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World Autism Awareness Day
2 April

2017 Theme: "Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination"

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to independence of person and to individual autonomy (article 3). Moreover, the CRPD highlights the right of persons with disabilities to "legal capacity on an equal basis with others and in all aspects of life" (article 12).

Legal capacity is instrumental to the recognition of a person as a human being of full personhood, with the right to take decisions and enter into contracts. However, certain abilities have often been seen as necessary qualifications for full personal autonomy, creating a barrier to full societal inclusion for people with autism.

The WAAD observance, on 31 March 2017, will discuss policies and approaches being implemented with regard to guardianship and the path to self-determination and legal capacity of persons with autism.

The 2017 WAAD observance is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information and Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

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