What is this international treaty about?
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international treaty that is being considered by a Parliamentary select committee.
The Optional Protocol is a side-agreement to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which New Zealand ratified in September 2008.
What does the Optional Protocol propose to do?
The Optional Protocol establishes an individual complaints mechanism for the Convention. It allows the Committee on the Rights of persons with Disabilities to consider complaints from individuals or groups who claim their rights under the Convention have been violated. The Committee can then investigate the complaint and make non-binding recommendations to the New Zealand Government. Although the Committee’s recommendations are not binding, they hold considerable moral force.
Committee chairperson, Jacqui Dean MP, said that “Acceding to the Optional Protocol would reinforce New Zealand’s strong commitment to human rights and ensure that complaints are heard and considered accordingly. We’re looking forward to hearing what New Zealanders think about the treaty and what affect the Optional Protocol will have on them.”
What happens now?
Submissions can be made to the Justice and Electoral Committee. Submissions close at midnight on 9 August 2016.