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Today I joined a conference on the UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) organised by the Disability Federation of Ireland. The CRPD is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13th December 2006 and it consists of a body of international experts that monitors implementation of the Convention by the States Parties. Ireland, like the Netherlands and many other countries signed the convention, but has not ratified it yet.

So why the need to have it ratified? “The Convention is necessary in order to have a clear reaffirmation that the rights of persons with disabilities are human rights and to strengthen respect for these rights.  Although existing human rights conventions offer considerable potential to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, it became clear that this potential was not being tapped.”

“Indeed, persons with disabilities continued being denied their human rights and were kept on the margins of society in all parts of the world.   This continued discrimination against persons with disabilities highlighted the need to adopt a legally binding instrument which set out the legal obligations on States to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities”

Governments are required to develop and ensure policies are followed as well as follow up on laws and administrative measures that are mentioned in the Convention. Equally, those laws, policies etc that are seen as discrimination, need to be abolished.

I will not get into specifics and semantics because the issues of ratifying the convention are many, and some people might not be interested in reading about it.

What I’d like to try if I were guaranteed not to fail, is to implement the UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities. Too many disabled people all over the world are hurting because of existing inequality, dogma and exclusion. In Ireland for example, people are being denied inclusion and that needs to end now. Getting the Convention ratified so is of major importance, even if/when governments are not interested in doing so.

All members of society have the same human rights – they include civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.  Examples of these rights include the following:

• equality before the law without discrimination
• right to life, liberty and security of the person
• equal recognition before the law and legal capacity
• freedom from torture
• freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
• right to respect physical and mental integrity
• freedom of movement and nationality
• right to live in the community
• freedom of expression and opinion
• respect for privacy
• respect for home and the family
• right to education
• right to health
• right to work
• right to an adequate standard of living
• right to participate in political and public life
• right to participate in cultural life”

I’ve written many notes during this morning’s conference and if I wasn’t convinced before, I am definitely convinced now about the need for rights for people with disabilities. I will write a new blog post about it when I am a little bit more awake and when I have gone through what I heard.

Either way, I would like to see the UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities ratified. Disabled people really do have rights. It’s not just a given to healthy people only anymore.

Further reading

My UNCRPD Posts for the MS Society

  1. Access to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  2. United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  3. The General Election- One MSer’s Perspective
  4. Budget 2016 

Own blog

  1. UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change
  2. UNCRPD – Getting Ready to Ratify (1)
  3. UNCRPD – Getting Ready to Ratify (2)
  4. UNCRPD – The Right on Participation in Political and Public Life
  5. Disability rights in Ireland
  6. Disability rights in Ireland, 3 years later
  7. The sorry state of neurology in Ireland
  8. The sorry state of neurology in Ireland, one year on
  9. Disable Inequality campaign
  10. Irish public transport: access all areas?
  11. Disability is never cured with one pill alone

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© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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