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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

Draft Article 4
18, 19

  • States Parties undertake to ensure the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all individuals within their jurisdiction20 without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. To this end, States Parties undertake:
    • to adopt legislative, administrative and other measures to give effect to this Convention, and to amend, repeal or nullify any laws and regulations and to discourage customs or practices that are inconsistent with this convention;
    • to embody the rights of equality and non-discrimination on the ground of disability in their national constitutions or other appropriate legislation, if not yet incorporated therein, and to ensure, through law and other appropriate means, the practical realisation of these rights;
    • to mainstream disability issues into all economic and social development policies and programmes;
    • to refrain from engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with this convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with this Convention;
    • to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the ground of disability by any person, organisation or private enterprise;
    • to promote21 the development, availability and use of universally designed goods, services, equipment and facilities. Such goods, services, equipment and facilities should require the minimum possible adaptation and the least cost to meet the specific needs of a person with disabilities.22
  • In the development and implementation of policies and legislation to implement this convention, States Parties shall do so in close consultation with, and include the active involvement of, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations.


18: Both the Bangkok draft and the Chair's draft included in this section a paragraph on remedies. Some members of the Working Group noted that while the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights includes such a provision, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights did not. It may be difficult, therefore, to include such an article in a convention that elaborates the rights contained in both Covenants. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider this issue further.

19: The issue of progressive realisation of economic, social and cultural rights was raised by several delegations during the Working Group's discussion. The Working Group noted that, consistent with existing international human rights law, the concept would apply to some of the rights in the Convention (the economic, social and cultural rights), but not to others (the civil and political rights). The Ad Hoc Committee will need to consider how best to incorporate this issue into the Convention, and may wish to note the precedent set in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The debate was raised in relation to other articles also.

20: The phrase "within their jurisdiction" will need closer examination by the Ad Hoc Committee. It is taken from Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It may be too inclusive and imply, for example, that rights that are not guaranteed for non-citizens could be extended to non-citizens with disabilities. Article 1(2) of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination may offer an alternative approach, but that may be too exclusive and imply that non-citizens with disabilities do not enjoy any of the protections of this Convention.

21: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether a term that places stronger obligations on States Parties should replace "promote".

22: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether the term "universal design" or its near synonym "inclusive design" should be used here and throughout the Convention. The Ad Hoc Committee may also wish to consider whether this paragraph should remain as part of draft Article 4, be incorporated into draft Article 19, or be a separate article in its own right.

Relevant references:

International human rights conventions and legal instruments

Disability-specific instruments

Jurisprudence of human rights treaty bodies

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