Relationship Between the Institutional Frameworks of Article 33 (1) and 33 (2)

In many ways, the distinction between institutional set-ups established under CRPD Article 33 (1) and 33 (2) are quite clear. On the one hand, focal points and coordination mechanisms are concerned with implementation issues and are largely, if not exclusively, composed of government entities. Independent monitoring mechanisms, on the other hand, focus on promotion, protection and monitoring tasks, and by definition should be independent of the government.[1]In the case that government bodies are represented in the independent monitoring framework, it is important that they serve only in an advisory capacity in order to stay in line with the Paris Principles.

However, when looking at the functions of these two institutional set-ups, the dividing line between them becomes a bit more ambiguous. There are a number of areas in their respective mandates which overlap. For example, focal points (with help from coordination mechanisms) are responsible for drafting the initial and periodic State reports to the CRPD Committee and representing the State Party during Committee sessions. At the same time, independent monitoring frameworks play an important role in the drafting process and in facilitating the work of the CRPD Committee. Promoting awareness of the CRPD, as well as facilitating participation of persons with disabilities and representative organizations, are also responsibilities that befall both institutional bodies. These complementary and sometimes overlapping responsibilities require States Parties to find an adequate balance, ensuring that the two frameworks work together but remain distinct.

Recent guidance issued by the Committee has also stressed the necessity of sustained cooperation between focal points, coordination mechanisms and independent monitoring frameworks in gathering robust and disaggregated data on persons with disabilities to support monitoring activities. This should include joint efforts to improve systems for collecting and analyzing data, in collaboration with national statistics offices, United Nations agencies and regional organizations.[2]

[1] De Beco, 2011a, p. 100.

[2] UN OHCHR, 2018, p. 11.