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Working Group : Compilation of Elements

Chair's Draft Elements of a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities


7 January 2004

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1. This document contains additional Draft Elements for a Preamble submitted to the Working Group by the Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons. These Draft Elements for a Preamble are intended as a further contribution to the deliberations of the Working Group in its work of elaborating a draft convention to be presented to the Ad Hoc Committee.

2. These Draft Elements for a Preamble draw on the many proposals for preambular paragraphs that had been put forward by Governments and non-governmental organisations in their contributions to the work of the Ad Hoc Committee. The proposed elements are intended to address a number of the major reasons lying behind the adoption of a convention and underlining some of the central objectives of the convention, while attempting to be reasonably concise.



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:

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