Living With Polio

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.

The Convention marks a “paradigm shift” in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. The Convention views persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society. This is a shift from viewing people with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection.

The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.

Groups around the world are working to acquire signatures from the countries whose governments have not signed the Convention and the Optional Protocol. The United Nations website Enable features the latest developments on signatories.

Other disability-related documents from the United Nations dating back to 1994 can be found at United Nations Documents on Disability.

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Disability Rights