DOTCOM: The Disability Online Tool of the Commission
Please note that the current information was updated in May-June 2019. The next update for EDE’s DOTCOM is expected in Oct-Dec 2021, and will be aligned with the new strategy, Union of Equality: Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 (UESRPD).
About the online tool
What information is available?
DOTCOM has been constructed from a large database of information about national laws, policies, strategies and initiatives in the 27 Member States of the European Union, in Serbia (a candidate country) and in two associated countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein. For each of the 30 EDE member countries, in relation to the EU level and the UN level, DOTCOM includes summary information on 44 selected policy instruments, organised in 8 themes (comprising 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 key instruments were selected from the goals set as main aims in the Union of Equality: Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 (UESRPD) and in discussion with European Commission staff.
The data is compiled by the EDE independent country experts, under the guidance of the assigned senior experts, and is updated periodically. The Commission provides Member States with the 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).
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 recognises the competence of the United Nations 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, 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 levels. The online tool presented here was developed by EDE’s predecessor, 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 new Union of Equality: Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 (UESRPD) is intended to tackle the diverse challenges that persons with disabilities face. It aims to progress on all areas of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, at both EU and Member State levels. This ten-year strategy sets out key initiatives around three main themes: EU rights, independent living and autonomy and non-discrimination and equal opportunities.
The current DOTCOM tool is based on the previous strategy (2010-2020), which identified eight broad areas for action and commits to a range of awareness-raising, financial support, data collection and implementation mechanisms. This will be updated and will be reflected in the new strategy in the autumn of 2021.
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.