What is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an agreement by countries around the world to make sure that people with disability are treated equally.
The CRPD was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006. It was then opened to signatures on 30 March 2007 and came into force on 3 May 2008, following ratification by the 20th State Party.
Australia ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol on 17 July 2008. By taking this action, the nation joined other countries around the world in a global effort to promote the equal and active participation of all people with disability in society and community life.
What is the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?
The Committee is a body of 18 independent experts who monitor implementation of the CRPD. The members of the Committee serve in their individual capacity, not as government representatives. They are elected from a list of people nominated by the States at the Conference of the State Parties and serve a four-year term, with a possibility of being re-elected for one more term.
What is the Optional Protocol to the Convention?
The Optional Protocol, which came into force at the same time as the CRPD, establishes two additional mandates for the Committee:
- receiving and looking into individual complaints
- handling enquiries where there is reliable evidence that serious violations of the CRPD has occurred.
The guiding principles of the CRPD include:
(a) Respect for everyone’s inherent dignity, freedom to make their own choices and independence
(b) Non-discrimination (treating everyone fairly)
(c) Full participation and inclusion in society (being included in your community)
(d) Respect for differences and accepting people with disabilities as part of human diversity
(e) Equal opportunity
(f) Accessibility (having access to transportation, places and information, and not being refused access because you have a disability)
(g) Equality between men and women (having the same opportunities whether you are a male or female)
(h) Respect for the evolving capacity of children with disabilities and their right to preserve their identity (being respected for your abilities and proud of who you are).
You can find more information on the CRPD at the following websites:
- United Nations CRPD Information Page
- CRPD – English
- Optional Protocols
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Australian Human Rights Commission