Handbook for Parliamentarians on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Handbook for Parliamentarians (PDF version; also available in FrenchSpanish, Russian, Arabic, Nepali, and Uzbek)




Chapter 1: Overview

Chapter 2: The Convention in detail

Chapter 3: Monitoring the Convention and the Optional Protocol

Chapter 4: Becoming a party to the Convention and Optional Protocol

Chapter 5: National legislation and the Convention

  • Incorporating the Convention into domestic law
    • The meaning of signing and ratifying
    • Incorporation through constitutional, legislative and regulatory measures
    • Types of equality and non-discrimination legislation
  • The content of legislative measures
    • Critical elements
    • Linking implementing legislation to the Convention
    • Types of disability to be addressed in legislation
    • “Reasonable accommodation” as a cornerstone of legislation
    • Special measures
    • Discrimination by State authorities, private persons and corporations
    • Specific areas for legislative reform
    • Intellectual property laws and ensuring access to books, films and other media
    • Legislation recognizing national sign language(s)
    • Complaints procedures under national law
  • Procedural measures to promote implementation
    • Undertake a comprehensive review
    • Ensure that all laws are consistent with the Convention
    • Engage persons with disabilities in the legislative process
    • Involve provincial or state-level parliaments

Chapter 6: From provisions to practice: implementing the Convention

Chapter 7: Creating national institutions to implement and monitor the Convention

  • Focal points
  • Coordination mechanisms
  • National human rights institutions
    • The relationship between the Convention and national human rights institutions
    • Types of national human rights institutions
    • The Paris Principles
    • Potential functions of a national human rights institution
    • National human rights institutions and complaints mechanisms
    • Establishing an appropriate institution
  • Parliamentary oversight
    • Parliamentary committees
    • Commissions of inquiry
    • Direct questioning of ministers
    • Scrutiny of executive appointments
    • Oversight over non-governmental public agencies
    • Budgetary scrutiny and financial control
  • The courts and the role of the judiciary
    • Judicial protection of rights


Annex I: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Annex II: Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

About the publishers

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