution or a litigation before the civil court, in which the Commission could be involved as a party. Malta was “a very litigious nation” and litigation was costly, the delegate said, explaining that the Government was looking into setting up alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including in disability-related matters.
In order to ensure better access to justice and the provision of reasonable accommodation, Malta was developing draft United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, on which the consultations with persons with disabilities were foreseen. The Bill would ensure a direct application of the Convention’s substantive articles in the national legislation, enabling persons with disabilities to submit complaints for all the breaches of rights not covered by the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act to either the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or the national courts. The Bill also made a reference to the Committee’s General Comments.
Malta did not believe in the protection of women, the delegate said, rather it believed in their empowerment and in a wider gender-based paradigm, which englobed both women and men. This said, Malta was conscious of intersecting forms of discrimination and that was why the new Equality Bill, which was a general human rights legislation that also covered disability, addressed the phenomenon of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. Noting the unwavering support for the European Union Equal Treatment Directive, the delegate explained that Malta was transposing its provision in the national legislation, which would, inter alia, address intersectional discrimination, including those specifically directed against persons with disabilities regardless of their gender, age, or sexual orientation and gender identity. Double discrimination against children with disabilities and girls in particular was addressed by the National Children Policy and the National Youth Policy.
The Government was in a dialogue with the Malta Federation of Persons with Disabilities, which was a member of the European Disability Forum, and was committed to having a strong national federation and a strong civil society. The delegate reminded that, according to the law, persons with disabilities would be represented in the Human Rights and Equality Commission, which would include persons with disabilities, the Federation, and other disabled persons’ organizations.
At the moment, there were no intentions to withdraw the reservations to article 25(a), said the delegation, noting that the National Sexual Health Strategy made a reference to persons with disabilities and contained specific actions to addressed their particular needs.
Awareness campaigns were being designed with the participation of persons with disabilities; the awareness raising budget in 2017 was €30,000 and would remain the same in 2018. There were various disability and equality training courses which were being delivered to different stakeholders, public and private, designed and delivered by persons with disabilities.
Malta remained committed to transforming the system of care to a person-centred one ensuring a shift towards inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities in the community. The Government was conscious that such a transformational change could not happen overnight and that was why it had adopted a ten-year plan, based on a human rights-based model and approach to disability. With regard to the representation of persons with disabilities in the media, the delegation said that there were sanctions for all those who engaged in hateful portrayal of persons with disabilities, with additional sanctions and safeguards applicable to social media.
Children with disabilities had an opportunity to express themselves on the matters related to everyday life through two particular initiatives run by the Ministry of Education: the draft inclusion policy and ensuring that classroom environment met the needs of children with disabilities. Additionally, the University of Malta required all the research that involved persons with disabilities had to provide all the necessary information in accessible manner, including in easy to read format.
Questions by Committee Experts
In the next round of questions, Experts addressed the issue of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and asked the delegation how they were included in general emergency plans and if disaster risk management approaches conformed to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. How the information on emergencies, natural disasters and evacuation was being provided in accessible formats such as Braille, sign language, or easy read?
On persons with disabilities in the justice system, Experts asked about the training offered to judges, prosecutors, and lawyers to better understand the requirements of persons with disabilities, especially those with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, and about concrete measures adopted to include persons with disabilities as officers of the court, prosecutors, or lawyers.
Committee Experts then addressed Article 14 of the Convention and the involuntary detention or hospitalization of persons with the so-called mental disorders and asked whether Malta intended to remove derogatory terminology from its laws and policies and bring them in line with the Convention. What concrete measures were in place to
protect persons with disabilities from domestic and institutional violence and how the perpetrators were sanctioned?
On the right to live independently and be included in the community, Experts asked about the efforts to promote this concept and idea among the general population, and also asked how General Comment N° 5 on equality and non-discrimination assisted the Government of Malta in avoiding mistakes others had made in putting in practice the provisions of article 19 of the Convention on the right to an independent living. Could the delegation provide some good examples of using the European Structural and Investment Funds to really provide independent living and inclusion in society for persons with disabilities in Malta?
Which concrete steps had Malta taken to remove the guardianship system and replace it with supported decision-making, in line with General Comment N° 1?
Responses by the Delegation
In response to questions raised on persons with disabilities in situations of risk, the delegation said that emergency plan for persons with disabilities were in place and stressed that more needed to be done to strengthen the cooperation of the civil emergency department with persons with disabilities. Schools had evacuation plans and there were routine evacuation exercises, and teachers and students were trained to help each other if any emergency situation arose. Schools were equipped with medical facilities and students learned about health and safety measurements during their science lessons and sometimes during their independent living lessons.
As for the accessibility of courts and the justice system, a delegate explained that discussions were ongoing with the Director-General of the Courts of Justice Department concerning disability training for court officials, and also concerning the accessibility of procedures, including through the easy read service, Braille, and sign language interpretation. Already some forms used by the lawyers had been made in accessible formats, but more remained to be done to increase accessibility, in consultation with persons with disabilities to ensure that their needs were met. Police stations had been already assessed as a part of accessibility review.
On the matter of mobility, the delegation noted some new initiatives in the health insurance domain which aimed to increase the support for personal mobility, while different financial support schemes were in place to enable persons with disabilities to purchase the devices and equipment they needed to enable a more independent life. The Government offered a grant for the purchase of specialized vehicles, and subsidies for public transport were available to persons with disabilities.
The delegation reiterated Malta’s firm commitment to abolishing the guardianship and substituted decision-making, noting that the review of the system would be based on the Mental Health Act and the Civil Code. In this sense, Malta had already sought expert advice, including from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, who had practical experience on working on those issues in her own country. Persons with disabilities would be consulted throughout the process, the delegate said, while the final draft would be offered in an accessible public consultation.
Malta fully agreed that involuntary detention or hospitalization should not be on the books, and the Government was working to ensure the transition of persons with disabilities, including those with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities, to community services, implementing measures contained in the ten-years plan and deinstitutionalization strategy. The focus was currently on setting up the structure and a network of community-based services, to ensure smooth transition into the community, with adequate and accessible services.
Measures were in place that addressed the abuse, neglect and violence against persons with disabilities, especially against women and children with disabilities. Disability had not yet been included as a protective characteristic for hate crimes, which would be addressed through a planned amendment to the law. According to the data provided by the Agenzija Sapport, there were 16 cases of violence against women with disabilities, 11 due to domestic violence while three involved minors victims of neglect.
The campaigns to promote an independent living had been developed both by the Government and by representative organizations of persons with disabilities. A national campaign called #Stigma, conducted by the Commissioner for Children, aimed to raise awareness and enable children with disabilities to participate and give feedback, and a mental health first aid course, a result of a public/social partnership that targeted persons with psychosocial disability and public officials.
Malta considered the Committee’s General Comment N°1 on equal recognition before the law a gold standard whose principles guided its legislative activities and reform processes. In that vein, persons with disabilities were consulted on all the programmes and initiatives, who then chaired the relevant boards and bodies, thus ensuring that persons with disabilities had a considerable input in the decision-making process.
The INK (Person- focused Inclusion) project promoted the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the society and prepared them to enter the job market. In the course of three years, 200 persons with disabilities had been trained in courses containing both preparatory programme and the practical training. There were also training activities for professionals on best practices, and trainings for employers. The budget allocated for training amounted to €8 million, which was extremely encouraging. The Personal Assistant Fund and the Independent Community Living Fund aimed to create a network of services for persons up to 60 years of age. The funds dispersed allocations under the supervision of independent boards chaired and sub-chaired by persons with disabilities.
Questions by the Experts
Committee Experts, in the final round of questions, noted that persons with intellectual disabilities enjoyed shorter life expectancy and asked how medical staff was being trained to provide them with adequate health care.
Malta was a party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - what support was available to persons with disabilities to address complaints to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when all national legal remedies had been exhausted?
Article 29 of the Convention set out the framework for the participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life, Experts recalled and noted that Malta had reserved the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as voting procedures, facilities and materials were concerned. When would Malta lift its reservation and enable the full realization of the right to vote for persons with disabilities?
The delegation was next asked about the average levels of education obtained by persons with disabilities and overall education for persons with disabilities and the measures adopted to address those problems. What was the proportion of companies that did not reserve two per cent of jobs for persons with disabilities? Experts also asked about the average income of persons with disabilities compared to the rest of the population.
The Experts further requested the information on measures taken or planned to be taken to train translators and communicators for the deaf/blind, such as tactile sign language interpreters and Braille communicators, and to provide accessible textbooks and other educational materials such as in Braille, large print and digital textbooks to pupils and students with print disabilities.
Finally, the delegation was asked about steps adopted to make sure that the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability functioned properly, in line with its obligations under the Convention; when the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill would go through Parliament; and when the Human Rights and Equality Commission would be set up in full compliance with the Paris Principles.
Responses by the Delegation
In response to questions concerning the training of medical staff, the delegation said that those were provided by the University of Malta, while a supplementary training courses specific to persons with disabilities had been developed in cooperation with the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Agenzija Sapport.
There was an ongoing consultation with the representatives of the political parties, the Electoral Commission, and the European Union experts, on the lifting of Malta’s reservation on article 29 of the Convention. A number of initiatives had been put in place to enable people to use sign language in everyday life, including the Government funding of the first sign interpretation course at the University of Malta, with 13 students enrolled in 2018.
The ongoing reform of the disability assessment system would streamline the process and put in place one gateway procedure, with results and recommendations being transmitted to the national employment agency, thus enabling a smoother process for a person with disabilities. The right to petition the court was enshrined in law for all Maltese citizens, but no complaints had been brought before the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities using that mechanism so far.
In terms of employment of persons with disabilities, the delegation said that in 2016, a quota of two percent reserved jobs for persons with disabilities had neem introduced, and that under this scheme 1,000 persons with disabilities had found work so far. Courts imposed sanctions on companies that violated the quota and on those that violated the principle of “equal pay for equal work”, which made it illegal to pay a different wage for the same kind of work. The latest statistics had shown an increase in the number of persons with disabilities in work, a thanks to a healthy economy, the level of unemployment in Malta was the lowest it had ever been.
The Government’s approach to employment of disabled persons was based on increasing individual skills and abilities, for example through programmes such as the INK (Person- focused Inclusion) project and the JESS (Job Enhancing Skills) Scheme; mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities; and on the promotion of employment of persons with disabilities, for example by funding the payment of 25 per cent of the basic salary of every employed person with disabilities.
OLAPH TERRIBILE, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked the Committee for the most fruitful exchange and hoped that the information shared with the Committee during this dialogue shed light on the progress Malta made in the implementation of its obligations under the Convention.
THERESIA DEGENER, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation of Malta for all the information and a lot of good intention in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
For use of the information media; not an official record