Strenghtening participation in the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Convention) in Lao PDR

Viengsam Indavong, Director of Association for Autism and a caregiver of a child with autism, presents the OPDs’ recommendations to the Government on special and conjoint education of persons who are deaf and blind, persons with intellectual disabilities, autism, and those with mobility difficulties.

Summary

The Project aims to support the Government of Lao PDR to participate in the first CRPD Country Review with the meaningful and systematic engagement of persons with all types of disability and the Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) representing them. It is based on CRPD Convention Article 33 on the engagement of OPDs in the CRPD Country Review processes and the CRPD Convention’s principle “Nothing about us without us”.

Background: Lao PDR ratified the CRPD Convention on 25 September 2009. In line with the CRPD Committee’s Reporting Guidelines, on 25 May 2016, the Government submitted the initial National Report on the measures taken to implement and monitor the progress towards the full realization of the rights of persons with disabilities at the country level. Following the issuance of the CRPD List of Issues seeking additional information on the CRPD implementation in Lao PDR, on 24 February 2020, the Government submitted its National Reply to the CRPD List of Issues.

As tentatively scheduled, Lao PDR’s records on the rights of persons with disabilities will be discussed in a format of a Constructive Dialogue with the CRPD Committee Experts at CRPD Session 27 in August-September 2022. Following the Constructive Dialogue, the CRPD Committee will issue a list of Concluding Observations and Recommendations for the Government to address in the following 4-5 years by the next CRPD Country Review.

The CRPD Country Review processes, therefore, consist of a National Report, National Reply to the List of Issues, non-governmental parallel submissions, Constructive Dialogue between the National Delegation and the CRPD Committee Experts, and implementation of the CRPD Concluding Observations and Recommendations. OPDs’ play a key role at every stage of the CRPD Country Review cycle.  

Project Outcome and Outputs

The Project aims to support the Government of Lao PDR to implement, monitor, and report on the CRPD Convention with the meaningful and systematic engagement of persons with all types of disability and OPDs representing them, including by:

  • Supporting OPDs in developing their Parallel Report to the CRPD Committee, particularly through enhancing their understanding of the CRPD Convention, Country Review processes and OPDs’ role in those, as well as building their capacities in disability data collection and analysis, drafting, multi-stakeholder consultation and partnerships;
  • Supporting OPDs in creating a standing platform to participate in decision-making affecting persons with disabilities;
  • Supporting the National Delegation to prepare for the Constructive Dialogue with the CRPD Committee;  
  • Supporting the Government of Lao PDR and OPDs to elaborate a measurable 4-year CRPD Action Plan for the implementation of the CRPD Concluding Observations and Recommendations;
  • Supporting the Government and OPDs to implement the actions of the CRPD Action Plan in the scope of UNDP’s mandate and Country Programme Document (2022-2026);
  • Conduct a research study on disability-inclusive employment and workplace to support the implementation of CRPD Convention Article 27 relating to work and employment. 

Major Achievements:  

  • With UNDP’s technical assistance and as a result of 36 capacity-building activities, 11 OPDs from 11 Provinces developed a Parallel Report to the CRPD Committee assessing the implementation of 12 CRPD Convention Articles and providing 78 recommendations to the Government;
  • With UNDP’s administrative support, OPDs conducted a Platform Briefing on the key findings and recommendations from their Parallel Report to the CRPD Committee with the National Committee for Disabled People and Elderly, line Ministries, national Non-Profit Associations, INGOs, Embassies and UN entities; 
  • With UNDP’s technical assistance, OPDs contributed to the Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation on CRPD Convention Article 19 relating independent living 
  • In the framework of 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 255,000 people across Lao PDR were reached by a UNDP-led media campaign to promote OPDs’ participation in decision-making; 
  • Through the provision of the Low-Value Grant to the Lao Disabled People’s Association on the coordination of the OPDs’ participation in the CRPD Country Review processes, UNDP has supported this umbrella organization to build their strategic vision and strengthen convening, coordination, and consultation capacities, as well as to establish a standing network of OPDs, both at the central and provincial levels.

GESI Component: 

The Project has been taking the Common Framework for Gender Eqaulity and Social Inclusion strictly into consideration while carrying out its activities related to participation and research.

OPDs representing persons with all types of disability, including persons with sensory impairments, persons with physical difficulties, and those with intellectual disabilities and autism, have been involved in the Project’s planning and implementation.

The Human Rights-Based Approach principles of desegregation and self-identification have been applied to all the Project’s data collection efforts to ensure that views and lived experiences of diverse groups of persons with disabilities are reflected across the OPDs’ Parallel Report to the CRPD Committee and research study on disability-inclusive employment and workplace. 

With UNDP’s technical assistance, the OPDs’ Parallel Report targeted consultations with women with disabilities and female caregivers, children, and the elderly with disabilities. It also prioritized analyzing the situation of persons with disabilities from remote areas, ethnic groups and religious minorities, LGBTQI community, and those persons with disabilities without civil registration status. Qualitative data collected by OPDs reflected views and observations of persons with all types of disability.

Related documents:

Project Details:

  • Status: Active
  • Start Date: May 2021
  • End Date: December 2022 
  • Project Office: UNDP in Lao PDR
  • Focus Area: Disability Inclusion, Civic Space and Participation, Human Rights 
  • Collaborating Partners: National Committee for Disabled People and Elderly, OPDs in 11 Provinces (Lao Disabled People’s Association, Lao Disabled Women Development Center, Aid for Children with Disabilities Association, Association for the Deaf, Association for Autism, Intellectual Disability Association, Association for the Blind, Association for Vocational Development for the Blind, Disability Service Center, DMAS Center and Hands of Hope Skills Development Center), non-governmental Disability-Inclusive Development Working Group, particularly World Education and Humanity & Inclusion INGOs, CRPD Committee, OHCHR, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UN-Habitat, ILO
  • Total budget: 130,000 USD