UN accreditations past and future by Erich Kofmel

Next week (4-5 February 2014) Autistic Minority International will be participating in a workshop on "The Future of Social Housing: Environmental and Social Challenges and the Way Forward", organized in Geneva by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in cooperation with the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing. Any input on social housing issues affecting autistics, and received preferably prior to the workshop, will be greatly appreciated. Contact: geneva@autisticminority.org

Autistic Minority International was also accredited to the following five UN system and related meetings and conferences, all taking place in Geneva: 2013 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights (2-4 December 2013) and Sixth Session of the Forum on Minority Issues (26-27 November 2013), both under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC); Panel Discussions on Minority Issues on occasion of the launching of the OHCHR publication "Promoting and Protecting Minority Rights – A Guide For Advocates", organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (28 November 2013); Third Health Promotion Forum "Building Capacity for Health Promotion: Inter-sectoral Partnerships between Civil Society and Government" of the Alliance for Health Promotion, organized at the World Health Organization in collaboration with the WHO and the University of Geneva (29 November 2013); and Sixth High-level Symposium on Global Health Diplomacy "Health Diplomacy Meets Science Diplomacy", organized by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in cooperation with the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (12 November 2013).

For a regularly updated list of conferences we took part in as well as links to statements we made orally at or submitted in writing to such conferences, please visit:


Call for comments on CRPD drafts by Erich Kofmel

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), one of the human rights treaty bodies, invites all interested stakeholders to comment on two initial Draft General Comments, adopted in September 2013 during the Committee's 10th session: Draft General Comment on Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Recognition before the Law) and Draft General Comment on article 9 of the Convention (Accessibility).

These initial drafts are the outcome of an extensive consultation process, which has involved a Day of General Discussion on each subject as well as a high number of submissions from persons with disabilities, disabled people's organizations (DPOs), national human rights institutions, and other stakeholders. The resulting initial drafts, prepared incorporating the various perspectives from all contributions, are now available for comment.

Member states, national human rights institutions and independent monitoring mechanisms under art. 33.2 of the Convention, DPOs and persons with disabilities, NGOs, research institutions, and academics are invited to provide their comments in writing to: crpd@ohchr.org

If the submission relates to the Draft General Comment No. 1 (2013) on Equal Recognition before the Law, the subject matter of the e-mail should indicate: Submission related to the Draft General Comment No. 1 on Article 12.

If the submission relates to the Draft General Comment No. 2 (2013) on Accessibility, the subject matter of the e-mail should indicate: Submission related to the Draft General Comment No. 2 on Article 9.

All submissions should be in one of the languages of the CRPD secretariat, English, French, or Spanish, be no more than 6 pages long (in the case of coalitions of DPOs or NGOs submissions may be 12 pages long), be sent in Word 97-2003 format, and suggest possible recommendations to facilitate the work of the Committee.

Comments must be submitted by 28 February 2014. Strict respect for this (twice extended) deadline will ensure the Committee's attention to the submitted documents.

All submissions will be posted on the webpage dedicated to the Draft General Comments. Comments will be taken into account in updating the Draft General Comments, which will be considered by the CRPD at its next session in April 2014.

Only English versions of the Draft General Comments are currently available for download.

Draft General Comment on Article 12 on Equal Recognition before the Law:


Draft General Comment on Article 9 on Accessibility:


Autistic Minority International will be preparing submissions on both Draft General Comments. We strongly encourage other autism self-advocacy organizations to do the same. To discuss and exchange views, or if you are interested in a joint submission with us, please contact: geneva@autisticminority.org

Consultation on fiscal and tax policy by Erich Kofmel

Many autistics live in poverty.

In preparation of a forthcoming thematic report to the 26th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2014, the UN's Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, invites civil society organizations, including autistic self-advocacy groups from anywhere in the world and disabled people's organizations, to submit contributions on the human rights impact of fiscal and tax policy.

Please refer to the questionnaire below, available in English, French, or Spanish, for more details. It is not necessary to reply in full to all the questions. Partial responses are also welcome and will be helpful in collecting views of civil society on policies and practices in various countries.







The Special Rapporteur also welcomes the submission of research studies or reports on this topic, particularly those examining how fiscal and tax policies impact the human rights of persons living in poverty.

Please send your contributions, in English, Spanish, or French, as a Word document, PDF, or in a compatible format no later than 20 December 2013 (extended deadline) to: srextremepoverty@ohchr.org

Autistic Minority International will be glad to assist any national or local autism self-advocacy groups who might wish to respond. Please contact: geneva@autisticminority.org