P/T Ministers Consider Human Rights in the Context of Disability

For Immediate Release

Winnipeg 15 March 2011—Canada’s provincial and territorial ministers responsible for disability issues and human rights spent the last two days considering what human rights mean in the context of life with a disability.

CCD representatives Steve Estey and Jim Derksen were on hand to share the disability community’s human rights message, which is embedded in its National Action Plan. The Plan seeks F/P/T commitments on disability-related supports, poverty eradication, labour market participation and full citizenship.

Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in March 2010 was an impetus for the P/T Ministers’ meeting. “One of the reasons the UN created the CRPD was to introduce new mechanisms for addressing the human rights concerns of people with disabilities,” stated Jim Deksen, a CCD policy consultant. “We are pleased that for the first time Ministers responsible for human rights and disability issues met together to work on how to make Canadian communities more inclusive and accessible. The CRPD motivated P/T ministers to come together in a new way and we are optimistic that the synergy of this meeting, and hopefully future meetings, will result in the removal of the barriers that make it more difficult for people with disabilities to enjoy the goods, services and opportunities other Canadians take for granted.”

“When the CRPD was drafted at the UN, people with disabilities were fully engaged in the work of crafting a robust and far-reaching document that has the scope to be meaningful to the global community of persons with disabilities. It is good to see that our own P/T Ministers are also engaging with members of the disability community, as they determine how to make human rights meaningful for the citizens with disabilities in their provinces,” stated Steve Estey, Chairperson of CCD’s International Development Committee and a member of the official Canadian delegation that worked on the CRPD at the UN.

In February, the disability community developed a Call to Action, endorsed by over 100 organizations, which outlines steps for implementing the CRPD in Canada and this document was shared with the Ministers. Ongoing engagement with the disability community is central to the community’s vision of an effective implementation strategy.


For more information contact:

Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator: 204-947-0303

Vangelis Nikias, CRPD Project Manager: 613-738-8881.