UNCRPD & Research Unit
The Research and UNCRPD Unit has two main responsibilities, that of carrying out research related to the disability sector as well as the monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability in Malta.
Research is essential to keep abreast on the needs of persons with disability and helps to identify the research gaps that require further analysis. It also provides a critical perspective on the current policies and practices within the disability field. This ensures that the findings and recommendations are based on material that contribute to well informed discourse. In addition, the Research Unit has carried out a number of research projects and also collaborates with other entities that are commissioned to carry out specific research according to need.
Malta signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol in March 2007, which were ratified in October 2012 and came into effect on the 9th November 2012. In this regard, Malta as a member state is obliged to implement and monitor the said convention accordingly. The Commission for the Right of Persons with Disability (CRPD) has been appointed the Independent Mechanism of the UNCRPD to protect, promote and monitor the implementation of the Convention.
In the first quarter of the year 2021 the research team worked on a study that analysed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on formal education vis-à-vis inclusive education. The aim was to highlight the strengths, weaknesses and ultimately the way forward with inclusive education during the pandemic and beyond. Furthermore, meetings were held with the responsible stakeholders to discuss the findings and recommendations so as to ensure that the outcomes are addressed accordingly.
In addition, during the second quarter of the year the research team worked on seeking more information regarding Pre Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and how this impacts the disability field. A number of meetings were held with different professionals to obtain a better understanding of the different realities surrounding Pre Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).
Moreover, during the last quarter of the year the aim is to research the different realities of de-institutionalisation in an effort to highlight what hinders and enhances independent living. This study shall take a qualitative approach to include the different experiences of persons with disability and community living.
In addition, as part of the Unit’s responsibility to monitor the implementation of the UNCRPD, the team continuously attends meetings both on a national and international level with different stakeholders, entities and organisations according to need. Furthermore, the team analyses and provides feedback on a number of strategies, policies, schemes, projects, and initiatives that impact the disability field.