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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 2 - Definitions

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Jurisprudence of human rights treaty bodies

CESCR: Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
HRC (ICCPR): Human Rights Committee
CERD: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
CEDAW: Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
CAT: Committee Against Torture
CRC: Committee on the Rights of the Child

Article 2

CESCR General Comment no. 5 (Persons with disabilities), para. 3:
There is still no internationally accepted definition of the term "disability". For present purposes, however, it is sufficient to rely on the approach adopted in the Standard Rules of 1993, which state:
“The term ‘disability’ summarizes a great number of different functional limitations occurring in any population ... People may be disabled by physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, medical conditions or mental illness. Such impairments, conditions or illnesses may be permanent or transitory in nature”.

CESCR General Comment no. 5 (Persons with disabilities), para. 4: In accordance with the approach adopted in the Standard Rules, this General Comment uses the term "persons with disabilities" rather than the older term "disabled persons”. It has been suggested that the latter term might be misinterpreted to imply that the ability of the individual to function as a person has been disabled.

CESCR General Comment no. 5 (Persons with disabilities), para. 15: …For the purposes of the Covenant, "disability-based discrimination" may be defined as including any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference, or denial of reasonable accommodation based on disability which has the effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of economic, social or cultural rights.



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