Alzheimer Europe launches UNCRPD guide


Alzheimer Europe has published a new document, "Guide on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and how national Alzheimer’s associations can participate in the review process". The UNCRPD came into effect on 3 May 2008. Under the definition of disability set out in the Convention, dementia was recognised as a disability, placing obligations on governments to ensure that people living with dementia are supported, requiring that national policies and legislation aligned to the articles of the Convention and upheld the rights of individuals. However, many countries still do not recognise dementia as a disability and therefore, do not recognise their rights under the Convention. Alzheimer Europe is therefore keen for its member organisations to engage in the UNCRPD review process, whereby the UNCRPD Committee reviews the adherence of a country to its obligations under the Convention.

The Committee is reliant upon receiving information from a broad range of stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, in order to formulate its List of issues/Concluding observations. Although the process cannot itself force governments to change policies or legislation, by drawing attention to gaps in implementation of the Convention, it represents the opportunity for concerns and evidence to be presented to an independent and external actor. Alzheimer Europe has therefore created guide, outlining the purpose and background to the UNCRPD, as well as the review process, with a specific focus on how the Convention relates to persons with dementia. Additionally, it provides practical information about how Alzheimer’s associations may involve themselves in the review process, with information about timescales, the format of contributions and the different types of opportunities for contributions (including Periodic Reviews, General Comments etc.).

The guide also contains examples of where dementia has been specifically identified in the Concluding Recommendations of the UNCRPD Committee, demonstrating how issues relevant to people can be given a greater focus by engaging in the review process. Alzheimer Europe is hopeful that by creating the UNCRPD Guide, its member associations will not only gain a greater understanding of why the UNCRPD process is highly relevant for their advocacy and campaigning activities but that it will also provide a useful and practical guide which enables them to be able to take part in the review process in future. The guide can be downloaded at: