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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

Draft Article 16

  • States Parties undertake to ensure that each child with a disability within their jurisdiction shall enjoy, without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability, the same rights and fundamental freedoms as other children.
  • States Parties recognise that children with disabilities should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and autonomy, and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.
  • States Parties recognise the right of children with disabilities to inclusive care, which shall include:
    • early provision of appropriate and comprehensive services;
    • the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child;
  • Recognising the needs of children with disabilities, assistance extended in accordance with paragraph 3 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child and shall be designed to ensure that a child with a disability has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services, comprehensive [re]habilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to the child's achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or her cultural and spiritual development;
  • Children with disabilities and their parents or other persons caring for or legally responsible for the child shall be provided with appropriate information, referrals and counselling, and information made available in these ways should provide them with a positive view of their potential and right to live a full and inclusive life.


54: Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this draft Article are based on Article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. That Article is a specific elaboration of disability issues in a Convention on children that does not otherwise deal with disabilities. Draft Article 16 of the present text, however, is a specific elaboration of children's issues in a convention where the rest of the text does deal with disabilities. Duplicating Article 23 in this context, therefore, may not adequately deal with the issues faced by children with disabilities. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to revisit this draft Article so that it instead covers issues that affect children with disabilities, but which have not been dealt with elsewhere in the Convention. Examples could include the vulnerability of children with disabilities to sexual abuse and exploitation, of refugee children with disabilities, and of orphan children with disabilities.

Relevant references:

International human rights conventions and legal instruments

Disability-specific instruments

Other documents

Summary of discussions at the Working Group

Comments on the draft text

Back to list of Draft Articles

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