Business people taking notes.

Budget 2010 - Independent monitoring of disabled people's rights

The Government is investing $2.34 million over the next three years to help promote, protect and monitor the rights of people with disabilities in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The initiative will see New Zealand strengthen its reputation as a world leader in disability issues by supporting disabled people to do their own monitoring.

Effective monitoring requires transparency and accountability. The UN Convention, which New Zealand ratified in 2008, recommends a framework to promote, protect and monitor the rights of disabled people, including at least one mechanism independent of government. The Human Rights Commission and the Ombudsmen will have an active role as part of the independent mechanism, along with disabled people's organisations.

The Human Rights Commission will increase its advocacy for disabled people. It will act as an independent, public advocate to promote awareness of disabled people's rights and ensuring equal rights are maintained and enhanced.

The Ombudsmen have been asked to bring their independence from government to monitoring and reporting on implementation of the UN Convention. Scoping of this proposed new role will begin from 1 July.

The Government has committed $750,000 to resource a network of disabled people's organisations to monitor disabled people's experience in living their life and difficulties they encounter, such as with accessing government services (including disability supports). A qualitative research and monitoring programme will be established with oversight by the Disability Rights Promotion International Project based at York University in Canada.

New Zealand's first report to the UN on Convention implementation is due in October 2010.