In mid 2014, the Land of Saxony-Anhalt requested the National Monitoring Mechanism for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to support its review of Land laws with respect to the rights of persons with disabilities.
National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism began by developing, in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt, a structured set of questions to be used to perform a basic review of legal provisions with respect to UN CRPD standards. The result, which would serve as an analytical tool for the subsequent review, was then discussed with an inter-ministerial task force. This general evaluation matrix for the structured basic assessment of legal provisions gives the competent officials an easy-to-use set of questions in yes/no format with which they can independently perform a preliminary test. This test provides them with a rough assessment as to whether a given legal provision should be subjected to more detailed review, by uncovering indications that the provision is not (fully) in line with the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("conflicts of rules") or raises particular questions about whether the conditions associated with the exercise of rights are compatible with human rights. The purpose of the next step, the detailed review, is twofold: to resolve conflicts of rules and to improve the legal framework safeguarding human rights. In the field of education, for instance, the mere fact that all persons with disabilities are legally entitled to have access to the general education system is not sufficient: the legislative framework conditions as a whole must be designed to ensure that inclusive education is actually possible and to ensure that it is actively promoted. The right to vote can serve as another example: simply having legislation in place that declares that persons with disabilities are eligible to vote is not sufficient: the conditions associated with exercising the right to vote also have to be such that all persons with disabilities can make use of that right in practice.
The initial selection of possibly relevant legal provisions was carried out by the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs in consultation with the National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism. During the subsequent phase of the testing, the competent ministries used the general evaluation matrix to subject ten different legal provisions of Land law to the preliminary test. In cases where possible potential for conflict or implementation deficits were detected, detailed reviews were performed in preparation for the necessary amendment of statutes. For this purpose, the National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism also provided the ministries with examples of specific evaluation matrixes, each of which addresses a particular legal issue and spells out the UN CRPD requirements for a specific area of law. In addition, during the entire testing process, the National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism advised the officials involved and the inter-ministerial task force on questions relating to human rights and the UN CRPD.
The National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism will alert its Thuringian partners of any instance in which individual results arrived at during testing fail to coincide with its own professional view, and issue practice-oriented recommendations for further action. The evaluation and implementation, in the form of specific amendments to statutes, is solely within the purview of the Land of Saxony Anhalt.
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