Text Size: smaller / larger  |  Background Colour: Invert  |  RESET


Did you know?
We are currently in the middle of the African Decade of Disabled Persons which runs from 2000-2009.

Disability and Human Rights

Young woman reaching up to sky

As full citizens, people with disabilities are entitled to equal rights. In their daily lives, they continuously battle exclusion and restriction to their full participation in society facing discrimination (both direct and indirect), abuse, and poverty.

A human rights perspective to disability requires society, and especially governments, to actively promote the conditions for all individuals to fully realize their rights. "Reasonable accommodation" (the necessary modifications without a disproportionate burden) must be made to ensure persons with disabilities the enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

People with disabilities are entitled to equal access to education and employment, equal rights to parenthood, property ownership, political rights, and legal representation.

An International Convention on the Rights and Dignity of People with Disabilities

Presently, there is no internationally binding instrument specifically devoted to the rights of people with disabilities. However, in December 2001, the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/168, establishing a committee to consider proposals for an international convention to protect and promote the rights and dignity of people with disabilities.

A treaty on the rights and dignity of people with disabilities would create legally binding human rights obligations specific to the needs and situation of people with disabilities. Details of the Ad Hoc Committee meetings and current developments can be found on the UN Enable website

Source: D.R.P.I. The Human Rights System

Sculpture figure with muscular arm making fist


The 7th session of the Ad-Hoc Committee took place from January 16 to February 3, in New York to discuss the status of negotiations on the draft of an international convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Visit Disabled Peoples' International Daily Updates page on the disability convention.


December 3: International Day for Disabled Persons

The theme of the International Day for Disabled Persons on December 3, 2005 was "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development." December 3 seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The theme of the Day is based on the goal of full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by persons with disabilities, established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly in 1982.