Like all UN treaties the disability Convention is made up of a number of Articles that each addresses a different human rights guarantee. To see all the Articles see the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the United Nations Enable website. Below we describe how the Commission works to address some of the key Articles in the Convention.
The Commission advises on and seeks to influence the development of equality and human rights law in Britain and Europe, promotes the law and good practice associated with it to those with rights and duties, enforces the law and intervenes in legal cases to develop and protect the law through the courts.
The rights of disabled children are central to the Convention and to achieving disability equality in Britain. The Commission will commission an appraisal of disabled children’s rights in Britain, based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UNCRPD.
The Commission supports and undertakes projects to promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of disabled people and to foster respect for the rights and dignity of disabled people.
The Commission uses its full powers to promote inclusive design and increase the accessibility of transport and the built environment.
Intervening to strengthen the law for people with a mental health condition and people with a fluctuating condition.
The Commission has a duty to work to eliminate prejudice, hatred and hostility. We have conducted research concerning disabled people’s experience of targeted violence and hostility and a formal Inquiry into the actions of public authorities to eliminate disability related harassment.
see also: Home Secretary report on promoting equality for disabled people
The Commission promotes independent living for disabled people. We were centrally involved in securing a ‘right to control’ for disabled people in the Welfare Reform Act 2009, fund independent advocacy via our grants scheme, support the capacity building of disabled people’s organisations in Scotland to promote independent living and have influenced health and social care reform agenda in England.
Educational opportunities throughout the life course are critical to supporting people’s full participation and opportunities to reach their potential. Disabled people experience acute inequality in relation to educational outcomes in Britain.
Though the gap in the employment rate between disabled and non disabled people has narrowed over the last decade, disabled people remain among the most disadvantaged in the labour market. Disadvantage is particularly acute among those with mental health conditions and people with learning disabilities. Evidence also points to significant inequalities in pay and conditions for those in work.
An adequate standard of living is critical to the enjoyment of a dignified life. Disability is strongly associated with poverty in Britain. One third or disabled adults of working age live in poverty. Of all children living in poverty in Britain, one third has at least one disabled parent. Over half of families with disabled children live in or at the margins of poverty.
Increasing the participation of disabled people in political and public life is instrumental to the effective implementation of the Convention.
The Commission is part of the Department of Culture, Media & Sport's Accessible Tourism Stakeholder group which works to increase access for disabled people as part of the 2012 Tourism Strategy.
We are working with the National Association Disabled Supporters to promote access to football stadia for disabled supporters.
The Commission has a duty to measure progress towards equality, human rights and good relations and to report progress to Parliament every three years. The Commission has developed an equality measurement framework and is now building on this with measurement tools for human rights and good relations.
As Britain's National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and equality body, the Commission is an active participant in European and International forums, including the Human Rights Council, working with and in support of our fellow bodies around the world. With respect to the disability Convention:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission chairs the Euro-group of NHRI's working group on the disability Convention
The Commission has attended the following United Nations meetings:
The disability Convention is unique in spelling out the arrangements which must be taken in each country to promote and monitor implementation of the Convention. In the UK, the Office for Disability Issues, in liaison with leads in the devolved jurisdictions, acts as the ‘focal point’ and ‘coordinating mechanism’ for the Convention. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, Scottish Human Rights Commission, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Northern Ireland Equality Commission have been designated as forming the ‘independent mechanisms’ required. The Convention requires the central involvement of disabled people’s organisations in this process. The Commission will also work at the European level to play its part in promoting and monitoring implementation of the Convention by the European Union, where the European Commission is the ‘focal point’.
The Convention allows States to ratify the Convention whilst expressing ‘reservations’ or ‘interpretative declarations’ which act either as opt outs or a declaration of understanding of a particular Article, provided these are not ‘incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention’. The UK Government expressed reservations in relation to education, immigration, legal capacity and employment in the armed forces and one interpretative declaration in relation to special education.