Development and human rights for all

Human rights of persons with disabilities [E/CN.4/RES/2004/52]

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling that all persons with disabilities have the right to protection against discrimination and to full and equal enjoyment of all human rights, as laid down, inter alia, in the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), 1983 (No. 159) of the International Labour Organization,

Recalling and reaffirming commitments relating to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities made at the major United Nations conferences and summits since 1990 and their follow up processes and stressing the importance of mainstreaming the disability issue in their implementation,

Reaffirming its resolution 2003/49 of 23 April 2003 on human rights of persons with disabilities,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 48/96 of 20 December 1993, by which it adopted the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, and taking note of Assembly resolution 58/132 of 22 December 2003 on the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution 56/168 of 19 December 2001, in which the Assembly established the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities,

Taking note of General Assembly resolution 58/246, of 23 December 2003, in which the Assembly decided that the Ad Hoc Committee would start the negotiations on a draft convention at its third session,

Taking note also of the draft resolutions of the Commission for Social Development of 13 February 2004 on a comprehensive and integral international convention on protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, and on the further promotion of equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities, and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities,

Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination, and convinced of the contribution that a convention can make in this regard,

Welcoming the contributions made thus far by all stakeholders to the process of elaborating an international convention,

Recognizing the considerable contribution of civil society, including non governmental organizations, especially organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as national human rights institutions, in promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities, and welcoming in this regard their active participation in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee,

Recalling the study on human rights and disability submitted to the Commission at its fifty eighth session,

Concerned that persons with disabilities face discrimination and may be affected by multiple discrimination,

Emphasizing the need to include a gender perspective in all efforts to promote and protect the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities,

Expressing grave concern that situations of armed conflict have especially devastating consequences for the human rights of persons with disabilities,

Concerned at the extent of disabilities caused by the indiscriminate use of anti personnel mines and other weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects, and at the long lasting impact of these weapons which prevent the full and effective enjoyment of human rights, particularly among civilian populations, and welcoming increased international efforts to address this issue,

Reaffirming its commitment to ensuring that the human rights of persons with disabilities and their concerns for full participation in all aspects of society continue to be addressed in all of its work,

  1. Urges Governments to take active measures to:
    1. Ensure the full and equal enjoyment by persons with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
    2. Prevent and prohibit all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities; and
    3. Ensure equal opportunities for their full participation in all spheres of life;
  2. Welcomes the report of the Ad Hoc Committee (A/58/118 and Corr.1);
  3. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on progress in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the study on the human rights of persons with disabilities (E/CN.4/2004/74) and requests the Secretary General to make it available to the Ad Hoc Committee;
  4. Calls upon the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to consider in its activities implementing the recommendations that relate to it in the study on human rights and disability, submitted to the Commission at its fifty eighth session, as well as to continue to strengthen collaboration with other United Nations agencies and bodies;
  5. Calls upon the Office of the High Commissioner to report to the Commission at its sixty first session on progress in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the study on human rights and disability and on the achievement of the objectives set forth in the programme of work of the Office in relation to the human rights of persons with disabilities;
  6. Welcomes the contributions and support of the Office of the High Commissioner to the work of the Ad Hoc Committee, and requests the Office to continue these in close collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and also with other relevant bodies and agencies of the United Nations through, inter alia, the provision of information to assist in the formulation of a draft convention;
  7. Also welcomes the work accomplished by the Working Group established by the Ad Hoc Committee in preparing a draft text which would be the basis for negotiations on a draft convention in the Ad Hoc Committee, taking into account all contributions;
  8. Encourages Member States and observers to participate actively in the Ad Hoc Committee in order to present to the General Assembly, as a matter of priority, a draft text of a convention;
  9. Reaffirms its commitment to continue to contribute to the process of elaboration of an international convention by, inter alia, providing its recommendations on the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights of persons with disabilities;
  10. Urges that further efforts be made to ensure the active participation of non governmental organizations in the Ad Hoc Committee, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/510 of 23 July 2002 and based on the decision of the Ad Hoc Committee on the modalities for the participation of non governmental organizations in its work;
  11. Urges Member States, observers, civil society and the private sector to continue to contribute to the voluntary fund established by the General Assembly in resolution 57/229 of 18 December 2002, to support the participation of non governmental organizations and experts from developing countries, in particular from the least developed countries, in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee;
  12. Invites all special rapporteurs, in carrying out their mandates, to take into account the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities;
  13. Underlines the importance of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities for the promotion and protection of the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities and invites the Special Rapporteur on disability of the Commission for Social Development to address the Commission on Human Rights at its sixty first session on her experience in disability and human rights related issues, drawing from the experience gained by her and the panel of experts through monitoring the Standard Rules, and looks forward to a continued involvement of the Special Rapporteur in issues relating to disability within the Commission on Human Rights in order to mainstream a disability perspective;
  14. Invites human rights treaty monitoring bodies to take into account the concerns of persons with disabilities in their lists of issues and concluding observations, to consider drafting general comments and recommendations on the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and to integrate a disability perspective into their monitoring activities;
  15. Urges Governments to address fully the question of the human rights of persons with disabilities in complying with their reporting obligations under the relevant United Nations human rights instruments and welcomes the efforts of those Governments that have begun to do so;
  16. Invites national human rights institutions and non governmental organizations to strengthen their work on human rights and disability, including by participating actively in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee in elaborating a draft convention, and to enhance their level of contributions to the work of the treaty monitoring bodies;
  17. Calls upon all United Nations organizations and specialized agencies and all intergovernmental institutions for development cooperation to integrate a disability and human rights perspective into their activities, including by addressing the problems that exist in creating equal opportunities for persons with disabilities at all levels, and to reflect this in their activity reports;
  18. Requests the Secretary General to include in relevant reports to the General Assembly information on the progress of efforts to ensure the full recognition of and the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities;
  19. Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its sixty first session under the same agenda item.

56th meeting
20 April 2004
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XIV.- E/2004/23 - E/CN.4/2004/127]