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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Documents and contributions
NGO Participation



New York, 16 to 27 June 2003



Mr. Chairman,

1. The Chinese Government has all along supported the drafting of a Comprehensive Convention to Protect and Promote the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. We are pleased to note that governments, inter-governmental organizations and NGOs have participated more actively in the discussions on the formulation of the Convention since last meeting and have thus had a better understanding of a number of issues. We hope to see substantial progress in the formulation of the draft Convention during this session. The Chinese Government will continue to play its active role in this regard, including the holding, in conjunction with UNESCAP, of an Asia-Pacific inter-governmental meeting on the Convention at an appropriate time later this year.

2. In 1990, the Law of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Protection of Rights of Disabled Persons was promulgated and implemented, in which the fundamental rights of disabled persons as equal citizens in the society were clearly stipulated and the responsibilities and obligations in guaranteeing the rights of disabled persons that government and civil society should undertake were also set forth. To advance the implementation of the Law, local authorities have also formulated, promulgated and implemented supplementary regulations. The Chinese Government has also taken a series of legislative and administrative measures. China has promulgated legal instruments such as the Regulations on Education for Disabled Persons and Regulations on Employment for Disabled Persons, set a compulsory approval procedure for the design and construction of accessible public infrastructure and facilities and increased inputs in poverty alleviation for the disabled persons. In order to improve the overall living standard of disabled persons, the Chinese Government has incorporated its work for disabled persons into the national programs for social and economic development. Up till now, four Five-year Work Programs for Disabilities have been drafted and carried out. These measures have been proved effective in ensuring the rights of disabled persons, thus greatly improving the living standard of disabled citizens in China.

3. In recent years, we have witnessed a steady development in the organizations of disabled persons in China. These organizations have played active roles both at home and abroad. They have advocated and safeguarded the rights and interest of people with disabilities, promoted the work for the disabled persons and involved in the decision-making and consultation on the formulation of laws and regulations for disabled persons. They have also exerted influence on many activities such as advocating an international convention on the rights and dignity for the people with disabilities.

4. The rights of the disabled persons and the affirmative actions and necessary supplementary measures need lawfully be guaranteed. As for hundreds of millions of disabled persons in developing countries, we should not only map out a promising vision for them but take specific measures to bring about the goal as well.

5. The Chinese Delegation appreciates and supports the views and comments of delegates of many countries especially those from developing countries. We are in favor of drafting a Convention, which should be a comprehensive, integral and legally binding instrument in its nature and should also include all major rights for disabled persons, including their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. We believe that the human rights norms universally accepted by the international community should also be applied to people with disabilities, although they have their specialty and different priority in terms of economic, social and cultural development. Therefore, the convention should include such elements of fundamental human rights while paying attention to ensuring disabled persons' rights to basic living needs and their right to development. Particular attention should also be given to their right of access to education, rehabilitation and medical care and employment. It is hoped these special needs for the disabled peoples will be ensured in the developing countries.

6. China believes that the future convention should include the following provisions:

  • Formulate and implement laws and other legal instruments to protect the rights and dignity for disabled persons;
  • Provide appropriate legal support for disabled persons;
  • Encourage and support the establishment and growth of organizations of disabled persons;
  • Incorporate the work for people with disabilities into the national macro-economic and social development programs;
  • Universal design and construction to create accessible buildings, roads, transport system, information and public services;
  • Provide compulsory and other forms of educational opportunities to people with disabilities in an inclusive manner;
  • Provide various rehabilitation and medical care services;
  • Take all kinds of measures to encourage and support the disabled persons in job-seeking or self-employment on labor market;
  • Help disable persons living in poverty, especially those in rural areas get rid of poverty by ensuring them of stable income through production and by guaranteeing a social relief and security system for the disabled persons living in poverty.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

June 2003

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