FAQ: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

What is a Convention?

Convention is another word for an international treaty.

Is there a Convention about human rights and disability?

Yes. The United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 13 December 2006.

Is the text of the Convention available yet?

Yes. Click here for a link to the English text of the Convention.

Is the Convention in force yet?

Yes. The Convention entered into force (for those countries whih have become party to it) in May 2007 after it received the required minimum of 20 ratifications

Has Australia ratified the Convention yet?

Yes.Australia ratified the Convention on 18 July 2008.

Does ratifying the Convention make it part of Australian law?

No. Ratifying the Convention is a commitment in international law to other countries which also ratify, and a formal commitment in principle to the Australian people. But treaties only have direct legal effect in Australia if and to the extent that our parliaments pass legislation to give them this effect.

Does the DDA mean the Convention is already implemented in Australia?

No. Passing anti-discrimination legislation is an important part, but only a part, of ensuring the human rights of people with disability. There is still much to do in implementing the DDA and there are many other areas where the Convention points to continuing agendas for action by governments and within society.

Where can I find information on the Convention?

We will be updating our Convention index page with more information, including from disability organisations, the United Nations and the Australian Government, as often as possible.