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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 14 - Liberty and security of the person

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Third Session


Compilation of proposed revisions and amendments made by the members of the Ad Hoc Committee to the draft text presented by the Working Group as a basis for negotiations by Member States and Observers in the Ad Hoc Committee

(updated after the completion of the first reading at the Fourth Session, 26 August 2004)



Article 10
Liberty and security of the person

1. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities:

(a) Enjoy the right to liberty and security of the person, without discrimination [based on disability — Jordan];

(b) Are not deprived of their liberty6 unlawfully7 or arbitrarily, and that any deprivation of liberty shall be in conformity with the law, and in no case shall be based (solely — Canada) on disability.8

((c) When lawfully deprived of liberty measures shall be taken to ensure that they receive rehabilitation while under confinement — Uganda)

2. States Parties shall ensure that if persons with disabilities are deprived of their liberty (through a civil or criminal procedure — Mexico), they are:

qa) Treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner that (the degree of the violation of freedom against persons with disabilities should not exceed the general standard and proper provision of conveniences such as the measure for ensuring a meeting with the guardian, assistive tools and due medical service should be properly secured — Republic of Korea) takes into account [the needs they have because of — Jordan] (the challenges they encounter due to — Jordan) their disabilities; (fully respecting their rights in conditions of equality — Costa Rica)

(b) Provided with adequate information in accessible formats as to (the applicable law and — China) (their legal rights and — New Zealand) the reasons for their deprivation of liberty (at the time this occurs — New Zealand);

(c) Provided with prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance to:

(i) Challenge the lawfulness of the deprivation of their liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority (in which case they shall be provided with a prompt decision on any such action);

(ii) [Seek regular review of the deprivation of their liberty; — Japan]

(d) [[Provided with compensation in the case of unlawful deprivation of liberty, [[or deprivation of liberty based on disability, — Japan] contrary to this Convention. — China] — EU, Mexico, Canada]

(Compensated following determination by an appropriate authority that the deprivation of liberty has been unlawful. — EU)

(The States Parties shall assure to persons with disabilities within their jurisdiction effective protection and remedies, through the competent national tribunals and other State institutions, against any unlawful deprivation of liberty which violates his human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to this Convention, as well as the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such acts. — Mexico)

((e) States Parties shall guarantee that when persons with disabilities are detained or imprisoned that they be placed in a site adapted to their particular circumstances of disability respecting their right to participate in all activities necessary for them to be reincorporated in social life— Colombia)


(i) States Parties shall accept the principle that forced institutionalization of persons with disabilities is illegal, save in exceptional circumstances in accordance with the procedures established by law and with the application of appropriate legal safeguards.

(ii) The law shall provide that in any case of forced institutionalization of persons with disabilities, the best interests of the person concerned will be fully taken into account. — EU)

(3. Any person with a disability who has been victim of unlawful deprivation of liberty shall have an enforceable right to compensation — Canada, Lebanon)

(4. The States Parties shall commit to make a thorough revision of their legal frame, in criminal and civil matters as well as in execution of sentences, in order to take into consideration the different types of disabilities and adapt their legal frame to guarantee the respect of the human rights of the persons with disabilities who are deprived of their freedoms for the commission of a crime — Mexico)




6. The jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee (see, for example, General Comment No. 8) notes that States interpret deprivation of liberty too narrowly, so that it applies only to the criminal justice system. The right to liberty and security of persons, however, applies to all deprivations of liberty, whether in criminal cases or in other cases such as, for example, mental illness or intellectual disability, vagrancy, drug addiction, educational purposes or immigration control. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider: (a) whether civil and criminal cases should be dealt with separately; (b) whether the text needs further elaboration on civil cases of deprivation of liberty; and (c) whether, for criminal cases, the clauses in this text dealing with procedural matters need strengthening (see also article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

7. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to discuss whether the wording of paragraph 1 (b) does or does not prohibit civil commitment, and whether it should.

8. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider adding a provision that obliges States to reform laws and procedures that perpetuate the arrest and detention of persons with disabilities on the basis of disability.





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