United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
The United Nations General Assembly in December 2006, adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The Convention promotes, protects, and ensures full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities, and promotes respect for their inherent dignity.
Purpose- The Convention promotes, protects and ensures the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. PWDs include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
General principles- It lists eight principles on which the Convention is based: a. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy b. Non-discrimination c. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society d. Respect for difference and acceptance of PWD as part of human diversity e. Equality of opportunity f. Accessibility g. Equality between men and women h. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities.
General obligations- It defines the rights of PWD and the obligations of state to ensure and promote full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.
Equality and non-discrimination- Everyone is equal before and under the law and is entitled to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination.
Women with disabilities- It denounces multiple discrimination against women and girls with disability and enjoins upon countries to provide protection of their human rights and fundamental freedom.
Children with disabilities- They have the human rights at par with all other children.
Awareness-raising- It enjoins upon countries to raise awareness at the family level and in the society of the rights, capabilities and contributions of people with disabilities and to denounce stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices against them in all areas of life through campaigning, education, media and awareness-raising programmes.
Accessibility- People with disabilities have the right to access on an equal basis with others, the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, and other facilities and services provided to the public.
Right to life- Countries must ensure that people with disabilities effectively enjoy the right to life on an equal basis with others.
Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies- Countries must provide the protection and safety of all persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.
Equal recognition before the law- People with disabilities are persons before the law and have legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life. The State should provide support to people with disabilities to enable them to exercise their legal capacity.
Access to justice- People with disabilities have the right to effective access to justice on an equal basis with others.
Liberty and security of person- People with disabilities have the right to liberty and security on an equal basis with others; existence of disability alone cannot be used to justify deprivation of liberty.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment- PWDs must be protected from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and not be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without free consent.
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse- PWDs have the right to be protected from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender based aspects, within and outside the home.
Protecting the integrity of the person- Every PWD has a right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity on an equal basis with others.
Liberty of movement and nationality- PWDs have the right to movement and a nationality.
Living independently and being included in the community- Countries must ensure that PWDs have the freedom to choose where they live and with whom they live, and they are provided with the support necessary to do this.
Personal mobility- Countries must ensure personal mobility for PWD as per time of their choice, at affordable cost and access to mobility aids, assistive technologies and live assistance and intermediaries.
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information- PWDs must have freedom to give and receive information and ideas through all formats and technologies, sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, mass media and other accessible means of communication.
Respect for privacy- PWDs have the right to privacy and protection of their personal information and information about their health.
Respect for home and the family- PWDs have the right to marry and have a family. Countries must provide support to people with disabilities in bringing up children, and provide alternative care to children with disabilities where the immediate family is unable to care for them.
Education- PWDs have a right to education without discrimination and access to an inclusive, quality and free primary and secondary education in the community.
Health- PWDs have the right to the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination and access to the same range, quality and standard of health care as available to everyone else, close to their own communities.
Habilitation and rehabilitation- Countries must enable PWDs to develop, attain and maintain maximum ability, independence and participation through habilitation and rehabilitation services and programmes.
Work and employment- PWDs have the right to gain a living by work, freely chosen or accepted on an equal basis, in an open environment, which is inclusive and accessible. Countries must take steps to promote employment opportunities and career advancement for them.
Adequate standard of living and social protection- PWDs have the right to an adequate standard of living including food, water, clothing and housing, and to effective social protection including poverty reduction and public housing programmes.
Participation in political and public life- PWDs have the right to participate in politics and in public affairs, and to vote and get elected.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport- PWD have the right to take part in cultural life on an equal basis with others, including access to cultural materials, performances and services, and to recreational, leisure and sporting activities.
Statistics and data collection- Countries must collect information about PWDs, with their active involvement, so that they understand the barriers they experience.
are about how countries must give full effect to the convention and report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on how they are putting the Convention into effect.
– Amrit Bakhshy