Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Media release: EDF wants Poland to ratify the UN Convention now‏

media release

Warsaw, 16 October 2011 /// The European disability movement met in Warsaw for an important board meeting. The Polish government said Poland will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in the coming months. The disability movement reminded that the EU had concluded the text a year ago and wants the European Institutions to deliver.

October 15th and 16th, the board members of the European Disability Forum (EDF) gathered in Warsaw. The meeting was co-organised together with EDF member the Polskie Forum Osob Niepelnosprawnych (PFON): the Polish Disability Forum.

Mr. Jaros³aw Duda, Secretary of State, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, opened the meeting stating, “Poland is ready to ratify the UN CRPD in the coming months.” He said, addressing the demands of the President of the Polish Disability Forum Mr Andrzej Sza³ach.

Mrs. Krystyna Mrugalska, Vice President of the Polish Disability Forum specifically asked for a prompt ratification before December, which coincides with the end of the Polish Presidency of the European Union.

The European Disability Forum urges the ratification and implementation of this Convention by all the EU member states. Thus far, 19 EU countries have ratified, but Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland have yet to do so.

THE implementATION OF the UN Convention IN EUROPE

The UN CRPD was concluded by the EU in 2010 and entered into force in 2011. The correct implementation in compliance with the Convention is crucial. The disability movement wants the EU institutions to deliver on the implementation respecting the obligations of the text.

Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF President stressed, “It is now time for the EU to go next step on the implementation. The only way forward for the European Institutions is to work in compliance with the UNCRPD. The Convention is clear in the principles and values, the objectives and in the mechanisms. The European Disability movement will be an active player to ensure the respect of the human rights text.”


The EDF observatory on the impact of the economic crisis on the lives of persons with disabilities discloses alarming situations throughout Europe. The board members is more and more concerned on the trends observed and reported in all the EU: the toxic reassessments on social benefits, the cuts in allowances which has led to a huge increase poverty, reduction in local authorities’ budgets, the review of funding resources for the organisations and the austerity measures without consultations of persons with disabilities.

Therefore, the disability movement calls the EU and national governments to ensure that austerity measures respect the rights of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe.

EDF and PFON meeting benefited from the financial support of the Polish State Fund for integration of persons with disabilities in light of the Polish Presidency of the European Union.

More information on EDF website

More information in Polish on PFON website

Contact PFON:

Aniceta ¯yciñska, Koordynator ds. Szkoleñ Polskie Forum Osób Niepe³nosprawnych | | T +48 22 654 18 83

Contact EDF

Aurélien Daydé | communication and media officer | T +32 485 64 39 93 |

The Polish Disability Forum (Polskie Forum Osob Niepelnosprawnych PFON) is the Polish member of the European Disability Forum. PFON represents 4 million persons with disabilities in Poland. The mission of PFON is to to ensure equal opportunities and participation in social life for all persons with disabilities in Poland.

-The European Disability Forum is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities. EDF membership includes national umbrella organisations of disabled people from all EU/EEA countries, as well as European NGOs representing the different types of disabilities, organisations and individuals committed to disability issues. The mission of the European Disability Forum is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe.

Aurélien Daydé
Communication and media officer
European Disability Forum
| nothing about us without us
Square de Meeus 35 | 1000 Brussels Belgium
T +32 2 282 46 04 | M +32 485 64 39 93 | F +32 2 282 46 09

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