Inclusion for All: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Inclusion for All: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Inclusion for All: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Inclusion for All: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Excerpt

For the 650 million people with disabilities worldwide, the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on December 13, 2006, was a landmark. People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority; approximately 10 percent of the world’s population has been identified as having a disability. This population has been discriminated against for centuries, often lives in poverty, and is the most disadvantaged among all minorities—experiencing the most extreme lack of access to education, opportunities for independent living, and employment.

According to UNESCO, 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries have no access to school; the International Labour Organization reports that in some countries the unemployment rate of adults with disabilities is as high as 80 percent. Although the exact number of people with disabilities living in institutions cannot be determined, evidence suggests that hundreds of thousands continue to experience substandard institutional conditions—without therapeutic and rehabilitative services, with threats of physical and sexual abuse, and sometimes coerced by physical restraints. Many residents are held against their will with no hope of due process or of being able to live freely as contributing members of society.

In the face of such conditions, the Convention is a vital, new treaty for the advancement of rights of and opportunities for people with disabilities. It represents the culmination of an unprecedented global exchange of ideas about the universal rights of people . . .

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