Hesperian Health Guides
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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In December 2006, the United Nations passed a new treaty giving greater rights to persons with disabilities around the world. You can use this new treaty to urge your government to change laws customs and practices that discriminate against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, including civil rights, access to justice, and the right to education, health services, and access to transportation. Specifically, the new treaty says that:
People with disabilities have:
- An equal right to life
- Right to freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse
- Right of equal access to education
- Right to an adequate standard of living and social protection
- Right to own and inherit property, to control financial affairs, and to have equal access to financial services
- Right not to be unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of their liberty
- Right to independent living
- Right to equal participation in public life
- Right to participate in cultural life
- Right to privacy and access to medical records
Women and girls with disabilities have equal rights.
Children with disabilities have a right to protection.
Equipment essential to people with disabilities must be affordable.
Discrimination against people with disabilities must end, including:
- Enforced institutionalization
- Discrimination in the job market
- Discrimination relating to marriage, family, and personal relationships
No medical or scientific experiments can be carried out on people with disabilities without their consent.
Countries that sign the treaty must:
- Change laws and ban discriminatory customs and practices
- Remove barriers to accessing the environment, transport, public facilities, and communication
Developing countries are to be assisted to put the convention into practice.