Foundations and Composition
The Committee is a United Nations control mechanism and consists of 18 members from different countries. The members need to, amongst other things, demonstrate recognized expertise and experiences in one of the areas covered by the UN CRPD. This function is not bound by any state’s directions. The Committee members are elected for four years and can be reelected once (Article 34 UN CRPD).
It is the CRPD Committee’s task to monitor the States Parties’ implementation and compliance by reviewing State Reports (Article 36 UN CRPD). In doing so, it needs to consider any reservations and declarations, which the States may have made upon signature of the Convention (Article 46 UN CRPD). Where there is a need for improvements, the Committee can issue recommendations. These are however legally non-binding. Based on Austria’s signature of the UN CRPD, the UN Committee is also responsible for the Austrian implementation of the Convention.
Where States have also ratified the Optional Protocol, individual complaints can be filed once domestic remedies have been exhausted and are then considered by the UN Committee. (Articles 1 et seq Optional Protocol)
The Committee can also carry out inquiries, where the State Party has agreed to this and where it has received Information regarding severe or systematic violations of the Convention. (Articles 6 et seq Optional Protocol)
States Parties cooperate with the CRPD Committee and help its members in the fulfillment of their mandate. (Article 37 CRPD). Specialist agencies and other UN organs are entitled to be represented in areas of their expertise and to submit statements and reports. (Article 38 UN CRPD) The UN Committee also cooperates with other organs founded based on international human rights treaties, with the aim to ensure a consistent approach towards human rights.