Skip navigation links Sitemap | About us | FAQs

UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

Back to: Ad Hoc Committee Main
Ad Hoc Committee Sessions

 

COMPILATION OF PROPOSALS
FOR ELEMENTS OF A CONVENTION

7 January 2004

 

GENERAL COMMENTS

Governments

The European Union:
The preamble should include, inter alia, the following:

  • Recall the universality of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the six core human rights conventions, as well as the related undertakings by states parties.
  • Recall that the Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises that special measures are needed for the full enjoyment of all human rights by children with disabilities as recognised, inter alia, in Article 23.
  • Note the resolutions, declarations and recommendations, adopted by the United Nations and the specialised agencies, that promote the full enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.
  • Recall the principles and policy guidelines contained in the Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Recognise the diversity of persons with disabilities.
  • Emphasise that despite these various instruments, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to the effective enjoyment of human rights.
  • Emphasise the incorporation of a gender perspective in all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities.
  • Express concern that persons with disabilities face discrimination irrespective of the nature of their disability as well as additional challenges due to multiple discrimination.
  • Express concern that the situation of persons with disabilities is often exacerbated in situations of poverty and armed conflict.
  • Recognise the importance of accessibility both to physical environment and to information and communication in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy human rights.


National Human Rights Institutions

African Regional Workshop:
A Preamble to the Convention should:

  • stress the need for a comprehensive rights based Convention;
  • recognise the value and applicability of existing international human rights instruments (both hard and soft) to disability and in particular the United Nations Standard Rules of Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (art. 18(4)), and their link to the Convention; and
  • recognise the impact of dual or multiple discrimination faced by individuals such as, women, children, refugees, minorities or persons with multiple disabilities or other status.

Commonwealth and Asia Pacific Region International Workshop:
The Preamble to the Convention should:

  • stress the need for the Convention;
  • recognise the value and applicability of existing international human rights instruments (both hard and soft) to disability;
  • recognise the impact of dual disadvantage and multiple discrimination faced by individuals such as, women, children or indigenous people with disabilities, or other status, and
  • stress the Convention's links to these instruments and the need for a comprehensive rights based treaty.

IGOs/Regional meetings

Seminar of Quito:
recommended that the following elements should be reflected in the Preamble:

  • Goals and principles of the United Nations Charter,
  • Specific reference to the value of the individual person,
  • The importance of the Convention not only for persons with disabilities but also for society as a whole,
  • Recognition of the progressive development of international law, including legal instruments that are related or not, multilateral or regional,
  • The principle of non-discrimination,
  • Results of United Nations conferences and summits,
  • Recognition of the efforts made by governments and international organizations,
  • Equality of opportunities to guarantee all human rights and incorporation in development with a guarantee of access to the means necessary to equalize opportunities,
  • Special circumstances: poverty, violence, accidents, different levels of development and different national legal systems,
  • Recognition of the significant participation of civil society, of non-governmental organizations and of persons with disabilities and their families.

Meeting of Bangkok:
considered that the following matters might be usefully addressed in a Preamble:

  • Recognition of the value of international human rights guarantees in existing United Nations human rights instruments
  • Recognition of international and regional disability-specific instruments, declarations, norms, and guidelines to promote human rights and non-discrimination against people with disabilities
  • Recognition of the continuing widespread denial to persons with disabilities of their internationally guaranteed human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • Recognition of the fact that, despite the increase in emphasis placed on disability issues by mainstream human rights institutions, the adoption of a new convention is necessary to ensure that the human rights of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations receive adequate attention and action;
  • Recognition of the relevance of the Standard Rules to the interpretation and implementation of the Convention;
  • Recognition of the efforts, achievements and obstacles during the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (1993-2002)
  • Reaffirmation of disability-focused documents such as the Biwako Millennium Framework, the Manila Declaration on Accessible Information and Communication Technologies, the report of the World Summit for Information Society, and other regional instruments.

NGOs

WNUSP:
WNUSP is concerned about the naming of instruments containing outdated or paternalistic norms, which might cause confusion in the interpretation of this convention. The World Programme of Action on Disability and the Standard Rules, as well as the Inter-American Convention on Disability and relevant ILO conventions, should be recognized as antecedents of this human rights convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

SPECIFIC PROPOSALS

Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee

Chair's draft:
Preamble

The States Parties to this Convention,

  1. Emphasizing that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
  2. Recalling that the United Nations has proclaimed and affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights that everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth therein without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status (including disability),
  3. Recognizing that discrimination against any person on the ground of disability is a violation of the inherent dignity of the human person
  4. Noting with great satisfaction that the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities have played an important role in influencing the promotion, formulation, and evaluation of the policies, plans, programs, and actions at the national, regional, and international levels to further the equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities,
  5. Regretting that, despite the considerable efforts made by governments, bodies and relevant organizations since the adoption of the World Program of Action (1983-1992), violations of the human rights of persons with disabilities continue to exist in all parts of the world,
  6. Recognizing that the continued denial of the human rights of persons with disabilities reflects deep-seated, persistent and invidious prejudice and stereotypes that persons with disabilities are incapable and unworthy of participating in and contributing to society and that a principal purpose of this Convention is to ensure that persons with disabilities are perceived as individuals worthy of respect who are full participants in and members of their societies,
  7. Recognizing the importance of the right of self-determination for persons with disabilities, and the right of persons with disabilities to be actively involved in decision-making about the policies and programs that affect them,
  8. Emphasizing the existing and potential contributions made by persons with disability to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities, and that the promotion of the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their human rights and fundamental freedoms and of full participation by persons with disabilities will result in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of their societies and the eradication of poverty,
  9. Noting that women and girls with disabilities, persons with severe and multiple disabilities, persons with intellectual disability, members of minority population groups with disabilities or indigenous persons with disabilities are subjected to multiple forms of discrimination, continued deprivation and neglect, and denial of their rights, and that there are compelling reasons for addressing their particular needs and those of their families,
  10. Believing that a convention dealing specifically with the human rights of persons with disabilities can make a significant contribution to redressing the profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities, in both developing and developed countries,

Hereby agree as follows:

Governments

China:
Preamble

The States Parties to this Convention:

  1. Keeping in mind the fundamental human rights and human dignity and values asserted by the Charter of the United Nations, and determining to promote the great social progress and better living standards of all;
  2. Reaffirming the general principles universally accepted that all human beings are equal in dignity and entitled to all fundamental rights;
  3. Recalling that the Declaration on Rights of Disabled Persons has accorded that persons with disabilities are entitled to equal human dignity and rights and should not be discriminated against;
  4. Affirming the fundamental principles of equality, participation and sharing of persons with disabilities and the specific technical norms for protecting and advancing rights of persons with disabilities by the World Program of Action for Disabled Persons and Standard Rules of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities;
  5. Noting with concern the reality that although with all of these efforts, the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities are still far from being fully realized, in both developed and developing countries;
  6. Recognizing the necessity of specific efforts to be taken for the realization of the fundamental rights, inter alia, the rights to subsistence and development, of persons with disabilities as the most disadvantaged group accounting for one tenth of the world population;
  7. Noting >the current trends of international disability movement, in particular the appeal for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in Beijing Declaration in 2000 by leaders of major international organizations of disabled persons;
  8. Emphasizing the responsibility of States in eliminating obstacles and barriers in all spheres of political, social, economic and cultural life and promoting and safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities and its realization;

EU Proposal:

PREAMBLE

" The States Parties to the present Convention,

Recalling the universality of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, which proclaim and agree that everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth therein without distinction of any kind,

Reaffirming the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),

Recalling that the Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises that special measures are needed for the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by children with disabilities, as recognised, inter alia, in Article 23 of that Convention,

Noting the resolutions, declarations, recommendations and other instruments and decisions adopted by the United Nations and the specialised agencies, that promote the full enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities,

Recalling the principles and policy guidelines contained in the Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, which call upon states to take all appropriate measures, including where appropriate legislation to take action to enhance equal opportunities and to protect and promote the effective enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities in all spheres of life,

Concerned that despite these various instruments and undertakings persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Recognising the diversity of persons with disabilities,

Also concerned that persons with disabilities face discrimination irrespective of the nature of their disability as well as additional challenges due to multiple discrimination, and that women with disabilities are often affected by multiple discrimination,

Recognising the need to incorporate a gender perspective in all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities,

Furthermore concerned that barriers to the full and equal enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities are exacerbated in situations of poverty and armed conflict,

Recognising the importance of accessibility both to the physical and social environment and to information and communication in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Have agreed as follows:"

India:

Preamble

Considering that the United Nations has proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the other Covenants on Human Rights that all persons are entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth therein without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, gender, language, religion, or political or other opinion national or social origin, property, birth, or other status;

Recalling that the Charter of the United Nations recognizes values of all persons on the principles of dignity and equality and resolves to promote the developmental process and better quality of life of all peoples within a broader concept of freedom;

Recognizing also that discrimination against any person on the basis of disability is a violation of the said principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity and that such discrimination prevents the participation of persons with disabilities in civil, social, economic, political and cultural life;

Taking into consideration the international and regional instruments, declarations, norms, and programs adopted to promote human rights and non-discrimination against persons with disabilities, such as -

  1. Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons   -     1971
  2. The Declaration of Rights of Disabled Persons   -     1975
  3. UN Decade of the Disabled   -     1982-1993
  4. The World Programme of Action   -     1983
  5. The Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Healthcare    -      1991
  6. UNESCAP Decade of the Disabled   -     1993-2002
  7. The Standard Rules on the Equalization of    -      1993 Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities;
  8. The Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of   -      1999
    All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities;
  9. The statutes and pertinent instruments from specialized agencies such as the 1983 International Labor Organization's Convention No.159 on the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities;

Notes with appreciation, the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability and the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Recognizing that since the adoption of the World Program of Action (1983-1992), despite the numerous efforts made by governments and relevant organizations within the United Nations system, as well as the efforts of non-governmental organizations aimed at increasing cooperation on integration of and raising awareness on disability, much has still to be done to remove discrimination against persons with disabilities in different parts of the world;

Recognizing that in order to achieve equality of opportunities for persons with disabilities, the exercise of all political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights established in the International Covenants and other instruments of Human Rights, must be guaranteed, as well as their accessibility to physical and social environments;

Emphasizing the responsibility of States to eliminate barriers towards seamless integration and participation in all spheres of social, economic, cultural, and political life - under conditions of equality - and that persons with disabilities are vulnerable to multiple or aggravated discriminations;

Concerned over the fact of the existence of social circumstances that contribute to increasing incidence of disability, which include extreme poverty, lack of adequate healthcare, violence inside and outside the home, accidents, alcohol and drug abuse, exclusion from education and workplaces, systematic violation of human rights, lack of proper sanitation and care during the ageing process as well as during the child-bearing process, neglect, abuse and exploitation.

Committed to take the necessary steps against conditions that cause, facilitate, exacerbate or accentuate certain disabilities;

Acknowledging the important role played by non-governmental organizations and organizations of persons with disabilities and of their parents associations, in the promotion and protection of human rights of persons with disabilities and concerned that greater awareness of and sensitivity to disability issues has to be advocated to significantly improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities;

Conscious of the global movement in favor of proactive policies for persons with disabilities and the efforts undertaken by Governments and NGOs in raising the profile of persons with disabilities;

Motivated by the principles of dignity, equality and nondiscrimination, that are the rights of all human beings, and by the values of autonomy, equal opportunities and solidarity with persons with disabilities;

Have agreed to the following:

Mexico:

Preamble
The States Parties to this Convention:

  1. Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;
  2. Considering that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms the value of the human person based on the principles of dignity and equality inherent to human beings and resolves to promote the social progress and better standards of living of all peoples within a broader concept of freedom;
  3. Recognizing that the United Nations has proclaimed and agreed accorded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights that everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth therein without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status;
  4. Recognizing also that discrimination against all persons for reasons of any disability is a violation of the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity and hinders the participation - under equality of conditions - of persons with disabilities in civil, social, economic, political, and cultural life;
  5. Taking into consideration the international and regional instruments, declarations, norms, and programs adopted to promote human rights and non-discrimination against persons with disabilities, such as: the 1982 World Program of Action for Persons with Disabilities; the 1971 Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons; the 1975 Declaration of Rights of Disabled Persons; the 1991 Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Healthcare; the 1993 Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities; the 1999 Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities; and the statutes and pertinent instruments from specialized agencies such as the 1983 International Labor Organization's Convention no.159 on the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities;
  6. Reaffirming the outcomes of the major United Nations Conferences and Summits and their respective follow-up reviews, particular as they pertain to the promotion of the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, on an equal and participatory basis;
  7. Noting with great satisfaction that the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities have played an important role in influencing the promotion, formulation, and evaluation of the policies, plans, programs, and actions at the national, regional, and international levels to further the equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities;
  8. Stressing the relationship that exists between the present Convention and the Covenants on Human Rights and other human rights instruments, as well as the usefulness of the Standard Rules for implementing the content of this international instrument;
  9. Recognizing that, despite the numerous efforts made by governments, bodies and relevant organizations within the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations aimed at increasing cooperation and integration, as well as raising awareness about questions regarding disability since the adoption of the World Program of Action (1983-1992), these efforts have not been enough to eradicate violations and discrimination against persons with disabilities in different parts of the world;
  10. Recognizing that in order to achieve equality of opportunities for persons with disabilities, the exercise of all political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights established in the International Covenants and other instruments of Human Rights, must be guaranteed, as well as their accessibility to the physical environment;
  11. Emphasizing the responsibility of States to eliminate obstacles and barriers for the full integration and participation in all spheres of social, economic, cultural, and political life - under conditions of equality - for persons with disabilities and vulnerable to multiple or aggravated discrimination;
  12. Concerned over the fact of the existence of social circumstances that contribute to increase the incidence of disability, which include extreme poverty, lack of healthcare attention, violence inside and outside the home, accidents, alcohol and drug abuse, inadequate administration in medical treatment, systematic violation of human rights, lack of proper care during the ageing process, and armed conflicts;
  13. Committed to take the necessary steps to reduce the causes that originate or worsen certain disabilities;
  14. Bearing in mind the importance of raising the development levels and quality of life of the world's population and working toward the strengthening of international peace and security;
  15. Conscious of the world movement in favor of persons with disabilities and the efforts undertaken by these organizations and their representatives in raising awareness and recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities;
  16. Motivated by the principles of dignity and equality intrinsic to human beings and the values of dignity, independence, equality of opportunities, and solidarity with persons with disabilities;

Have agreed to the following:

Venezuela:

Preamble
The States parties to this Convention,

  1. Considering that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms the worth of the person and is based on the principles of dignity and equality inherent in human beings,
  2. Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein,
  3. Considering that all human beings have the right to protection against all forms of discrimination based on status, race, age, sex or disability,
  4. Considering that the States parties to the International Covenants on human rights have the obligation to guarantee to all persons, without distinction or discrimination, equity in the enjoyment of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights,
  5. Recognizing the actions taken and guidelines issued by the various bodies of the United Nations and by the General Assembly aimed at promoting and protecting the quality of life of persons with disability, as set forth in the resolutions, declarations, regulations and recommendations adopted in order to promote the exercise of their rights and promote equality of opportunity,
  6. Bearing in mind the International Labour Organization Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention (No. 159); the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons (General Assembly resolution 2856 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971); the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (General Assembly resolution 3447 (XXX) of 9 December 1975); the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (General Assembly resolution 37/52 of 3 December 1982); the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, "Protocol of San Salvador" (1988); the Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the Improvement of Mental Health Care (General Assembly resolution 46/119 of 17 December 1991); the Caracas Declaration of the Pan-American Health Organization; the Organization of American States (OAS) resolution on the situation of persons with disabilities in the American Hemisphere (AG/RES.1249 (XXIII-0/93)); General Assembly resolution 48/97 of 20 December 1993 on the International Day of Disabled Persons; the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (General Assembly resolution 48/96 of 20 December 1993); the Managua Declaration of December 1993; the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23); the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, adopted in March 1995; the OAS resolution on the situation of persons with disabilities in the American hemisphere (AG/RES.1356 (XXV-0/95)); the Panama Commitment to Persons with Disabilities in the American Hemisphere (AG/RES.1369/XXVI-0/96); the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Convention No. A-65 of 1999); the Declaration on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 2 August 2001; Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/61 on the human rights of persons with disabilities; and General Assembly resolution 56/115 of 19 December 2001 on the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: towards a society for all in the twenty-first century,
  7. Recognizing the progress made through the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Disabled Persons and the proclamation of the United Nations Decade for Persons with Disabilities, 1983-1992,
  8. Considering the recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Human Rights Committee on the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities,
  9. Concerned, however, at the fact that despite these efforts, persons with disabilities continue to be subject to segregation and serious discrimination,
  10. Recalling that discrimination against anyone on the basis of any structural or functional absence or impairment or any temporary or permanent limitation, restriction, obstruction or dysfunction in respect of human beings' relationship to their environment constitutes a violation of the principles of equal rights and respect for human dignity and impedes the participation of persons with disabilities under conditions of equality in social, economic, political and cultural life,
  11. Recognizing that in order to ensure equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities, societies must act to guarantee their access to the physical, economic, social and cultural environment,
  12. Emphasizing that in order to achieve equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities, the exercise of all political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights established in the International Covenants and in other human rights instruments must be guaranteed,
  13. Bearing in mind that in order to guarantee the exercise by persons with disabilities of all the rights enshrined in the International Covenants and in other human rights instruments, all obstacles to their full participation under conditions of equality in all spheres of social, economic, cultural and political life must be removed and their full participation in normal education, sports and employment must be achieved,
  14. Concerned at the fact that extreme poverty, marginalization, social exclusion, war and underdevelopment contribute to the existence of high disability rates, since the great majority of persons with disabilities live in developing countries,
  15. Bearing in mind that, in many cases, disability can be prevented by creating conditions of equity and thus by increasing the level of development and quality of life of the world's people,
  16. Recognizing that the strengthening of international peace and security and the prevention of conflict help reduce the high rates of disability in the world;

Have agreed as follows:

IGO/Regional meetings

Seminar of Quito:

recommended the following additions and changes to the text presented by Mexico:
d) Recognizing also that discrimination against all persons for reasons of any disability is a violation of the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity and hinders, provides an obstacle to and impedes the participation - under equality of conditions - of persons with disabilities in civil, social, economic, political, and cultural life;

In the list of the international and regional instruments, declarations, norms, and programs adopted to promote human rights and non-discrimination against persons with disabilities, should be added ILO conventions 121 and 122 on minimum standards and accidents at work to the 1983 International Labor Organization's Convention no.159 on the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities;

It also recommends that all rules that can strengthen the preamble should be included, and in terms of the 1991 Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness" consider that it may not be completely representative and therefore consider incorporating the Standard Rules recommendation on refusing treatment.

The seminar suggests adding:
"Noting that not all international instruments... adopted to date adequately reflect the current status of current evolution of normative standards related to persons with disabilities."

Recognizing the efforts made by the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations for disability that have assisted in the rules relative to the subject and that have determined the impossibility of eliminating discrimination and achieving the development of persons with disabilities through the existing instruments.

j) Recognizing that in order to achieve equality and equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities, the exercise of all political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights established in the International Covenants and other instruments of Human Rights, must be guaranteed, as well as their accessibility to the physical, social and cultural environment;

l) Concerned over the fact of the existence of social, economic, political and cultural circumstances that contribute to increase the incidence of disability, which include extreme poverty, lack of healthcare attention, violence inside and outside the home, accidents, alcohol and drug abuse, inadequate administration in medical treatment, systematic violation of human rights, lack of proper care during the ageing process, and armed conflicts;

Add environmental factors and risks in the workplace as a generator of disabilities.

Add:
Recognizing that poverty leads to a greater prevalence of disability, which, in turn, generates poverty, such that we must adopt measures to combat it;
Recognizing that factors of age, gender factors and belonging to an ethnic group increase the risk of exclusion and marginalization of persons with disabilities;

Change: Concerned over the fact of the existence of social, economic and political circumstances that contribute to increase the incidence of disability, which include extreme poverty; lack of healthcare attention especially in regard to integrated prevention and rehabilitation; violence inside and outside the home; accidents; alcohol and drug abuse; inadequate administration in medical treatment; systematic violation of human rights; lack of proper care during the ageing process; and armed conflicts which contribute to increasing the incidence of disability;"

n) Bearing in mind the importance of guaranteeing the conditions to achieve development and sustained improvement in the quality of life of the world's population and working toward the strengthening of international peace and security;

Add: Recognizing the rights of self-determination for persons with disabilities, the protagonist role of persons with disabilities in decision-making about the policies and programs that affect them is emphasized.

Bangkok Draft:

The States Parties to this Convention,

  1. Recalling that the United Nations has proclaimed and affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights that everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth therein without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status,
  2. Recognizing also that discrimination against all persons for reasons of any disability is a violation of the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity and hinders the participation - under equality of conditions - of persons with disabilities in civil, social, economic, political, and cultural life,
  3. Taking into consideration the international and regional instruments, declarations, norms, and programs adopted to promote human rights and non-discrimination against persons with disabilities,
  4. Noting with great satisfaction that the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities have played an important role in influencing the promotion, formulation, and evaluation of the policies, plans, programs, and actions at the national, regional, and international levels to further the equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities,
  5. Stressing the relationship that exists between the present Convention and the Covenants on Human Rights and other human rights instruments, as well as the usefulness of the Standard Rules for implementing the content of this international instrument,
  6. Recognizing that, despite the numerous efforts made by governments, bodies and relevant organizations within the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations aimed at increasing cooperation and integration, as well as raising awareness about questions regarding disability since the adoption of the World Program of Action (1983-1992), these efforts have not been enough to eradicate violations and discrimination against persons with disabilities in different parts of the world,
  7. Recognizing that in order to achieve equality of opportunities for persons with disabilities, the exercise of all political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights set forth in the International Covenants on Human Rights and other human rights instruments, must be guaranteed, as well as their accessibility to the physical environment, public transportation and information and communication, including information, communication and assistive technologies,
  8. Emphasizing the responsibility of States to eliminate obstacles and barriers for the full integration and participation in all spheres of social, economic, cultural, and political life -- under conditions of equality -- for persons with disabilities and vulnerable to multiple or aggravated discrimination,
  9. Concerned over the fact of the existence of social circumstances that contribute to increase the incidence of disability, which include extreme poverty, lack of healthcare attention, violence inside and outside the home, accidents, alcohol and drug abuse, inadequate administration in medical treatment, systematic violation of human rights, lack of proper care during the ageing process, environmental aspects and armed conflicts,
  10. Committed to take the necessary steps to reduce the causes that originate or worsen certain disabilities,
  11. Conscious of the world movement in favour of persons with disabilities and the efforts undertaken by these organizations and their representatives in raising awareness and recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities,
  12. Concerned over the fact of the existence of social, economic and political circumstances, which include extreme poverty; lack of healthcare attention especially in regard to integrated prevention and rehabilitation; violence inside and outside the home; accidents; alcohol and drug abuse; inadequate administration in medical treatment; systematic violation of human rights; lack of proper care during the ageing process; environmental factors and risks in the workplace; and armed conflicts which contribute to increasing the incidence of disability,
  13. Recognizing the rights of self-determination for persons with disabilities, the protagonist role of persons with disabilities in decision-making about the policies and programs that affect them is emphasized,
  14. Expressing concern that persons with disabilities continue to be excluded from major United Nations declarations and initiatives,
  15. Recognizing the profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities, in both developing and developed countries, and the important contribution that a convention dealing specifically with the human rights of persons with disabilities could make to redressing this disadvantage;
  16. Recognizing the existing and potential contributions made by persons with disability to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities and that the promotion of the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their human rights and fundamental freedoms and of full participation by persons with disabilities will result in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of their societies and the eradication of poverty,
  17. Emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in ensuring the full enjoyment of persons with disabilities and their full and equal enjoyment in development,
  18. Emphasizing that women and girls with disabilities suffer particular disadvantages, including marginalization and multiple discrimination, and that specific measures are needed to ensure full and effective enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms and full participation on the basis of equality,
  19. Recognizing that the continued denial of the human rights of persons with disabilities reflects deep-seated, persistent and invidious prejudice and stereotypes that persons with disabilities are incapable and unworthy of participating in and contributing to society and that a principal purpose of this Convention is to ensure that persons with disabilities are perceived as individuals worthy of respect who are full participants in and members of their societies,
  20. Recognizing the importance of achieving independent living for persons with disabilities,
  21. Recognizing that persons with severe and multiple disabilities, persons with intellectual disability, members of minority population groups with disabilities or indigenous persons with disabilities are subjected to multiple forms of discrimination, continued deprivation and neglect, and denial of their rights, and that there are compelling reasons for addressing their particular needs and those of their families.

Others/Individuals

In the On-line CONSULTATION organized by DESA, a participant suggested the following additions, changes or comments to the text presented by Mexico:

Subparagraph(c):
Concerned that the exercise of these rights by persons with disabilities has not taken place and that this will require the adoption by States of laws, policies and measures to address the factors impeding the exercise of their rights by persons with disabilities.

Subparagraph (e):
While the citations of previously agreed texts is generally good, many organizations of persons concerned with abuse of psychiatric practices find the citation of 1971 Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons and the 1991 Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Healthcare to be inappropriate since they contain principles that are no longer considered fair or correct.

Subparagraph (j) :
Since accessibility to the physical environment is clearly incorporated into the rights established under the human rights regime, mentioning it implies that it is not an established right. The final phrase should be deleted.

Subparagraph (m):
While prevention is an important issue in a larger context, it should not be included in a Convention on disabilities, which is applied to persons who already have a disability. This text opens the door to a large number of steps, including eugenics, that have serious social and moral implications, as well as linking the Convention to large and often intractable issues like armed conflict. This paragraph should be deleted or the emphasis should be on mitigating the factors that worsen certain disabilities.


Return to top

Previous | Next


Home | Sitemap | About us | News | FAQs | Contact us

United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development