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Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Human rights at your fingertips - Human rights at your fingertips

Commission Commission – General
Friday 14 December, 2012

Human rights at your fingertips



11 Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 61/106) of 13 December
2006.

PREAMBLE

The States Parties to the present Convention,

Recalling the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations
which recognize the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice
and peace in the world,

Recognizing that the United Nations, in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, has proclaimed and
agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth
therein, without distinction of any kind,

Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and
interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for
persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without
discrimination,

Recalling the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of
Their Families,

Recognizing that disability is an evolving concept and that disability
results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal
and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation
in society on an equal basis with others,

Recognizing the importance of the principles and policy guidelines contained
in the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and in the Standard
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in
influencing the promotion, formulation and evaluation of the policies, plans,
programmes and actions at the national, regional and international levels to
further equalize opportunities for persons with disabilities,

Emphasizing the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral
part of relevant strategies of sustainable development,

Recognizing also that discrimination against any person on the basis of
disability is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human
person,

Recognizing further the diversity of persons with disabilities,

Recognizing the need to promote and protect the human rights of all persons
with disabilities, including those who require more intensive support,

Concerned that, despite these various instruments and undertakings, persons
with disabilities continue to face barriers in their participation as equal
members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the
world,

Recognizing the importance of international cooperation for improving the
living conditions of persons with disabilities in every country, particularly in
developing countries,

Recognizing the valued existing and potential contributions made by persons
with disabilities to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities,
and that the promotion of the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of
their human rights and fundamental freedoms and of full participation by persons
with disabilities will result in their enhanced sense of belonging and in
significant advances in the human, social and economic development of society
and the eradication of poverty,

Recognizing the importance for persons with disabilities of their individual
autonomy and independence, including the freedom to make their own choices,

Considering that persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be
actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programmes,
including those directly concerning them,

Concerned about the difficult conditions faced by persons with disabilities
who are subject to multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination on the basis
of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national,
ethnic, indigenous or social origin, property, birth, age or other status,

Recognizing that women and girls with disabilities are often at greater risk,
both within and outside the home of violence, injury or abuse, neglect or
negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation,

Recognizing that children with disabilities should have full enjoyment of all
human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children, and
recalling obligations to that end undertaken by States Parties to the Convention
on the Rights of the Child,

Emphasizing the need to incorporate a gender perspective in all efforts to
promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons
with disabilities,

Highlighting the fact that the majority of persons with disabilities live in
conditions of poverty, and in this regard recognizing the critical need to
address the negative impact of poverty on persons with disabilities,

Bearing in mind that conditions of peace and security based on full respect
for the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations
and observance of applicable human rights instruments are indispensable for the
full protection of persons with disabilities, in particular during armed
conflicts and foreign occupation,

Recognizing the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic
and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and
communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human
rights and fundamental freedoms,

Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the
community to which he or she belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for
the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the International Bill
of Human Rights,

Convinced that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by society and the State, and that persons
with disabilities and their family members should receive the necessary
protection and assistance to enable families to contribute towards the full and
equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities,

Convinced that a comprehensive and integral international convention to
promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities will
make a significant contribution to redressing the profound social disadvantage
of persons with disabilities and promote their participation in the civil,
political, economic, social and cultural spheres with equal opportunities, in
both developing and developed countries,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the
full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all
persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent
dignity.

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental,
intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers
may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis
with others.

Article 2

For the purposes of the present Convention:

“Communication” includes languages, display of text, Braille,
tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia as well as written,
audio, plain-language, human-reader and augmentative and alternative modes,
means and formats of communication, including accessible information and
communication technology;

“Language” includes spoken and signed languages and other forms
of non spoken languages;

“Discrimination on the basis of disability” means any
distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the
purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or
exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable
accommodation;

“Reasonable accommodation” means necessary and appropriate
modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden,
where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the
enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms;

“Universal design” means the design of products, environments,
programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent
possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
“Universal design” shall not exclude assistive devices for
particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed.

Article 3

The principles of the present Convention shall be:

(a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom
to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;

(b) Non-discrimination;

(c) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

(d) Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as
part of human diversity and humanity;

(e) Equality of opportunity;

(f) Accessibility;

(g) Equality between men and women;

(h) Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and
respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their
identities.

Article 4

1. States Parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of
all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities
without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. To this end,
States Parties undertake:

(a) To adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures
for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention;

(b) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or
abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute
discrimination against persons with disabilities;

(c) To take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of
persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes;

(d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with
the present Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions
act in conformity with the present Convention;

(e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis
of disability by any person, organization or private enterprise;

(f) To undertake or promote research and development of universally designed
goods, services, equipment and facilities, as defined in article 2 of the
present Convention, which should require the minimum possible adaptation and the
least cost to meet the specific needs of a person with disabilities, to promote
their availability and use, and to promote universal design in the development
of standards and guidelines;

(g) To undertake or promote research and development of, and to promote the
availability and use of new technologies, including information and
communications technologies, mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies,
suitable for persons with disabilities, giving priority to technologies at an
affordable cost;

(h) To provide accessible information to persons with disabilities about
mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, including new technologies,
as well as other forms of assistance, support services and facilities;

(i) To promote the training of professionals and staff working with persons
with disabilities in the rights recognized in this Convention so as to better
provide the assistance and services guaranteed by those rights.

2. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, each State Party
undertakes to take measures to the maximum of its available resources and, where
needed, within the framework of international cooperation, with a view to
achieving progressively the full realization of these rights, without prejudice
to those obligations contained in the present Convention that are immediately
applicable according to international law.

3. In the development and implementation of legislation and policies to
implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes
concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities, States Parties shall
closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including
children with disabilities, through their representative organizations.

4. Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are
more conducive to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and
which may be contained in the law of a State Party or international law in force
for that State. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the
human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized or existing in any State Party
to the present Convention pursuant to law, conventions, regulation or custom on
the pretext that the present Convention does not recognize such rights or
freedoms or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.

5. The provisions of the present Convention shall extend to all parts of
federal states without any limitations or exceptions.

Article 5

1. States Parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the
law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and
equal benefit of the law.

2. States Parties shall prohibit all discrimination on the basis of
disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal
protection against discrimination on all grounds.

3. In order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, States Parties
shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable accommodation is
provided.

4. Specific measures which are necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto
equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination
under the terms of the present Convention.

Article 6

1. States Parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are
subject to multiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to
ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the full
development, advancement and empowerment of women, for the purpose of
guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental
freedoms set out in the present Convention.

Article 7

1. States Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full
enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms on an equal basis with other children.

2. In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests
of the child shall be a primary consideration.

3. States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have the
right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, their views
being given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity, on an equal
basis with other children, and to be provided with disability and
age-appropriate assistance to realize that right.

Article 8

1. States Parties undertake to adopt immediate, effective and appropriate
measures:

(a) To raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level,
regarding persons with disabilities, and to foster respect for the rights and
dignity of persons with disabilities;

(b) To combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to
persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age, in all areas of
life;

(c) To promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons
with disabilities.

Measures to this end include:

(a) Initiating and maintaining effective public awareness campaigns designed:

(i) To nurture receptiveness to the rights of persons with disabilities;

(ii) To promote positive perceptions and greater social awareness towards
persons with disabilities;

(iii) To promote recognition of the skills, merits and abilities of persons
with disabilities, and of their contributions to the workplace and the labour
market;

(b) Fostering at all levels of the education system, including in all
children from an early age, an attitude of respect for the rights of persons
with disabilities;

(c) Encouraging all organs of the media to portray persons with disabilities
in a manner consistent with the purpose of the present Convention;

(d) Promoting awareness-training programmes regarding persons with
disabilities and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Article 9

1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate
fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to
ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to
the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications,
including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other
facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in
rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and
elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter
alia:

(a) Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities,
including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces;

(b) Information, communications and other services, including electronic
services and emergency services.

2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:

(a) Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards
and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided
to the public;

(b) Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are
open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility
for persons with disabilities;

(c) Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons
with disabilities;

(d) Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in
Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;

(e) Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides,
readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility
to buildings and other facilities open to the public;

(f) Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with
disabilities to ensure their access to information;

(g) Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and
communications technologies and systems, including the Internet;

(h) Promote the design, development, production and distribution of
accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early
stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum
cost.

Article 10

States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life
and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by
persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

Article 11

States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under
international law, including international humanitarian law and international
human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of
persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed
conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural
disasters.

Article 12

1. States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to
recognition everywhere as persons before the law.

2. States Parties shall recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal
capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.

3. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to provide access by
persons with disabilities to the support they may require in exercising their
legal capacity.

4. States Parties shall ensure that all measures that relate to the exercise
of legal capacity provide for appropriate and effective safeguards to prevent
abuse in accordance with international human rights law. Such safeguards shall
ensure that measures relating to the exercise of legal capacity respect the
rights, will and preferences of the person, are free of conflict of interest and
undue influence, are proportional and tailored to the person’s
circumstances, apply for the shortest time possible and are subject to regular
review by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body. The
safeguards shall be proportional to the degree to which such measures affect the
person’s rights and interests.

5. Subject to the provisions of this article, States Parties shall take all
appropriate and effective measures to ensure the equal right of persons with
disabilities to own or inherit property, to control their own financial affairs
and to have equal access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial
credit, and shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not arbitrarily
deprived of their property.

Article 13

1. States Parties shall ensure effective access to justice for persons with
disabilities on an equal basis with others, including through the provision of
procedural and age-appropriate accommodations, in order to facilitate their
effective role as direct and indirect participants, including as witnesses, in
all legal proceedings, including at investigative and other preliminary
stages.

2. In order to help to ensure effective access to justice for persons with
disabilities, States Parties shall promote appropriate training for those
working in the field of administration of justice, including police and prison
staff.

Article 14

1. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities, on an equal
basis with others:

(a) Enjoy the right to liberty and security of person;

(b) Are not deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily, and that any
deprivation of liberty is in conformity with the law, and that the existence of
a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty.

2. States Parties shall ensure that if persons with disabilities are
deprived of their liberty through any process, they are, on an equal basis with
others, entitled to guarantees in accordance with international human rights law
and shall be treated in compliance with the objectives and principles of this
Convention, including by provision of reasonable accommodation.

Article 15

1. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his or
her free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

2. States Parties shall take all effective legislative, administrative,
judicial or other measures to prevent persons with disabilities, on an equal
basis with others, from being subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 16

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative,
social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities,
both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and
abuse, including their gender-based aspects.

2. States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all
forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate
forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with
disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision
of information and education on how to avoid, recognize and report instances of
exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection
services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive.

3. In order to prevent the occurrence of all forms of exploitation, violence
and abuse, States Parties shall ensure that all facilities and programmes
designed to serve persons with disabilities are effectively monitored by
independent authorities.

4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote the
physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social
reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of
exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection
services. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment
that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the
person and takes into account gender- and age-specific needs.

5. States Parties shall put in place effective legislation and policies,
including women- and child-focused legislation and policies, to ensure that
instances of exploitation, violence and abuse against persons with disabilities
are identified, investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.

Article 17

Every person with disabilities has a right to respect for his or her physical
and mental integrity on an equal basis with others.

Article 18

1. States Parties shall recognize the rights of persons with disabilities to
liberty of movement, to freedom to choose their residence and to a nationality,
on an equal basis with others, including by ensuring that persons with
disabilities:

(a) Have the right to acquire and change a nationality and are not deprived
of their nationality arbitrarily or on the basis of disability;

(b) Are not deprived, on the basis of disability, of their ability to obtain,
possess and utilize documentation of their nationality or other documentation of
identification, or to utilize relevant processes such as immigration
proceedings, that may be needed to facilitate exercise of the right to liberty
of movement;

(c) Are free to leave any country, including their own;

(d) Are not deprived, arbitrarily or on the basis of disability, of the right
to enter their own country.

2. Children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth
and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a
nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their
parents.

Article 19

States Parties to this Convention recognize the equal right of all persons
with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and
shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by
persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and
participation in the community, including by ensuring that:

(a) Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of
residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and
are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;

(b) Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential
and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to
support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or
segregation from the community;

(c) Community services and facilities for the general population are
available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to
their needs.

Article 20

States Parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with
the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including
by:

(a) Facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the
manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost;

(b) Facilitating access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility
aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and
intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost;

(c) Providing training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities and to
specialist staff working with persons with disabilities;

(d) Encouraging entities that produce mobility aids, devices and assistive
technologies to take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with
disabilities.

Article 21

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons
with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion,
including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an
equal basis with others and through all forms of communication of their choice,
as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, including by:

(a) Providing information intended for the general public to persons with
disabilities in accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different
kinds of disabilities in a timely manner and without additional cost;

(b) Accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille,
augmentative and alternative communication, and all other accessible means,
modes and formats of communication of their choice by persons with disabilities
in official interactions;

(c) Urging private entities that provide services to the general public,
including through the Internet, to provide information and services in
accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities;

(d) Encouraging the mass media, including providers of information through
the Internet, to make their services accessible to persons with
disabilities;

(e) Recognizing and promoting the use of sign languages.

Article 22

1. No person with disabilities, regardless of place of residence or living
arrangements, shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his
or her privacy, family, home or correspondence or other types of communication
or to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation. Persons with
disabilities have the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks.

2. States Parties shall protect the privacy of personal, health and
rehabilitation information of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with
others.

Article 23

1. States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate
discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to
marriage, family, parenthood and relationships, on an equal basis with others,
so as to ensure that:

(a) The right of all persons with disabilities who are of marriageable age to
marry and to found a family on the basis of free and full consent of the
intending spouses is recognized;

(b) The rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly
on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to
age-appropriate information, reproductive and family planning education are
recognized, and the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights are
provided;

(c) Persons with disabilities, including children, retain their fertility on
an equal basis with others.

2. States Parties shall ensure the rights and responsibilities of persons
with disabilities, with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship, adoption
of children or similar institutions, where these concepts exist in national
legislation; in all cases the best interests of the child shall be paramount.
States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to persons with disabilities
in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.

3. States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have equal
rights with respect to family life. With a view to realizing these rights, and
to prevent concealment, abandonment, neglect and segregation of children with
disabilities, States Parties shall undertake to provide early and comprehensive
information, services and support to children with disabilities and their
families.

4. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his
or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to
judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures,
that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. In no
case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of
either the child or one or both of the parents.

5. States Parties shall, where the immediate family is unable to care for a
child with disabilities, undertake every effort to provide alternative care
within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family
setting.

Article 24

1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to
education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the
basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education
system at all levels and life long learning directed to:

(a) The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and
self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental
freedoms and human diversity;

(b) The development by persons with disabilities of their personality,
talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their
fullest potential;

(c) Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free
society.

2. In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that:

(a) Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education
system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not
excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary
education, on the basis of disability;

(b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free
primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the
communities in which they live;

(c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is
provided;

(d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the
general education system, to facilitate their effective education;

(e) Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments
that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full
inclusion.

3. States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and
social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in
education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall
take appropriate measures, including:

(a) Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative
and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and
mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;

(b) Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the
linguistic identity of the deaf community;

(c) Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who
are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and
modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which
maximize academic and social development.

4. In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties
shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with
disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train
professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall
incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and
alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques
and materials to support persons with disabilities.

5. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to
access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and
lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To
this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided
to persons with disabilities.

Article 25

States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the
enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on
the basis of disability. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to
ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services that are
gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation. In particular, States
Parties shall:

(a) Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and
standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other
persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and
population-based public health programmes;

(b) Provide those health services needed by persons with disabilities
specifically because of their disabilities, including early identification and
intervention as appropriate, and services designed to minimize and prevent
further disabilities, including among children and older persons;

(c) Provide these health services as close as possible to people’s own
communities, including in rural areas;

(d) Require health professionals to provide care of the same quality to
persons with disabilities as to others, including on the basis of free and
informed consent by, inter alia, raising awareness of the human rights, dignity,
autonomy and needs of persons with disabilities through training and the
promulgation of ethical standards for public and private health care;

(e) Prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in the
provision of health insurance, and life insurance where such insurance is
permitted by national law, which shall be provided in a fair and reasonable
manner;

(f) Prevent discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food
and fluids on the basis of disability.

Article 26

1. States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures, including
through peer support, to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain
maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and
full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life. To that end, States
Parties shall organize, strengthen and extend comprehensive habilitation and
rehabilitation services and programmes, particularly in the areas of health,
employment, education and social services, in such a way that these services and
programmes:

(a) Begin at the earliest possible stage, and are based on the
multidisciplinary assessment of individual needs and strengths;

(b) Support participation and inclusion in the community and all aspects of
society, are voluntary, and are available to persons with disabilities as close
as possible to their own communities, including in rural areas.

2. States Parties shall promote the development of initial and continuing
training for professionals and staff working in habilitation and rehabilitation
services.

3. States Parties shall promote the availability, knowledge and use of
assistive devices and technologies, designed for persons with disabilities, as
they relate to habilitation and rehabilitation.

Article 27

1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work,
on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to
gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work
environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.
States Parties shall safeguard and promote the realization of the right to work,
including for those who acquire a disability during the course of employment, by
taking appropriate steps, including through legislation, to, inter alia:

(a) Prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all
matters concerning all forms of employment, including conditions of recruitment,
hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement and safe
and healthy working conditions;

(b) Protect the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with
others, to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities
and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe and healthy working
conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of
grievances;

(c) Ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise their labour
and trade union rights on an equal basis with others;

(d) Enable persons with disabilities to have effective access to general
technical and vocational guidance programmes, placement services and vocational
and continuing training;

(e) Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with
disabilities in the labour market, as well as assistance in finding, obtaining,
maintaining and returning to employment;

(f) Promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the
development of cooperatives and starting one’s own business;

(g) Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector;

(h) Promote the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector
through appropriate policies and measures, which may include affirmative action
programmes, incentives and other measures;

(i) Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with
disabilities in the workplace;

(j) Promote the acquisition by persons with disabilities of work experience
in the open labour market;

(k) Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and
return-to-work programmes for persons with disabilities.

2. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held
in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others,
from forced or compulsory labour.

Article 28

1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an
adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including
adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living
conditions, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the
realization of this right without discrimination on the basis of disability.

2. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to social
protection and to the enjoyment of that right without discrimination on the
basis of disability, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote
the realization of this right, including measures:

(a) To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to clean water
services, and to ensure access to appropriate and affordable services, devices
and other assistance for disability-related needs;

(b) To ensure access by persons with disabilities, in particular women and
girls with disabilities and older persons with disabilities, to social
protection programmes and poverty reduction programmes;

(c) To ensure access by persons with disabilities and their families living
in situations of poverty to assistance from the State with disability-related
expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and
respite care;

(d) To ensure access by persons with disabilities to public housing
programmes;

(e) To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to retirement
benefits and programmes.

Article 29

States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights
and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others, and shall
undertake to:

(a) Ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully
participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly
or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity
for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected, inter alia, by:

(i) Ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are
appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use;

(ii) Protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote by secret
ballot in elections and public referendums without intimidation, and to stand
for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at
all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies
where appropriate;

(iii) Guaranteeing the free expression of the will of persons with
disabilities as electors and to this end, where necessary, at their request,
allowing assistance in voting by a person of their own choice;

(b) Promote actively an environment in which persons with disabilities can
effectively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs, without
discrimination and on an equal basis with others, and encourage their
participation in public affairs, including:

(i) Participation in non-governmental organizations and associations
concerned with the public and political life of the country, and in the
activities and administration of political parties;

(ii) Forming and joining organizations of persons with disabilities to
represent persons with disabilities at international, national, regional and
local levels.

Article 30

1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to take
part on an equal basis with others in cultural life, and shall take all
appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities:

(a) Enjoy access to cultural materials in accessible formats;

(b) Enjoy access to television programmes, films, theatre and other cultural
activities, in accessible formats;

(c) Enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as
theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services, and, as far as
possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural
importance.

2. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to enable persons with
disabilities to have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative,
artistic and intellectual potential, not only for their own benefit, but also
for the enrichment of society.

3. States Parties shall take all appropriate steps, in accordance with
international law, to ensure that laws protecting intellectual property rights
do not constitute an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier to access by persons
with disabilities to cultural materials.

4. Persons with disabilities shall be entitled, on an equal basis with
others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic
identity, including sign languages and deaf culture.

5. With a view to enabling persons with disabilities to participate on an
equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities, States
Parties shall take appropriate measures:

(a) To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent
possible, of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all
levels;

(b) To ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to organize,
develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational
activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with
others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources;

(c) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to sporting,
recreational and tourism venues;

(d) To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other
children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting
activities, including those activities in the school system;

(e) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to services from
those involved in the organization of recreational, tourism, leisure and
sporting activities.

Article 31

1. States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including
statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement
policies to give effect to the present Convention. The process of collecting and
maintaining this information shall:

(a) Comply with legally established safeguards, including legislation on data
protection, to ensure confidentiality and respect for the privacy of persons
with disabilities;

(b) Comply with internationally accepted norms to protect human rights and
fundamental freedoms and ethical principles in the collection and use of
statistics.

2. The information collected in accordance with this article shall be
disaggregated, as appropriate, and used to help assess the implementation of
States Parties’ obligations under the present Convention and to identify
and address the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in exercising their
rights.

3. States Parties shall assume responsibility for the dissemination of these
statistics and ensure their accessibility to persons with disabilities and
others.

Article 32

1. States Parties recognize the importance of international cooperation and
its promotion, in support of national efforts for the realization of the purpose
and objectives of the present Convention, and will undertake appropriate and
effective measures in this regard, between and among States and, as appropriate,
in partnership with relevant international and regional organizations and civil
society, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities. Such measures
could include, inter alia:

(a) Ensuring that international cooperation, including international
development programmes, is inclusive of and accessible to persons with
disabilities;

(b) Facilitating and supporting capacity-building, including through the
exchange and sharing of information, experiences, training programmes and best
practices;

(c) Facilitating cooperation in research and access to scientific and
technical knowledge;

(d) Providing, as appropriate, technical and economic assistance, including
by facilitating access to and sharing of accessible and assistive technologies,
and through the transfer of technologies.

2. The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the obligations
of each State Party to fulfil its obligations under the present Convention.

Article 33

1. States Parties, in accordance with their system of organization, shall
designate one or more focal points within government for matters relating to the
implementation of the present Convention, and shall give due consideration to
the establishment or designation of a coordination mechanism within government
to facilitate related action in different sectors and at different levels.

2. States Parties shall, in accordance with their legal and administrative
systems, maintain, strengthen, designate or establish within the State Party, a
framework, including one or more independent mechanisms, as appropriate, to
promote, protect and monitor implementation of the present Convention. When
designating or establishing such a mechanism, States Parties shall take into
account the principles relating to the status and functioning of national
institutions for protection and promotion of human rights.

3. Civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and their
representative organizations, shall be involved and participate fully in the
monitoring process.

Article 34

1. There shall be established a Committee on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities (hereafter referred to as “the Committee”), which shall
carry out the functions hereinafter provided.

2. The Committee shall consist, at the time of entry into force of the
present Convention, of twelve experts. After an additional sixty ratifications
or accessions to the Convention, the membership of the Committee shall increase
by six members, attaining a maximum number of eighteen members.

3. The members of the Committee shall serve in their personal capacity and
shall be of high moral standing and recognized competence and experience in the
field covered by the present Convention. When nominating their candidates,
States Parties are invited to give due consideration to the provision set out in
article 4.3 of the present Convention.

4. The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties,
consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, representation
of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems,
balanced gender representation and participation of experts with
disabilities.

5. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a
list of persons nominated by the States Parties from among their nationals at
meetings of the Conference of States Parties. At those meetings, for which two
thirds of States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the
Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute
majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and
voting.

6. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the
date of entry into force of the present Convention. At least four months before
the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall
address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit the nominations
within two months. The Secretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in
alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the State Parties
which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the
present Convention.

7. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years.
They shall be eligible for re-election once. However, the term of six of the
members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years;
immediately after the first election, the names of these six members shall be
chosen by lot by the chairperson of the meeting referred to in paragraph 5 of
this article.

8. The election of the six additional members of the Committee shall be held
on the occasion of regular elections, in accordance with the relevant provisions
of this article.

9. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any
other cause she or he can no longer perform her or his duties, the State Party
which nominated the member shall appoint another expert possessing the
qualifications and meeting the requirements set out in the relevant provisions
of this article, to serve for the remainder of the term.

10. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.

11. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary
staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the
Committee under the present Convention, and shall convene its initial
meeting.

12. With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee
established under the present Convention shall receive emoluments from United
Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide,
having regard to the importance of the Committee’s responsibilities.

13. The members of the Committee shall be entitled to the facilities,
privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid
down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities
of the United Nations.

Article 35

1. Each State Party shall submit to the Committee, through the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, a comprehensive report on measures
taken to give effect to its obligations under the present Convention and on the
progress made in that regard, within two years after the entry into force of the
present Convention for the State Party concerned.

2. Thereafter, States Parties shall submit subsequent reports at least every
four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.

3. The Committee shall decide any guidelines applicable to the content of
the reports.

4. A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the
Committee need not, in its subsequent reports, repeat information previously
provided. When preparing reports to the Committee, States Parties are invited to
consider doing so in an open and transparent process and to give due
consideration to the provision set out in article 4.3 of the present
Convention.

5. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of
fulfilment of obligations under the present Convention.

Article 36

1. Each report shall be considered by the Committee, which shall make such
suggestions and general recommendations on the report as it may consider
appropriate and shall forward these to the State Party concerned. The State
Party may respond with any information it chooses to the Committee. The
Committee may request further information from States Parties relevant to the
implementation of the present Convention.

2. If a State Party is significantly overdue in the submission of a report,
the Committee may notify the State Party concerned of the need to examine the
implementation of the present Convention in that State Party, on the basis of
reliable information available to the Committee, if the relevant report is not
submitted within three months following the notification. The Committee shall
invite the State Party concerned to participate in such examination. Should the
State Party respond by submitting the relevant report, the provisions of
paragraph 1 of this article will apply.

3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall make available the
reports to all States Parties.

4. States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in
their own countries and facilitate access to the suggestions and general
recommendations relating to these reports.

5. The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the
specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations, and other
competent bodies, reports from States Parties in order to address a request or
indication of a need for technical advice or assistance contained therein, along
with the Committee’s observations and recommendations, if any, on these
requests or indications.

Article 37

1. Each State Party shall cooperate with the Committee and assist its
members in the fulfilment of their mandate.

2. In its relationship with States Parties, the Committee shall give due
consideration to ways and means of enhancing national capacities for the
implementation of the present Convention, including through international
cooperation.

Article 38

In order to foster the effective implementation of the present Convention and
to encourage international cooperation in the field covered by the present
Convention:

(a) The specialized agencies and other United Nations organs shall be
entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such
provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate.
The Committee may invite the specialized agencies and other competent bodies as
it may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of
the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their respective mandates.
The Committee may invite specialized agencies and other United Nations organs to
submit reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within
the scope of their activities;

(b) The Committee, as it discharges its mandate, shall consult, as
appropriate, other relevant bodies instituted by international human rights
treaties, with a view to ensuring the consistency of their respective reporting
guidelines, suggestions and general recommendations, and avoiding duplication
and overlap in the performance of their functions.

Article 39

The Committee shall report every two years to the General Assembly and to the
Economic and Social Council on its activities, and may make suggestions and
general recommendations based on the examination of reports and information
received from the States Parties. Such suggestions and general recommendations
shall be included in the report of the Committee together with comments, if any,
from States Parties.

Article 40

1. The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties
in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present
Convention.

2. No later than six months after the entry into force of the present
Convention, the Conference of the States Parties shall be convened by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. The subsequent meetings shall be
convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations biennially or upon the
decision of the Conference of States Parties.

Article 41

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the depositary of the
present Convention.

Article 42

The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States and by
regional integration organizations at United Nations Headquarters in New York as
of 30 March 2007.

Article 43

The present Convention shall be subject to ratification by signatory States
and to formal confirmation by signatory regional integration organizations. It
shall be open for accession by any State or regional integration organization
which has not signed the Convention.

Article 44

1. “Regional integration organization” shall mean an
organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its
member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this
Convention. Such organizations shall declare, in their instruments of formal
confirmation or accession, the extent of their competence with respect to
matters governed by this Convention. Subsequently, they shall inform the
depositary of any substantial modification in the extent of their
competence.

2. References to “States Parties” in the present Convention
shall apply to such organizations within the limits of their competence.

3. For the purposes of article 45, paragraph 1, and article 47, paragraphs 2
and 3, any instrument deposited by a regional integration organization shall not
be counted.

4. Regional integration organizations, in matters within their competence,
may exercise their right to vote in the Conference of States Parties, with a
number of votes equal to the number of their member States that are Parties to
this Convention. Such an organization shall not exercise its right to vote if
any of its member States exercises its right, and vice versa.

Article 45

1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after
the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.

2. For each State or regional integration organization ratifying, formally
confirming or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twentieth such
instrument, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the
deposit of its own such instrument.

Article 46

1. Reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of the present
Convention shall not be permitted.

2. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time.

Article 47

1. Any State Party may propose an amendment to the present Convention and
submit it to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General
shall communicate any proposed amendments to States Parties, with a request to
be notified whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose
of considering and deciding upon the proposals. In the event that, within four
months from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States
Parties favour such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the
conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a
majority of two thirds of the States Parties present and voting shall be
submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly for approval and
thereafter to all States Parties for acceptance.

2. An amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this
article shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the number of
instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States
Parties at the date of adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, the amendment
shall enter into force for any State Party on the thirtieth day following the
deposit of its own instrument of acceptance. An amendment shall be binding only
on those States Parties which have accepted it.

3. If so decided by the Conference of States Parties by consensus, an
amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article
which relates exclusively to articles 34, 38, 39 and 40 shall enter into force
for all States Parties on the thirtieth day after the number of instruments of
acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States Parties at the
date of adoption of the amendment.

Article 48

A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to
the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The denunciation shall become
effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the
Secretary-General.

Article 49

The text of the present Convention shall be made available in accessible
formats.

Article 50

The Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts of the
present Convention shall be equally authentic.

In witness thereof the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized
thereto by their respective Governments, have signed the present Convention

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