Today I joined a conference on the UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) organised by the Disability Federation of Ireland. The CRPD is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13th December 2006 and it consists of a body of international experts that monitors implementation of the Convention by the States Parties. Ireland, like the Netherlands and many other countries signed the convention, but has not ratified it yet.
So why the need to have it ratified? “The Convention is necessary in order to have a clear reaffirmation that the rights of persons with disabilities are human rights and to strengthen respect for these rights. Although existing human rights conventions offer considerable potential to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, it became clear that this potential was not being tapped.”
“Indeed, persons with disabilities continued being denied their human rights and were kept on the margins of society in all parts of the world. This continued discrimination against persons with disabilities highlighted the need to adopt a legally binding instrument which set out the legal obligations on States to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities”
Governments are required to develop and ensure policies are followed as well as follow up on laws and administrative measures that are mentioned in the Convention. Equally, those laws, policies etc that are seen as discrimination need to be abolished.
I will not get into specifics and semantics because the issues of ratifying the convention are many and some people might just not be interested in reading about it.
What I’d like to try if I were guaranteed not to fail is to implement the UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities. Too many disabled people all over the world are hurting because of existing inequality, dogma and exclusion. In Ireland for example, people are being denied inclusion and that needs to end now. Getting the Convention ratified so is of major importance, even if/when governments are not interested in doing so.
“All members of society have the same human rights – they include civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Examples of these rights include the following:
• equality before the law without discrimination
• right to life, liberty and security of the person
• equal recognition before the law and legal capacity
• freedom from torture
• freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
• right to respect physical and mental integrity
• freedom of movement and nationality
• right to live in the community
• freedom of expression and opinion
• respect for privacy
• respect for home and the family
• right to education
• right to health
• right to work
• right to an adequate standard of living
• right to participate in political and public life
• right to participate in cultural life”
I’ve written many notes during this morning’s conference and if I wasn’t convinced before, I am definitely convinced now about the need for rights for people with disabilities. I will write a new blog post about it when I am a little bit more awake and when I have gone through what I heard.
Either way, I would like to see the UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities ratified. Allowing disabled people to live as normal a life as possible sounds unbelievable, but disabled people really do have rights. It’s not just a given to healthy people anymore.
For a complete analysis of the conference, please read this post: http://willeke73.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/time-to-give-disabled-people-their-voices-back/
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