UN Convention

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

What is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)?

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a document that details the human rights of people with disabilities. It was created by the United Nations and is being monitored by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It is a written agreement between countries to obey the same rules about the rights of people with disability. The Convention tells governments what to do to make sure all people can enjoy their human rights.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. It was opened for signature on March 30, 2007. It then came into force on May 3, 2008, after the Convention’s ratification by the 20th party (country).

Many countries have ratified (agreed to) the convention. These countries include: Australia, Belgium, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The UN.org website has a section where you can read the latest developments regarding the Convention.

Read the Convention in English on the UN website by clicking here

See the Convention in Auslan:

Knowing Your Rights: Articles 3, 5, 6, 7
Knowing Your Rights: Articles 9, 19, 20, 22
Knowing Your Rights: Articles 10-17
Knowing Your Rights: Articles 18, 25, 21
Knowing Your Rights: Articles 23, 28, 26, 29, 30
Making Rights a Reality: What the Australian Government Does
Making Rights a Reality: What You Can Do
Making Rights a Reality: Further Information and Resources

Guiding Principles of the Convention

The guiding principles of the Convention are:

  • Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons
  • Non-discrimination
  • Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Equality between men and women
  • Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities

An Overview of the Convention

The Convention has 50 articles. Each article is one topic. Below is a brief overview of each group of articles:

Article 1 identifies the purpose of the Convention: “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”.

Articles 2 to 3 provide definitions of terms and general principles.

Articles 4 to 32 define the specific rights of persons with disabilities. Included in the articles are the obligations of states parties (countries) towards persons with disabilities. Below are the points covered by this article group:

  • General obligations
  • Equality and non-discrimination
  • Women with disabilities
  • Children with disabilities
  • Awareness-raising
  • Accessibility
  • Right to life
  • Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies
  • Equal recognition before the law
  • Access to justice
  • Liberty and security of person
  • Freedom of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
  • Protecting the integrity of the person
  • Liberty of movement and nationality
  • Living independently and being included in the community
  • Personal mobility
  • Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
  • Respect for privacy
  • Respect for home and the family
  • Education
  • Health
  • Habilitation and rehabilitation
  • Work and employment
  • Adequate standard of living and social protection
  • Participation in political and public life
  • Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
  • Statistics and data collection
  • International cooperation

Articles 33 to 39 focus on procedures for reporting and monitoring of the Convention. Below are the points covered by this article group:

  • National implementation and monitoring
  • Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Reports by States Parties
  • Consideration of reports
  • Cooperation between States Parties and the Committee
  • Relationship of the Committee with other bodies
  • Report of the Committee

Articles 40 to 50 focus on ratification, entry into force, and amendment of the Convention. Below are the points covered by this article group:

  • Conference of States Parties
  • Depositary
  • Signature
  • Consent to be bound
  • Regional integration organizations
  • Entry into force
  • Reservations
  • Amendments
  • Denunciation
  • Accessible format
  • Authentic texts