The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13th December 2006 and came into force on 3rd May 2008.
The purpose of the 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.
The Convention was adopted as a response to the fact that although pre-existing human rights conventions offer considerable potential to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, this potential was not being tapped. Persons with disabilities continued being denied their human rights and were kept on the margins of society in all parts of the world.
The Convention sets out the legal obligations on Member States to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
It was also a response to an overlooked development challenge; approximately 10% of the world’s population are persons with disabilities (over 700 million persons), approximately 80% of whom live in developing countries.
Principally the Convention recognises that persons with disabilities have inherent rights, and that they are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.
To date the Convention has 155 signatories and has been ratified by 127 countries (as of 24 January 2013).
Down Syndrome International (DSi) has actively campaigned for and supported the UN Convention for a number of years and continues to do so.
We are also a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) whose mission is to advance the human rights of persons with disabilities as a united voice of organisations of persons with disabilities utilising the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights instruments.