The Committee is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the rights provided for under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, by its States parties. Works of the Committee include reviewing state reports including dialogues with states parties, preparing general comments and inquiring individual complaints. The Committee meets twice a year in Geneva, Switzerland, for a couple of weeks’ long sessions.

There are 18 members in the Committee. Half of them will end their term in the end of 2014. Nine new members will be elected in the 7th Conference of the States Parties to the CRPD in June 2014.

So far, there has been no deaf member in the CRPD Committee. The WFD would like to see deaf experts as Committee members in the future. States that have ratified the CRPD can nominate candidates. The number of candidates is limited to one per country. States parties should consult with DPOs when planning to nominate a candidate. Elections in the COSP are political decisions, as representatives of national governments have the right to vote.

Candidates should have experience from various disability issues, expertise in the CRPD and be persons with disabilities themselves. For example, a deaf candidate should be familiar with issues of different groups of disabilities in addition to deaf and sign language related expertise. Deadlines for selecting candidates vary between countries. If you know a suitable deaf person who could be suitable for CRPD Committee membership, you need to find out how and when a candidate is selected in your country. Lobbying for nomination should start now because the deadline for nominations made by governments is 10 April 2014.

Please contact WFD Human Rights Officer Eeva Tupi at eeva.tupi@kl-deaf.fi to inform the WFD if your country has a deaf candidate or if you have any question.

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