Experts of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Commend Peru’s Reform of Disability Legislation, Ask Questions on Discrimination of Migrants, Refugees and Minorities with Disabilities
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities today concluded its consideration of the combined second and third periodic report of Peru on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Committee Experts commended the advanced level of the State’s law reform, while asking questions on measures to eradicate persistent discrimination against persons with disabilities, including migrants and those identifying as indigenous peoples or people of African descent.
Rosa Aldana, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said Peru had a significant amount of legislation in favour of human rights, including the national multisectoral policy on disability for development to 2030. Amalia Gamio Rios, Committee Expert and Vice-Chair, stressed that Peru was an example to the region for the advanced level of its law reform. It had harmonised its laws with the Convention and other legislation. However, many of these laws lacked regulations or budget, which made them inoperable for persons with disabilities. What strategy had been implemented by the National Council to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities in all walks of life?
Another Committee Expert pointed out that 25 per cent of the population of Peru was made up of indigenous peoples, almost four per cent of the population self-identified as Afro-descendants, and there was an increasing migrant population. There was little information about these groups and persons with disabilities belonging to them. How did the Government ensure an intersectional approach so that these populations of persons with disabilities enjoyed rights on equal basis with others?
In her opening remarks, Nancy Rosalina Tolentino Gamarra, Minister for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Peoples and head of the delegation, said since the ratification of the Convention, Peru had been firmly committed to the elimination of physical, communicational and attitudinal barriers limiting the development of persons with disabilities. Several rules, regulations and protocols had been adopted to provide quality treatment and care for persons with disabilities. Peru aimed to strengthen its public institutions on disability and its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that its regulatory framework was enforced.
The delegation of Peru added the national superintendency for migrants and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed other authorities about migrants’ vulnerabilities, to facilitate actions for the protection of their rights. Disability was considered as a situation of vulnerability. A person recognised as a refugee had access to an alien permit. Refugees with that permit were entitled to a disability card on an equal basis with any Peruvian citizen, and to access health services.
In closing remarks, Elba Marcela Espinoza Ríos, Vice Minister for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Peoples, said Peru was motivated to achieve a society that enabled persons with disabilities to fully flourish. The Convention was not only a mandate but also a guide for the development of public policies. The State party was aware of the need to make major reforms to ensure persons with disabilities could realise their rights in an inclusive society and relied on the support of the Committee.
Gerel Dondovdorj, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, recognised Peru’s progress in the development of laws and policies for advancing the rights of persons with disabilities, but legislation alone was insufficient. The State party needed to consider a holistic approach, including the human rights-based model of disability, the twin-track approach and meaningful and active participation of persons with disabilities on all matters. Peru had a high level of expertise from its disability movement. She encouraged the Government to cooperate with and involve these organisations in its reforms.
The delegation of Peru included representatives of the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations; Ministry of Justice and Human Rights; Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Transport and Communications; Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation; Ministry of Labour, Employment Promotion; Public Prosecutor's Office - Attorney General's Office; Judicial power; National Jury of Elections; National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property; National Institute of Civil Defense; National Institute of Radio and Television; National Institute of Statistics and Informatics; Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion; Ministry of Education; Ministry of the Interior; Congress of the Republic; and the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva.
All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. Webcasts of the meetings of the session can be found here, and meetings summaries can be found here.
The Committee will next meet in public at 10 a.m., Friday 17 March to begin its consideration of the initial report of Togo (CRPD/C/TGO/1).
The Committee has before it the combined second and third periodic report of Peru (CRPD/C/PER/2-3).
Presentation of Report
LUIS CHUQUIHUARA CHIL, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Peru was going through a difficult period since the coup of 7 December last year. Nevertheless, the State had given priority to its international human rights commitments, guided by its conviction that transparency, scrutiny and international cooperation could have a positive impact on what the State did. In this spirit, the delegation appeared before the Committee.
Peru had demonstrated its firm commitment to people with disabilities, who represented just over 10 per cent of its population. The State party had strived to overcome structural discrimination against persons with disabilities to facilitate their comprehensive development and to ensure that their rights were fully respected in an inclusive society.
NANCY ROSALINA TOLENTINO GAMARRA, Minister for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Peoples and head of the delegation, said person with disabilities represented just over 10 per cent of the population. Since the ratification of the Convention, Peru had been firmly committed to the elimination of physical, communicational and attitudinal barriers limiting the development of persons with disabilities, with a view to building an equitable society. Law 29973 of 2012, the General Law on Persons with Disabilities, introduced a set of measures obliging public entities and private business to intervene for the benefit of persons with disabilities. The national system for the integration of people with disabilities had created rules and regulations designed to guarantee compliance with public policies on disability. Another important achievement was the harmonisation of civil laws to recognise the full legal capacity of people with disabilities, prevent interventions on the grounds of disability, and strengthen the obligation to provide reasonable accommodation. This went hand in hand with the adoption of several rules, regulations and protocols as well as training of justice operators and workers in public and private bodies to provide quality treatment and care for persons with disabilities. Peru had been mainstreaming its public policies to ensure it effectively provided care for all people.
Another landmark achievement was the adoption of the Multisectoral Public Policy on Disability for Development, which was in effect until 2030. This was the first national public policy on disability. The State had consulted with civil society in its design and development, and it set a precedent in the area of disability. This mechanism sought to eliminate structural discrimination against persons with disabilities, guaranteeing their rights based on seven main targets and guarantee their access to services.
In its regulatory framework, Peru had made significant progress over the last few years with regards to the promotion of inclusive education, comprehensive healthcare, mental health, and integration in public and private business entities. The State had promoted accessibility in physical environments and facilities, and provided defence against abuse and violence.
Peru had strengthened the National Council for Integration of People with Disabilities and given it more powers of inspection, stressing the responsibility of regional and local governments to developed incentives to include people with disabilities. A policy had been designed to ensure that the public officials knew what to do to mainstream disability in performing their functions.
Peru aimed to strengthen its public institutions on disability and its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that its regulatory framework was enforced. It was also generating incentives to encourage the public to take an interest in disability and make public policies consistent with reality. The State promoted research into the situations persons with disabilities lived in, the number of people with disabilities, and their needs.
MALENA PINEDA, representative of the Independent Mechanism for the Promotion and Protection and Oversight of Compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, welcomed progress made in enforcing the Convention since 2012. However, the Mechanism warned that whilst recommended regulatory changes had been given effect, the administration of services and programmes still followed a medical assistance-based model, rather than a human rights-based model. There was insufficient commitment to people with disabilities, especially with regards to inclusive education. The recommendations the Committee had made on assessing compliance had not been met. Policies had been adopted, but the lives of people with disabilities had not changed. As an example, the plans for people with autism and for mental health had still not been monitored.
The State needed to set aside more resources to prevent discrimination and the abandoning of boys and girls with disabilities. Children with disabilities had not been actively involved in decisions affecting them. There had been cases of rapes in shelters, jeopardization of physical and mental health and violations of the right to food. Some people had been separated from their families. The accessibility of web portals for public bodies, schools and private health centres was not guaranteed. Most State institutions just generated rules or provided training for their staff, but nothing more. They did not give priority to inclusive transport or provision of sign language interpreters.
Public policies still allowed for people to be institutionalised as a protection measure. Many people with disabilities were deemed to be unfit to plea, thus their legal guarantees were denied and they were forcibly institutionalised in psychiatric institutions. Over 600 people held in institutions long-term should have been released, but that had not happened because of a lack of budget. Community services like shelters or protected residencies did not have the financial resources to operate properly. The State had committed to investigating allegations of cruel and inhumane treatment in psychiatric institutions but had not followed through.
88 per cent of boys and girls with disabilities who were of school age did not go. There were barriers because of lack of teacher training, classroom refitting, budget allocations and access to qualified sign language. In Peru, there were no mental health services for persons in custodial facilities. 64 per cent of persons with disabilities who were old enough to work were unemployed. The unemployment rate had increased due to the pandemic. Not everyone who was poor or extremely poor was entitled to a pension, only persons with severe disability. The State did not have a poverty reduction strategy for persons with disabilities.
Questions by Committee Experts
ROSA ALDANA, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said one of the biggest challenges for all States was a paradigm shift from medical assistance model to human rights-based model. The difficulties the country was facing since December had led to failure to guarantee the rights of the population in general, impacting persons with disabilities the most. Peru had a significant amount of legislation in favour of human rights, including the national multisectoral policy on disability for development to 2030, which had included the rights of persons with disabilities in the legal framework. Many of these laws lacked regulations or budget, which made them inoperable for persons with disabilities. Had Peru developed any reports which reflected the results and the implementation mechanisms of the multisectoral policy on disability for development? What strategy had been implemented by the National Council to give effect to measures to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities in all walks of life? How was the implementation of the General Act on Persons with Disabilities monitored? How many sanctions had been issued in the last few years since the act came to force? What effective resources existed to combat discrimination against persons with disabilities, including indigenous persons with disabilities? What measures existed to ensure non-repetition of discriminatory practises in the public and private sectors? How did Peru guarantee the provision of reasonable accommodation? Were there guidelines or protocols to guarantee non-derogation thereof?
A Committee Expert asked about measure taken to simplify access to disability certificates and cards, and to ensure that the disability assessment process was holistic and identified support needs? How many persons with disabilities had died during the pandemic, including in institutions? What was Peru was doing to ensure effective participation and consultation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations? What measures were in place to support the establishment and effective functioning of organisations of persons with disabilities, particularly of persons with intellectual disabilities? Could the delegation inform about awareness-raising activities to combat stereotypes and prejudices against persons with disabilities? What measures had been taken to ensure that awareness-raising activities conducted by private organisations were following a human rights approach? Was there any training for health professionals, police, media and the judicial system about the Convention and its implementation? Were organisations of persons with disabilities involved in the design and delivery of the training?
AMALIA GAMIO RIOS, Committee Expert and Vice-Chair, said Peru was an example to the region for the advanced level of its law reform. It had harmonised its laws with the Convention and other legislation. It was discouraging to hear that obstacles for persons with disabilities continued to be the same as before the reform. Were organisations of persons with disabilities’ contributions reflected in policies? What measure were in place to eradicate persistent discrimination against persons with disabilities, particularly indigenous peoples, people of African descent, and children and women with disabilities who lived in remote and rural areas? What measures were in place to promote the participation of children on issues affecting them?
One Committee Expert asked what the State party was doing to combat prejudice and stigmatisation of people with disabilities in society and ensure that any Government entities refrained from giving resources to initiatives which perpetuated the charity approach, including private initiatives? Was there any specific plan to address prejudices and stigma against persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities?
One Committee Expert said that 25 per cent of the population of Peru was made up of indigenous peoples, almost four per cent of the population self-identified as Afro-descendants, and there was an increasing migrant population. There was little information about these groups and persons with disabilities belonging to them. How did the Government ensure an intersectional approach so that these populations of persons with disabilities enjoyed rights on equal basis with others?
According to the National Budget Law, regional and local governments could use up to 2.5 per cent of their budget for accessibility, but it was often not used. How much of the budget allocated to regional and local governments to improve accessibility had been executed in 2022?
ROSEMARY KAYESS, Committee Expert and Vice-Chair, said the General Act on Persons with Disabilities prohibited discrimination on the grounds of disability, and this included the denial of reasonable accommodation. However, the Committee had received information that the principle of reasonable accommodation was largely not understood or applied in all areas of life. Further, it was very complex for people with disabilities to initiate legal action and to receive a remedy for disability-based discrimination. Could the delegation clarify whether the provisions of the General Act allowed persons with disabilities to bring claims of discrimination against State and non-State actors in all areas of life? And if so, did the Act cover claims of direct and indirect discrimination, the denial of reasonable accommodation, harassment, multiple and intersectional discrimination? What types of remedies and redress were provided for persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls with disabilities and other persons facing multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination due to their age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race or other social status? Could the delegation provide information on how it was providing information, guidance, skills building and support for State and non-State actors in understanding and applying their obligations in relation to the principle of reasonable accommodation?
ODELIA FITOUSSI, Committee Expert and Vice-Chair, asked the delegation to specify the means and resources allocated to prevent violence against women with disabilities, especially violence from family members of the victims or their caregivers, and to support victims. What accessibility measures existed in police stations, women’s emergency centres and shelters? How did the national gender equality policy impact positively on women and girls with disabilities?
VIVIAN FERNÁNDEZ DE TORRIJOS, Committee Rapporteur, said from January to December 2022, 3,493 persons with disabilities had been attended to in women's emergency centres, of which 72 per cent were women with disabilities. 60.1 per cent of victims had family ties with the alleged attacker. How was the Ministry of Women and the judiciary incentivising reporting of cases of violence against women with disabilities and ensuring their access to reasonable accommodation? Did the State respect their legal capacity and provide support in such proceedings?
There was not a single city in the country that had a public transport system that was completely accessible for persons with disabilities. Transport reforms initiated in cities like Lima and Arequipa had ignored accessibility obligations when it came to the procurement of new transport fleets. The situation was even worse in regions outside Lima. The Lima Metropolitan North Extension Project did not include any modifications to signage, nor were there any emergency protocols that responded to the needs of persons with disabilities in the event of a disaster or accident. Accessibility projects in urban public transport, such as high-capacity segregated corridors, had not been discussed with persons with disabilities. Various important aspects had been overlooked when it came to universal design. The Committee asked the Ministry of Transport to ensure that due access and urban and rural mobility for persons with disabilities was properly considered.
GERTRUDE OFORIWA FEFOAME, Committee Chair, asked about steps taken to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy across all sectors to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes on the roles and responsibilities of women, particularly women and girls with disabilities? How was the anti-bullying campaign launched by the Ministry of Education made accessible to children and youth with disabilities? Did it include messaging and actions to prevent disability-based discrimination? What other measures were being taken to change social beliefs in families and communities?
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation said Peru had been making efforts to harmonise its laws and make sure its actions benefitted persons with disabilities. In 2021, the Multisectoral Public Policy on Disability for Development was adopted. It was designed to eliminate discrimination. The first progress report on the policy described its success in achieving its seven targets and disclosed information on its policies in accessible language. The National Council handed down 127 penalties to business that had not employed sufficient numbers of persons with disabilities and fulfilled their quota. A protocol had been introduced to ensure that public services could provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, who could lodge complaint about private and public enterprises. In 2021, a complementary law was adopted to ensure the public bodies knew how to carry out prior and informed consultation. Training programmes have been developed to that end.
The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights had been harmonising its services to make them fully accessible and inclusive in nature. In 2019, it had adopted a revision to the law on public agencies to recognise explicitly disability as a situation of vulnerability, making it possible to guarantee to this group legal attention and sponsorship on a free basis. From April 2019 to date, Peru had provided legal assistance and defence to a total of 858 people with disabilities, 460 of whom had physical disabilities. Steps had been taken to improve the living conditions of people detained in prisons, especially people with disabilities.
Since 2019, Peru had carried out an awareness-raising campaign called “We are all consumers” to prevent discrimination in consumption. Information videos were released to inform the population that disability should not be discriminated against in any act of consumption. The category of “inclusion” had been incorporated into an annual competition commending good business practices. Several companies that went beyond what was required by law in terms of inclusion of persons with disabilities were rewarded. Article 38 of the Code for the Protection of Consumers’ Rights specified that service providers had a responsibility to ensure that their services did not give rise to any kind of discrimination against people with disabilities.
The Ministry of Health was committed to improving the health of people with disabilities by identifying, coordinating and gathering information about strategic actions and risk reduction. Peru had currently certified 379,738 persons with disabilities, which was around 22.71 per cent of the total population. Nine per cent of persons with disabilities had a light disability, 28 per cent had a moderate disability and 63 per cent had a serious disability. Efforts had been scaled up to achieve certifications for everyone and decentralise the process nationwide. A special tool was established to certify disability.
Since 2009, the National Institute for Radio and Television had produced a programme called “No Barriers” that aimed to raise the visibility of persons with disabilities’ contribution to society and improve the public’s perception of such persons. “No barriers” contributed to public policies on acceptable language related to disability. Television broadcasts had sign language interpretation to meet the fundamental right of access to information.
In 2019, the State had introduced a national gender equality policy, recognising discrimination against women and other diversity as a structural problem. Services and interventions in the framework of the policy were always carried out in partnership between Government and civil society. Since 2021, the National Council for the Integration of People with Disabilities had had a technical orientation manual for due processing of cases of gender-based violence against persons with disabilities. That guide was drawn up as a guidance instrument to operationalise the disability approach within case management services. Within the national multisectoral policy for persons with disabilities, there was a measure for stepping up comprehensive and specialised care and interventions for persons with disabilities who were victims of violence, particularly women. In 2021, Women Emergency Centres attended to more than 3,000 cases of persons with disabilities who had been victims of violence. With respect to children and adolescents with disabilities, the priority goal was increasing protections.
Two platforms had been set up to prevent school violence. A hotline for pupils and teachers to report cases was also launched. A technical norm was approved to create, organise early intervention actions and provide high quality education services to children. A guideline document for the promotion of socio-emotional wellbeing of students in basic education was approved. In 2018, there were 73,000 students with disabilities registered in basic education. In 2022, there was an increase to 83,000 students enrolled. The Government was currently assessing the requirements for providing sign language in education sectors.
Long before the reform of the civil code in 2018, the judiciary had published its judicial care protocol for persons with disabilities, which recognised legal capacity. Policies had been implemented to guarantee access to justice, including in terms of physical infrastructure and websites. Judges, security personnel and legal officials received training focused on the implementation of their services. Regional offices and municipalities working in the field of disability had also received training. Measures had been taken to promote accessibility in public infrastructures. Peru had developed various legal frameworks to improve inclusion of persons with disabilities. These included the national urban transport plan, which aimed to develop efficient, reliable and accessible public transport services to meet the mobility needs of persons with disabilities. Steps had been taken to foster accessibility in the workplace.
In 2022, the Ministry of Development and Social Integration approved a social inclusion development policy up to 2030 recognising the persisting barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, including at the level of goods and services. The policy had recognised that 25.5 per cent of persons with disabilities were in a situation of poverty, a rate that was higher in rural areas, at 33 per cent. The policy identified five priority areas to address.
Responses by the Delegation
NANCY ROSALINA TOLENTINO GAMARRA, Minister for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Peoples and head of the delegation, said the Heath Ministry had almost 4,000 doctors certified at the national level to provide care to persons with disabilities. The Government had promoted several awareness-raising campaigns to foster inclusion. Women’s emergency centres provided support in accessible formats, including to women and girls with disabilities who were victims of gender-based violence.
The delegation said the national institute for disaster risk management plans
had been providing guidance to regional government officials to integrate persons with disabilities into their plans. A manual on disaster risk management allowed the State to issue recommendations to foster preparedness. Communication material had been issued regarding how to understand risk in the territory and best prepare in cases of emergency. A radio station broadcasting in indigenous languages had been established. A family emergency plan had been translated into braille. In 2019, the institute had established a tool to identify the most affected populations in disaster situations.
The State had modified the civil code to regulate the legal capacity of persons with disabilities on equal conditions. Peru had more than 8,000 persons with disabilities with interdiction sentences. A strategy to guide action of public and private stakeholders regarding legal capacity had been developed. To ensure that private and public entities recognised legal capacity, a protocol had been approved that grant reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities. The national association of banks had approved guidelines to provide care to persons with disabilities, respecting their autonomy. The State party aimed to facilitate community support services promoting autonomy and independent living, as well as to provide guidance to households with a member who had disabilities. In the coming months, instruments would be drawn up allowing municipalities to implement these services.
The judiciary since 2010 had been working to implement the Brasilia Rules on access to justice for vulnerable persons. It had been developing strategies to support the transition to the social model. Peru was committed to ensuring access to justice for persons with disabilities, recognising legal capacity. However, challenges remained. Peru had modified its regulations regarding appointment of judges and prosecutors. The State now provided reasonable accommodation in the process of selection and appointment of persons with disabilities. The prosecutor had created care units for victims and witnesses in cases of gender-based violence. In 2022, a directive on action for the prosecutor in investigations into offences of violence against women and members of the family unit had been adopted. The directive adopted a gender-based approach and included measures for providing care for persons with disabilities. A protocol for care of persons with disabilities was currently under review. Through the prosecutor, Peru had created a specialised prosecutor on human rights and interculturalism. Between September 2021 and September 2022, there had been 44 cases reported of rape against indigenous women.
In 2019, a law on the public defender to recognise disability as a situation of vulnerability had been adopted, guaranteeing that group legal care and representation free of charge. From April 2019 to the present, legal assistance services had been provided to over 800 persons with disabilities. The State had created a register of victims of enforced sterilization between 1995 and 2001, which included persons with disabilities. From 2016 to 2021, three persons with disabilities had been registered. The Ombudsman provided legal representation to 2,000 persons.
In 2019, a law on mental health was adopted. The interior sector had a guidebook to provide quality treatment and care for citizens, including persons with disabilities, in judicial proceedings. Last year, 30 per cent of all police stations nationwide had improved their physical accessibility for persons with disabilities. Members of the police forced were required to treat persons with disabilities with dignity. The national police had a code for the specialised treatment of boys and girls who were victims of violence, including those with disabilities.
The Constitution established equal rights for all people in Peru before the law. This applied to migrants and refugees as well, including those with disabilities. The national superintendency for migrants and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed other authorities about migrants’ vulnerabilities, so as to facilitate actions for the protection of their rights. Disability was considered as a situation of vulnerability. A person recognised as a refugee had access to an alien permit and was thus entitled to a disability card on an equal basis with any Peruvian citizen. This permit enabled refugees to access health services. Asylum seekers who had difficulties in securing such a document could receive support from a specialised commission. A person recognised as a refugee with disabilities who did not have a passport could access a travel document on an equal basis with any other migrant, which they could use to enter and exit Peru territory.
There was a service for guaranteeing inclusive criteria for elections and the participation of persons with disabilities. Efforts were made to make sure that the 2022 regional and municipal elections were more inclusive. A specialised working table and working modalities were set up on the ground floor of each voting station. Information in braille had been provided in all voting booths. Political training workshops for persons with disabilities had been carried out. Next May, a research paper would be published setting forth an analysis of how persons with disabilities would be helped to participate in elections in the next 10 years. Further measures were being taken to inform boys and girls and incentivise their participation. A programme to prevent the abandonment and neglect of boys and girls with disabilities was also in place.
The presidency of the cabinet was the lead agency on digital transformation. It had been leading the deployment of technologies to guarantee inclusive access to the digital environment. An accessible digital platform providing institutional information had been developed.
The national superintendency for migration had a directive designed to provide fast-tracked treatments and services for migrants in situations of vulnerability, and to guarantee their legal security. Between 2021 and January 2023, 100 applications for accreditation of person in a situation of vulnerability had been received, 59 of which were approved. In addition, the superintendency for migration had 16 instruments to guarantee accessibility in its local branches nationwide. Training had been carried out since 2017 for its staff on providing appropriate treatment for persons with disabilities.
In May 2021, Peru adopted a framework plan steering the implement of inclusive education nationwide. It had a budget of 257 million sols, and had been adopted this year. The consumer protection code allowed for sanctions of violations relating to disability. An education institution was sanctioned for an act of discrimination in preventing the registration of a person with disabilities.
Answering a question on the policy framework for refugees and asylum seekers, the delegation said that since 2019, all persons in the country were covered by universal health insurance and had access to all national health care services. The foreign population could present identity documents to access universal healthcare insurance. Since 2015, 384 foreigners with disabilities had registered. The general act on universal health coverage constituted an important milestone when it came to national public health.
Since 2021, Peru had had a national decent employment policy, a multisectoral policy on disability for development to 2030 and a national plan of action on business and human rights. The Government had developed complementary necessary standards to give effect to the measures in article 27 of the Convention. These measures had been crucial to integrating persons with disabilities in the formal labour force and promoting their transition to the formal labour market. The State was committed to developing a sustained awareness raising strategy to combat stereotypes that were prevalent in the labour market. Non-compliance with the disability quota led to sanctions. Persons with disabilities had been integrated into labour capacity-building schemes.
Housing vouchers were distributed to families with persons with disabilities. The Housing Ministry had been drafting a national policy on accessibility, including services geared towards providing access to decent and accessible housing. In elections held from 2016 up to 2021, 78 candidates with disabilities had registered, representing 1.2 per cent of candidates. Their participation rate had increased by 56 per cent compared to previous elections. Three general actions had been implemented for the promotion of political participation of persons with disabilities. Various training programmes had been organised to promote knowledge of political and electoral matters. Workshops and roundtables had been held to promote political participation, including with organisations promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Between 2014 and 2021, there had been 32 national electoral debates held in a decentralised fashion, and all of them included sign language interpretation.
Questions by Committee Experts
GEREL DONDOVDORJ, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, asked the State party to specify how many children with disabilities were taking part in the advisory Committee. Could the State party indicate its plans to make all buses and transportation systems accessible for persons with disabilities? What measures were in place to revise the criminal code and make available procedural accommodations for persons with disabilities to ensure their equal participation in judicial activities? What measures did the State party envision to develop the national strategy on deinstitutionalisation? How would it provide personal assistants for persons with disabilities to ensure their right to be independent and included in the community? Could the State party introduce measures to ensure that the National Council for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities had adequate power to promote the implementation of adaptive policies and legislation on persons with disabilities and monitor the progress of that legislation across all ministries?
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation said the National Council for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities needed strengthening, however one of the strongest measures taken over the last few years was the development and the adoption of the multisectoral national policy on disability. The National Council had follow-up and support mechanisms to ensure that Government departments could implement services and meet the targets of the policy. The National Council also had a governing body, which had members from 13 sectors representing the various ministries. This body’s membership nationally included at least one child or adolescent with a disability. The reform of the criminal code was pending; the Congress and the Ministry of Justice had a bearing on this.
MALENA PINEDA, representative of the Independent Mechanism for the Promotion and Protection and Oversight of Compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, reiterated to the Committee the need to recommend to the State party to implement its public policies to a greater extent, and to reform the criminal code and other rules and regulations in line with the Convention. Inclusive education should be provided, reasonable accommodation in the workplace guaranteed and families of persons with disabilities supported. The Committee should urge the State party to fulfil its obligations to collaborate with the Independent Mechanism to supervise the implementation of the Convention.
ELBA MARCELA ESPINOZA RÍOS, Vice Minister for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Peoples, thanked the Committee for listening to the State party and asking questions. The State party was motivated to achieve a society that enabled persons with disabilities to fully flourish. The Convention was not only a mandate but also a guide for the development of public policies. Peru’s policies called for synergies between public entities and also between persons with disabilities, to whom the State was accountable, and their representative organisations. There was a need to make every effort to guarantee the full exercise of the legal capacity and the rights of persons with disabilities. This was a moment for reflection and stock-taking. The challenges ahead were major, and the State party relied on the support of the Committee. The State party was aware of the need to make major reforms to ensure persons with disabilities could realise their rights in an inclusive society.
LUIS CHUQUIHUARA CHIL, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Peru was convinced that transparency, scrutiny and cooperation with the international human rights system were crucial to further improve the enjoyment of human rights of people of Peru without distinction. Peru had made normative progress in public policy and in implementing the Convention. The State party sought the support of civil society and representative organisations of persons with disabilities and would continue to enhance this inclusive approach in developing its policies. There was a still a long way to go to ensure policies had a qualitative impact on the enjoyment of rights of persons with disabilities. Improving public administration and monitoring implementation and effectiveness of the State’s initiatives were necessary elements to achieve that goal. The outcomes of this dialogue would guide the State’s efforts to implement the Convention.
GEREL DONDOVDORJ, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said the delegation had provided comprehensive responses to the Committee’s questions. She recognised that since Peru had received the first concluding observations by the Committee in 2012, there had been progress in the development of laws and policies for advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. While some legal reform had been implemented, legislation alone was insufficient to transform the lives of persons with disabilities and ensure inclusion and accessibility. The State party needed to consider a holistic approach, including the human rights-based model of disability, the twin-track approach and meaningful and active participation of persons with disabilities on all matters. Peru had a high level of expertise from its disability movement. She encouraged the Government to cooperate with and involve these organisations in its reforms.
Ms. Dondovdorj added it was critical to fully harmonize the Convention’s standards across all policies and legislation, and to ensure complete and uniform protection from discrimination with effective remedies; implementation of inclusive education; full accessibility across Peru; and freedom from sexual and other forms of violence persons with disabilities. Peru also needed to strengthen disability inclusive development, and amend the disability certification and social security schemes based on the human rights approach.
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