Article 23 - Social security and an adequate standard of living
Background Documents | Article 23 Background
Seventh Session | Sixth
Session | Fourth Session | Third
Working Group | References
SOCIAL SECURITY AND AN ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING97, 98
• States Parties recognise the right of all persons with disabilities to social security, including social insurance, 99 and to the enjoyment of that right without discrimination on the basis of disability, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realisation of this right, including measures to:
a. ensure access by persons with disabilities to necessary services, devices and other assistance for disability-related needs;100
b. ensure access by persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls with disabilities and the aged with disabilities, to social security programmes and poverty reduction strategies, and to take into account the needs and perspectives of persons with disabilities in all such programmes and strategies;
c. ensure access by persons with severe101 and multiple disabilities, and their families,102 living in situations of poverty to assistance from the State to cover disability-related expenses (including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and respite care), which should not become a disincentive to develop themselves; 103
d. ensure access by persons with disabilities to governmental housing programs, including through earmarking percentages of governmental housing104 for persons with disabilities;
e. ensure access by persons with disabilities to tax exemptions and tax benefits in respect of their income; 105
f. ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access life and health insurance without discrimination on the basis of disability.106
• States Parties recognise the right of all persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing, housing and access to clean water,107 and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, and will undertake appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realisation of this right.
97: Some members of the Working Group noted that the meaning of 'social security' differs widely from state to state, and that the scope of the right to an adequate standard of living is much broader that social security. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider this issue further.
98: Some members of the Working Group expressed concern about the capacity of States Parties to implement these provisions. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider inclusion of the concept of progressive realisation in this right if it is not addressed in a paragraph with general application elsewhere in the Convention.
99: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider inclusion of the concept of 'social assistance'.
100: Some members of the Working Group considered that this provision should be strengthened to mention explicitly technical aids to mobility, transfer, auditory or visual perception and other special devices that persons with disabilities require. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether this issue is adequately covered in draft Article 20 on Personal Mobility.
101: Some members of the Working Group questioned the use of the word 'severe' on the grounds either that it was difficult to define or that it was prejudicial. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether to omit it.
102: There was a difference of view among Working Group members as to whether the provisions of this sub-paragraph should be extended to the families of persons with disabilities, and as to how 'family' should be defined. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider this further and with general application to the Convention.
103: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether the provisions of this subparagraph should apply to persons with disabilities generally.
104: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether the phrase "including through earmarking percentages of government housing" is appropriate in the draft Convention. Some members of the Working Group expressed the view that it was too prescriptive and may limit the measures that States Parties could take to ensure access to governmental housing programmes. Some members of the Working Group also considered that non-discriminatory access to privately provided housing should also be specified.
105: Some members of the Working Group expressed the view that this subparagraph is too prescriptive.
106: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider the extent to which States Parties can determine the provision of insurance, which in many countries is typically the domain of the private sector.
107: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider the reference to 'clean water' further. Some members of the Working Group considered that it should be deleted on the grounds that it was not a right guaranteed under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Other members considered that the reference was critical to the treatment and prevention of disabilities, and should be strengthened to include "basic services".