Disability rights are an essential aspect of human rights But since long they are neglected and overlooked and people with disabilities are often denied their basic rights. In 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with an aim to protect, promote and ensure the full & equal enjoyment of all human rights to the persons with disabilities and also, they can benefit from the fundamental freedoms.
Disability rights is a fundamental human right that refers to the protection and promotion of the rights of disabled people and is protected by various international and domestic laws. An international human rights treaty named, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) aims to protect and promote the rights and dignity of specially abled people. The disability rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be discussed further in this blog.
This blog aims in raising the awareness about disability rights and listing the importance of ensuring the full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life.
For centuries persons with disabilities have been neglected and discriminated against in normal society and were considered a burden. They were denied access to education, employment, and other essential services and it existed even after the adoption of various international human rights instruments until the adoption of the UNCRPD that focussed on the rights of persons with disabilities were precisely recognized and protected.
The United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006 adopted THE UNCRD which is an international human rights treaty and came into force on May 3, 2008. This comprehensive treaty covers a wide range of issues related to disability rights. At present, it consists of 186 parties, 164 signatories and 185 states and the European Union (EU) (which ratified it on 23 December 2010).
The reason for this convention to exist is to protect, promote, and ensure the full and equal opportunity of all fundamental freedoms and human rights by all persons with disabilities, so that it promotes respect for their inherent dignity.
The UNCRPD ensures that persons with disabilities are entitled to the same human rights and fundamental freedoms as others. It also accepts the fact that persons with disabilities face additional barriers like physical, environmental, attitudinal, or societal in nature that may prevent them from enjoying their rights and freedoms. The convention has an aim to eliminate these barriers and ensure that persons with disabilities are able to participate fully in all aspects of life.
Some of the key areas addressed by THE UNCRPD include:
• Non-discrimination: The convention aims to give the same rights and freedoms to persons with disabilities as everyone else, without discrimination of any kind and the state parties are required to initiate measures to eliminate discrimination and promote equality for persons with disabilities.
• Accessibility: The convention recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to access the physical environment, transportation, information, and communication equally with others. States parties should make sure that persons with disabilities have access to these services and facilities.
• Participation: The convention recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of life, including political, social, economic, and cultural life and it is expected from the States parties to take measures to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to participate in the activities equally with others.
• Independence: The convention recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to make their own choices and decisions, and to live independently as others.It is expected from the states parties that they would take measures to support persons with disabilities in exercising these rights.
• Respect for inherent dignity: The convention recognizes that persons with disabilities have the same inherent dignity compared to others, and that must be respected and protected. States parties need to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to live their lives with dignity.
UNCRPD AND WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION(WHO)
While The UNCRPD is a human rights treaty that summarizes the rights of people with disabilities and provides a framework for countries to ensure that those rights are executed, The WHO, on the other hand, is a specialized agency of the United Nations that works to improve global health by providing leadership and coordinating international efforts. Both of them are working together to promote the rights and well-being of the disabled people around the world and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society, including education, employment, and healthcare.
They both make sure that people with disabilities have access to the same opportunities and services as others.
The focused area for the UNCRPD and the WHO has been improving the health and well-being of people with disabilities. It includes developing guidelines and tools to help healthcare providers better understand and respond to the needs of people with disabilities, and also advocate for greater access to healthcare services. Both the organizations are committed to working together to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities around the world resulting in real difference in the lives of millions of people.
There are many global organizations that work for the rights of the specially abled people in collaboration with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Here are some examples:
- Disabled People’s International (DPI) – DPI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities that promotes the rights of persons with disabilities in collaboration with the UN.
- The International Disability Alliance (IDA) – IDA is a network of global and regional organizations of persons to promote the rights of persons with disabilities working in collaboration with the UN and its member states.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) – The WHO works in collaboration with the UN to promote the health and well-being of persons with disabilities.
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) – The ILO promotes the rights of persons with disabilities in the workplace in collaboration with the UN
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – The IFRC promote the rights of persons with disabilities during humanitarian emergencies and works in collaboration with the UN
- The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – The GPE promotes inclusive education for children with disabilities and works in collaboration with the UN.
- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – UNICEF promotes the rights of children with disabilities and works in collaboration with the UN .
These are examples of few of the many global organizations that work in collaboration with the UNCRPD to promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
In conclusion, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a landmark treaty that seeks to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities and recognizes that disability is an evolving concept. They ensures that persons with disabilities should not be treated as objects of charity but as rights holders. It focuses on eliminating the discrimination against persons with disabilities and ensure their effective participation in all aspects of life.
Despite progress made in disability rights, persons with disabilities still face barriers. More efforts are needed to ensure the implementation of the convention at the national level and to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in all development processes. It is crucial that we continue to raise awareness about disability rights and advocate their full inclusion. We must work towards creating a world that is accessible, inclusive and respectful of the rights and dignity of all persons, including specially abled people. By following the same we can build a world that is more just and equitable.