Creating a fairer Britain
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the first human rights treaty of the 21st Century. It reaffirms disabled people's human rights and signals a further major step in disabled people's journey to becoming full and equal citizens.
> Read the The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PDF)
On 8 June 2009 the UK Government ratified the Convention signaling its commitment to take concrete action to comply with the legal rights and obligations contained in the Convention. The Government has also ratified the Convention’s ‘Optional Protocol’.
> See our statement made at the time of ratification: 'Commission's call for fresh impetus on delivering disability rights'.
In February 2013 the Equality and Human Rights Commission will be holding two one day seminar events on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Find out more about the seminars and how to book a place.
The Disability Convention requires governments to designate one or more 'independent mechanisms' to 'promote, protect and monitor implementation' of the Convention.
The Commission, which is Britain's National Human Rights Institution, has been designated alongside the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Equality Commission to fulfill this role in UK.
The Convention reaffirms that disabled people have human rights and that they should be able to enjoy them on an equal basis with non-disabled people. It recognises that disabled people continue to face a wide range of barriers to realising their human rights in practice and sets out the measures governments are expected to take to remove them and to ensure the rights of disabled people are protected.
Other human rights treaties, such as conventions on the rights of the child and against all forms of discrimination against women have had a major effect in addressing human rights violations around the world.
The active participation of disabled people and their organisations, both independently and in collaboration with the Commission, is critical to making the Convention a success. The Commission is committed to working with disabled people and exploring with disability stakeholders how we can work together most effectively.
We have published a guide for disabled people and their organisations on the practical benefits of the Convention in everyday life: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities -What does it mean for you?
Britain has ratified the 'Optional Protocol of the UN Convention. This allows people to bring a petition to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if they believe that their Convention rights have been breached and they have exhausted means of redress via the UK or European Courts. This step also gives the relevant UN Committee authority to undertake inquiries, when reliable information is received into allegations of grave or systematic violations of Convention rights.
The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by disabled people. The Convention covers a number of key areas. These include health, education, employment, access to justice, personal security independent living and access to information. Read more detail on the Articles in the Convention.
If you have any information you want to give us about the convention or have any questions about the work we’re doing, please contact us at UNCRPD@equalityhumanrights.com.