The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is made of 18 experts. The experts are elected by States Parties (governments) during the Conference of the States Parties (COSP).
Each expert has a mandate of 4 years which can be renewed once, which means every expert can keep this role for 8 years.
The candidates are presented by Member States – these are the countries whose governments have ratified the CRPD.
The elections in June 2024
During COSP 2024, 9 members of the Committee will be elected to replace those whose terms will expire on 31 December 2024.
Sir Robert Martin, self-advocate from New Zealand who has been the first and only self-advocate to stand in the CRPD Committee, is among the members who have an ending term in 2024.
What is the Committee’s role and why is it important to apply?
The role of the CRPD Committee is to follow and check on the countries to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
During the country reviews, each expert can ask questions to government representatives and discuss with civil society organisations about important challenges they face.
The Committee prepare the recommendations that the government have to follow before their next review.
In addition, the Committee write the General Comments which are explanations of different articles of the CRPD.
Considering the important role of the Committee and because every member has an important role in advancing the work, it is as important to have a diversity in the representation of the members of the Committee.
Since Robert Martin is leaving, there won’t be any other person with intellectual disability in the Committee.
Who can apply and how?
The nomination should be presented by the States Parties between December 2023 and 11 April 2024.
The candidate should have the following criteria:
- a good understanding and expertise in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Personal experience in Human Rights, advocacy or research linked to the CRPD
- Have time availability and good support to participate in the Committee’s work (3-4 weeks meetings in Geneva twice a year, in March/April and August/September)
- Speaking one of the UN official languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian
What can you do?
Contact your Ministry leading on disability issues or the Ministry of foreign affairs.
Find out if they are considering nominating a candidate:
- If yes, as OPD, you should be consulted in the nominating process. You can suggest recommendations.
- If not, you can advocate for your government to do so by suggesting a self-advocate from your organisation who could qualify for this role.
You can find more information on the elections on the CRPD Committee website here.
II will organise an informative webinar about the elections by the end of January. Stay tuned and prepare your questions for the webinar.