Rights of the disabled

A dramatic shift in perspective has taken place over the past decades towards the disabled from an approach motivated by charity to one based on rights. The United Nations has been actively involved in this process.

Important declarations and resolutions

In 1971 and in 1975, the General Assembly adopted two important declarations:

  1. Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons (Adopted 1971)
  2. Declaration of the Rights of Disabled Persons (Adopted 1975)

The year 1981 was proclaimed as the International Year of Disabled Persons (A/RES/36/77) under the theme "full participation and equality" with the elaboration of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (A/RES/37/52).

In 1993, the General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled Standard Rules of the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities, (A/RES/48/96).

Human Rights and Disability

In the Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2000/51 (E/CN.4/RES/2000/51) the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in cooperation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability developed a programme aimed at enhancing the human rights dimension of disability supporting the elaboration of a new convention on the human rights of persons with disabilities strengthening the collaboration with the Special Rapporteur and other relevant UN bodies and agencies.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (GA resolution A/RES/61/106) is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13th December 2006 and came into force on 3rd May 2008.

More UN and Rights of the disabled

CRPD/-

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ex. CRPD/C/11/2

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Country report. Eleventh session.

Human Rights, conventions and declaration

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.