States parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are required to designate independent monitoring frameworks to monitor the implementation of the CRPD under article 33 (2). National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), particularly with ‘A’ status, alone or sometimes in shared responsibility with other stakeholders or national structures, often hold this monitoring role. Whether designated as part of a larger framework or as the stand alone independent monitoring mechanisms, NHRIs, based on their broad mandate under the Paris Principles, play a unique role monitoring the implementation of the CRPD at national level including through: managing complaints; supporting rights-based reviews of legislation and enhancing engagement of persons with disabilities and Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to help identify the barriers faced by persons with disabilities to fully participate in society and the enjoyment of all human rights on an equal basis with others. Through their mandate to promote human rights of persons with disabilities, NHRIs also engage in public awareness-raising and the formulation of human rights education programmes regarding disability rights to promote inclusion and combat discrimination.
In 2018, in the context of a year-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Principles by the UN General Assembly and the establishment of a network, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter “the Committee”) and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions – GANHRI held a half-day interactive debate during the 19th session of the Committee and GANHRI’s Annual Meeting in March 2018. The Interactive debate has been established as a Committee’s standard item of its agenda and takes place on an annual basis, as part of the overall work on the Committee in facilitating engagement with stakeholders, particularly IMMs and NHRIs. The discussions focused on sharing the practices of NHRIs in monitoring article 19 of the Convention and on the participation of persons with disabilities in monitoring activities at the national level, in line with article 33 (3) of the CRPD. This included experiences on the role of NHRIs using indicators, data and benchmarks and on good practices concerning the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations within the independent monitoring mechanisms or monitoring frameworks at the national level.