DOTCOM: the Disability Online Tool of the Commission
The international policy context
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2006 and came into force in 2008. It establishes a comprehensive framework for the protection and promotion of rights for disabled people and includes 50 Articles, which require parties to adopt its general principles, to take specific actions in relation to specific Articles, and to put in place arrangements for monitoring and reporting on their progress. An Optional Protocol to the Convention recognizes the competence of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider representations on violations of these rights. Both the European Union and its Member States signed the Convention in 2007 (and in most cases to the Optional Protocol) and progress towards ratification by all parties is well advanced. Implementation of the Convention requires the implementation of a range of policy instruments at national and European level. The online tool presented here was developed by ANED in collaboration with the European Commission and the Member States to map the progress made on a range of key instruments relevant to implementation of the Convention.
The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 sets out a programme of actions intended to realize the rights of disabled people as European citizens and to fulfil the EU’s commitment to the UN Convention. The Strategy identifies eight broad areas for action and commits to a range of awareness raising, financial support, data collection and implementation mechanisms. A European Commission Staff Working Paper accompanying the Strategy (annex 2) establishes the need for a systematic framework ‘describing the policy and legal situation across the EU in the light of the commitments undertaken for the implementation of the UN Convention’ to be developed by ANED. The online tool presented here responds to this need by presenting a structured reference guide to key policy instruments of relevance to implementing the UN Convention in accordance with the EU Disability Strategy.
The online tool
What information is available?
DOTCOM is constructed from a large database of information about national laws, policies, strategies and initiatives in the Member States of the European Union, its Candidate countries and other associated countries. For each of the 34 countries, and for the EU, it includes summary information on 43 selected policy instruments, organised in eight themes (more than 1,500 records). Each record includes descriptive text and web links to policy documents or sources of further information at the national level. The selection of key instruments has been elaborated from the priorities established in the Commission Staff Working Paper accompanying the European Disability Strategy (annex 2), in discussion with EU Commission staff and the EU High Level Group on Disability. The data is compiled by ANED’s independent country experts, under the guidance of the network’s Scientific Director, and updated periodically. The Commission provides Member States’ with opportunity to validate the national level data although the published content does not necessarily reflect their official views or those of the EU institutions.
How to use the online mapping tool
The tool is easy to use and offers a range of reporting options. By selecting combinations of countries and instruments (or themes) you can produce different types of reports, examine records in more detail, and export the results in different formats. First, select your country or a group of countries (or ‘select all’). Next, select a theme or expand the list to select specific instruments (or ‘select all’. To view your results as a text document choose the ‘details’ view, or to see the results as a table choose the ‘matrix’ view. Finally press the ‘Search’ button. The results will be displayed and you will have options to export your report in PDF, Word or Excel formats (depending on the type of search).