Dr. Julio Santaella Castell,

Human Rights Watch is an independent, non-governmental organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, working in more than 90 countries. We conduct research on the rights of persons with disabilities around the world, including in Latin America.

We had the opportunity to review the proposed questionnaire for the 2020 census which aims to obtain basic demographic information about the population of Mexico.

Human Rights Watch is concerned that the proposed questionnaire omits questions to identify persons with a disability, which is essential for developing state policies that benefit this sector of the population. The 2010 census questionnaire, however, included a short set of questions recommended by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics.  

We urge the National Institute of Geography and Statistics to re-insert in the basic questionnaire for the 2020 census, the questions recommended by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics, in order to build on the data collected in 2010 and to enable policymakers to design programs and actions aligned with its international obligations.   

Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which Mexico was among the first countries to ratify, establishes the obligation to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable states parties to formulate and implement policies that give effect to the rights of persons with disabilities. We are aware that the census is not the only tool to collect disaggregated information. Nevertheless, it is an important instrument to gain a broad understanding of how many Mexicans live with a disability and is critical in ensuring implementation of their rights.

The census also serves an important function in evaluating how the government has met the Sustainable Development Goals (2030), which include a number of goals and indicators on disability.

We call on Mexico to maintain its leadership on disability rights, including through its census activities, and appreciate your consideration of this matter.