Skip to main content

Disability Pact Provides Road Map to Improve Lives of Millions

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-03-07 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-12) - People with disabilities suffer some of the worst human rights violations but U.N. treaty provides a road map to improve this situation. For further information pertaining to this article contact: U.N..

Main Document

Quote: "The treaty also addresses the need for persons with disabilities to have access to public transport, buildings and other facilities and recognizes their capacity to make decisions for themselves."

People with disabilities suffer some of the worst human rights violations, but a groundbreaking U.N. treaty that entered into force last year provides a road map to improve this situation, the world body's top rights official said Friday.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stressed that universal ratification and effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will help achieve this goal, as she addressed the Geneva based Human Rights Council's annual interactive debate on the issue.

The Convention, which entered into force last May, is the culmination of years of global efforts to ensure that the rights of the world's estimated 650 million persons with disabilities are guaranteed and protected. It asserts the rights to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement, freedom from exploitation and equal recognition before the law for persons with disabilities.

The treaty also addresses the need for persons with disabilities to have access to public transport, buildings and other facilities and recognizes their capacity to make decisions for themselves. In addition, the Convention's Optional Protocol allows individuals to petition an international expert body with grievances.

Ms. Pillay highlighted the major shift in thinking about disability brought about by the treaty. The Convention requires us to move away from charity based, or medical based, approaches to disability to a new perspective stemming from and firmly grounded in human rights. "These traditional approaches and attitudes, no matter how well intentioned they might have been, regarded persons with disabilities either as passive recipients of good will or deeds, or as problems to be fixed, or both," she stated.

In addition, the Convention recognizes that persons with any kind of disability enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others. "The depth and implications of the paradigm shift of the Convention require nothing less than a thorough and dispassionate reflection on what is needed to give full effect at the national level to this new international human rights instrument," stated Ms. Pillay.

She noted that with the entry into force of the Convention, a major legal protection gap had been filled, adding that the implementing bodies established by the treaty were now in the initial phases of their institutional development.





Information from our Disability Discrimination: Information and Legal Cases section - (Full List).

Comments: We apologize but until we find a new secure & accessible comments plugin this area is not available.


     What will I receive?

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be. Also see information on blood group types and compatibility.


  1. CSD Learns Awarded $75,000 Grant from Wells Fargo
  2. 2016 FBI Hate Crime Statistics
  3. People Who Experience Dry Eye Soon to Have Drug-Free Solution
  4. FDA Warns About Illegal Use of Injectable Silicone for Body Contouring and Associated Health Risks




Citation