"Let the World Know"
Report of a Seminar on Human Rights and Disability
Almåsa Conference Centre (Stockholm, November 5-9, 2000)
Published by the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Disability
of the United Nations Commission for Social Development © 2001
VI. General Directions for Mainstreaming the Human Rights of Persons with
Seminar participants agreed on the importance of mainstreaming the human rights of
persons with disabilities throughout the United Nations system, especially human rights
bodies and mechanisms.
Participants noted that the Special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for
Social Development, Dr. Bengt Lindqvist, and the panel of experts, who was appointed to
monitor implementation of the Standard Rules, has managed to achieve meaningful progress
putting forward the issue of disability.
The participants recalled that NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) have direct access to United Nations organs and bodies.
Drawing on the provisions of paragraph 30 of the Commission on Human Rights resolution
2000/51 on Human Rights and Disability, the seminar agreed that:
- Human rights treaty monitoring bodies must be encouraged to review and amend their
existing guidelines to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities that fall
within the scope of individual treaties are fully taken up by the respective treaty bodies
in their work.
- The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should be encouraged to continue
and strengthen its efforts to ensure that States parties report on the measures they have
taken in response to the Committees General Comment No 5 on the rights of persons
with disabilities, to include disability issues in its dialogue with States parties, and
to ensure that States parties respect and ensure the human rights of persons with
disabilities as required by the Covenant.
- Organizations of persons with disabilities, family members and/or advocates should
consider taking advantage of the opportunities for formal participation in United Nations
activities by applying for consultative status with the ECOSOC. The United Nations could
encourage this by ensuring that disability groups are aware of the advantages of such
status and the procedure for applying for status, and assisting them to apply. The
criteria used and the procedures should take into account the special difficulties that
DPOs may have in accessing international fora and the need to ensure that
representative organizations of persons with disabilities, parents and advocates are
granted consultative status.
- The Special Rapporteur on Disability together with the High Commissioner for Human
Rights and the Department for Economic and Social Affairs should examine ways to
strengthen the existing website on Human Rights and Disability, as well as ensuring the
widest possible dissemination of all relevant documents and information in accessible
- The efforts made at the international level towards ensuring human rights of persons
with disabilities should be maintained. In that regard, and in view of the termination of
the Special Rapporteurs mandate in 2002, it was suggested that the Commission on
Human Rights should appoint, at its 58th session (2002), a Special Rapporteur
for Human Rights and Disability in relation to the human rights of persons with
disabilities, with a mandate similar to existing Special Rapporteurs of the Commission to
examine, inter alia, the effective enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social
and cultural rights of persons with disabilities, in order to maintain momentum.
- United Nations agencies and bodies, such as World Health Organization (WHO), United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO and United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF), should be encouraged to pay particular attention to the issue of
disability in their activities as well as in their programmes.
- The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should include issues of
disability and human rights as an integral part of all its work, and in particular, should
consider ways of integrating the question of disability in the design of its technical
- UNESCO should include issues of disability and human rights in the series of activities
it is conducting as part of the International Decade for Human Rights Education.
Return to top