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Statement

 

We welcome the government's decision to join the UNCRPD Optional Protocol,

and urge the National Assembly to pass the ratification agreement as soon as possible


 

On the 14th December, the 54th Cabinet meeting of the Republic of Korea passed a proposal to join the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is the long-awaited fruit in 13 years since Korea joined the convention.

 

It is expected that the implementation of the UN CRPD in Korea will be strengthened as the individual complaint and inquiry procedure are available. Through the two systems, when a violation of the UN CRPD occurs in Korea, it will be possible to 

report the fact and request investigation by the CRPD Committee. This means that disability policies, systems, and implementations of Korea have to be reformed in accordance with international human rights standards. 

 

By ratifying the UN CRPD in 2008, Korean government declared that disabled people are subjects of rights, not the objects of pity and sympathy, and promised to secure international human rights standards. However, 13 years after the ratification of the Convention, the ratification of the Optional Protocol, effective frame to strengthen the implementation of the Convention, has long been delayed. 

 

UN CRPD Optional Protocol ratification was not only a steady demand from the Korean disability community, but also a recommendation from the UN CRPD Committee. Following the first observation(2014), the committee has again urged the Korean government to ratify the Optional Protocol. In addition, in June, a resolution urging the ratification of the Oprtional Protocol was passed in the National Assembly. 

 

It seems late, but we welcome the Korean government's decision to join the optional protocol. We hope this decision will not end up simply increasing the list of joined international agreements. This is because it is the outcome of the aspirations and advocacy activities of numerous citizens. 

 

We urge the government to keep ensuring the rights of the persons with disabilities to deinstitutionalisation-independent living, to safe and free movement, to receive inclusive education equally with other students, and to live with choice and control to one’s own life. Korean Disability Forum will keep watching so that the government’s promise won’t be a mere delusion.

 

Now the ball has gone to the National Assembly. After the presidential approval, a bill to ratify the optional protocol will soon be submitted to the National Assembly. As the National Assembly passed a resolution urging ratification in June, it must quickly pass the bill and respond to the long-cherished wishes of disabled citizens. 


 

December 16th, 2021

 

Korean Disability Forum


 


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