Development and human rights for all

Human Rights Council - Resolution 7/9. Human rights of persons with disabilities

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the most recent of which are resolution 62/170 of 18 December 2007 on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto, and resolution 62/127 of 18 December 2007 on the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights, the most recent of which is resolution 2005/65 of 25 April 2005, as well as those of the Commission for Social Development of the Economic and Social Council,

Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination,

Recognizing that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others,

Recognizing also the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health, education, information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms fully,

Recognizing further the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in every country, particularly in developing countries,

Recognizing that women and girls with disabilities are often subject to multiple discrimination, and emphasizing the need to incorporate a gender perspective in all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities,

1. Reaffirms the need 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, and in this regard, calls upon Governments to take active measures:

(a) To prevent and prohibit all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities;

(b) To ensure, for persons with disabilities, full and effective participation and inclusion, respect for their individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own choices; independence; and equality of opportunity;

2. Welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly on 13 December 2006 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, and expresses the hope that they will enter into force at an early date;

3. Also welcomes the fact that, since the opening for signature of the Convention and Optional Protocol on 30 March 2007, 126 States have signed and 17 have ratified the Convention, and that 71 States have signed and 11 have ratified the Optional Protocol, and calls upon those States and regional integration organizations that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying the Convention and the Optional Protocol as a matter of priority;

4. Further welcomes the attention that several special rapporteurs have paid to the rights of persons with disabilities in carrying out their mandates, and requests special procedures, in carrying out their mandates, to take into account the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities;

5. Encourages the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, and other mechanisms of the Council, to integrate the perspective of persons with disabilities, as appropriate, in carrying out their work and in their recommendations so as to facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the work of the Council;

6. Urges all stakeholders to give consideration to the rights of persons with disabilities at all stages of the universal periodic review, including during the consultations carried out by States at the national level for the preparation of information to be submitted for the review, so as to include national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations representing persons with disabilities in such consultations;

7. Welcomes the attention paid to the rights of persons with disabilities in the work of several human rights treaty monitoring bodies and encourages all such bodies to further integrate the perspective of persons with disabilities in their work, including in their monitoring activities and through the issuing of general comments;

8. Urges Governments to address fully, in consultation with, inter alia, national human rights institutions and organizations of persons with disabilities, the rights of persons with disabilities when fulfilling their reporting obligations under the relevant United Nations human rights instruments, and welcomes the efforts of those Governments that have begun to do so;

9. Welcomes the report of the 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 (A/HRC/7/61) and invites the High Commissioner to continue to provide adequate support for the integration of the perspective of persons with disabilities in the work of the Council and to continue the activities of her Office that contribute to raising awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including in cooperation with the Department for Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat;

10. Encourages States to raise awareness regarding the rights of persons with disabilities, including through public awareness campaigns and training programmes, to combat stereotypes, prejudices, harmful practices and attitudinal barriers relating to persons with disabilities and to promote positive perceptions and greater social awareness of persons with disabilities;

11. Encourages the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take fully into account the progressive implementation of standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services of the United Nations system, also taking into account relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and underlines the need for the Council, including its Internet resources, to be fully accessible to persons with disabilities;

12. Encourages States to take appropriate measures to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities, in particular to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, and to other facilities open or provided to the public, both in urban and rural areas;

13. Welcomes the important role played by national human rights institutions and civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, in the negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and encourages relevant institutions and organizations to continue their efforts to promote understanding of the Convention and, where appropriate, its implementation;

14. Encourages the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner to continue to strengthen its partnerships with and its outreach activities towards civil society organizations, with a particular emphasis on organizations representing persons with disabilities, so as to raise awareness among them about the work of the human rights system;

15. Decides to hold an annual interactive debate in one of its regular sessions on the rights of persons with disabilities and that the first such debate should be held at its tenth session, focusing on key legal measures for ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, including with regard to equality and non-discrimination;

16. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a thematic study to enhance awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focusing on legal measures key for the ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, such as those relating to equality and non-discrimination, in consultation with States, civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, and national human rights institutions, and requests that the study be available on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner, in an accessible format, prior to the tenth session of the Council;

17. Notes that the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its next session a report on the status of the Convention and the Optional Protocol and on the implementation of resolution 62/170, and that it also requested the Secretary-General to submit that report to the Council as a contribution to its discussion of the rights of persons with disabilities;

18. Invites the Special Rapporteur on disability of the Commission for Social Development to continue cooperating with the Council and to address it on activities undertaken pursuant to his/her mandate, in accordance with its programme of work.

40th meeting
27 March 2008
Adopted without a vote.