We hear people talk about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), but how many of us have read it? It’s a big document and not easy to read. It covers every aspect of life and every person of every age. The CRPD matters to all of us. Eventually disability will touch each of us and our family members and friends. So disability rights are everyone’s rights. But not everyone can understand the way it is written. The Easy Read CRPD captures the key content in less words.
The Easy Read version of the CRPD is a great way for most people to get a grasp of the issues. This version by Enable is complete with illustrations.
These documents make for handy ready reference for everyone without having to work through the UN document itself. You can access all documents through the UN website.
There’s also a great two-minute video from the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit. This is very useful for anyone wanting to get the disability rights message across, say, in a training session or group meeting. Different people with disability each list a right that is within the CRPD. Nicely put together and easy to watch.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has an overview of human rights on their website.
UN Strategy for disability inclusion
In the context of “leave no-one behind” the United Nations is keen to live the message of disability inclusion in its own operations. The UN will be better placed to support Member States with their challenges in implementing inclusive practice. The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy spells out what needs to be done.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) is no longer a side event to everything else. Disability inclusion is written into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Strategy was launched in 2019 and the 2020 report provides a first baseline of disability inclusion across the system. The report lays down concrete steps for improvement and to support Member States to implement the CRPD and the SDGs.
Mainstreaming is the key strategy for inclusion and empowerment. It’s about seeing people with disability as agents of change and not a vulnerable population.
There are 15 common indicators against which all UN entities will report annually. It covers leadership, strategic planning and management, inclusiveness, programming and organisational culture. Time to get real about disability inclusion.
You can read on overview on Global Accessibility News.
The full strategy document is available on the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy website. A short video from the Secretary General is below.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities sets out the obligations of signatories to the Convention. Australia is a signatory to the Convention, and the obligations are detailed in separate sections called Articles. The General Principles of the Convention align with the Principles of Universal Design.
Article 3 – General principles
The principles of the present Convention shall be:
- Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;
- Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
- Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
- Equality of opportunity;
- Equality between men and women;
- Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.