COMPILATION OF INTERNATIONAL NORMS
Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides that States parties recognise "...the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts...". Article 7 (a) refers to the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular, fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind and a decent living for workers and their families.
Article 10 (2) states that "...special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after childbirth." Such protection is important for the prevention of disabilities, as many disabilities occur as a result of problems associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Article 11 (1) has special significance. "States Parties recognise the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions."
Article 12 (1) concerns the "...right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health." In relation to disabled persons, this right may be violated when necessary measures are not taken to prevent malnutrition; when appropriate medical care and rehabilitation services are not provided for disabled persons; when immunisation campaigns to prevent diseases are not carried out; and when people live in overcrowded conditions not conducive to mental health.
Article 13 (1) provides that "States Parties recognise the right of everyone to education." Th is can be interpreted to mean that disabled persons must have effective access to education, which is appropriate to their abilities.
Article 15 (1) (a) recognises the "...right of everyone to take part in cultural life." This right is violated, for example, when access to facilities in which cultural activities take place is inappropriate, like for cinemas, theatres, libraries, sports stadiums, museums etc. or when disabled persons are excluded from participating in cultural life on account of prejudices.
In 1970, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) opened the way for United Nations considerations of individual petitions about human rights violations. In that year, ECOSOC adopted Resolution 1503, Procedure for Dealing with Communications Relating to Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The 1503 Procedures are designed narrowly to address situations which appear to reveal a widespread pattern of gross human rights abuses. The entire hierarchy of United Nations human rights organs are involved in the process: the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Centre for Human Rights in Geneva. The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination is a body of independent experts who serve in their individual capacities.