China's Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: The Implications for Hong Kong
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 38, p. 611, 2008
Posted: 13 Jul 2009
Date Written: 2008
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was drafted with unprecedented input from civil society and entered into force on 3 May 2008, one month after obtaining its twentieth ratification. Although China was only a signatory at the time, it filed its instrument of ratification on 1 August 2008, in time to participate in the first meeting of States Parties in October 2008 and to nominate a member for the first Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pursuant to Article 153 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Central government also commenced negotiations with the local Hong Kong government and ultimately decided to apply the CRPD to Hong Kong, albeit with a questionable declaration that purports to limit the application of the treaty in the field of immigration. The CRPD is an unusually long and detailed treaty and Hong Kong now has an obligation to conduct a comprehensive review of its laws and policies. The author argues that the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and its enforcement model should be amended and that the government should create a central body on disability to review and coordinate executive policies that are necessarily affected by the treaty, particularly those relating to accessibility, inclusive education, and mental health.
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