Disability Convention Receives 100th Ratification - More countries Commit to Realizing Rights of World’s Largest Minority

NEW YORK, 12 May – The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first international human rights treaty of the twenty-first century. On 10 May, Colombia became the 100th country to ratify this Convention. In doing so, it joins the ranks of those countries that now support greater access, backed by their legal systems, for citizens with disabilities to fully participate in the lives of their communities, including the political process and health and education services.

“This is an important milestone for Colombia and for the global community. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a powerful tool for inclusion and development. Let us use it to make concrete improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, commenting on the 100th ratification.

Around 10 per cent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. They comprise the world’s largest minority who are excluded from fully participating in the economic, social, political, legal and cultural life of their communities. To address this inequality, in 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was drafted along with the participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations. At its core, the Convention ensures that persons with disabilities enjoy the same human rights as everyone else. A record number of 82 countries — the highest in the history of a United Nations treaty — signed it on the opening day.

The Convention marks a shift away from the old “medical” view of disability towards a more “social” view that “disability” is a result of the interaction between a person and his/her environment, and not something that resides in the individual as the result of an impairment. An estimated 386 million of the world’s working-age population are disabled, but unemployment among the persons with disabilities is as high as 80 per cent in some countries.

Sha Zukang, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which serves as the secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said: “We are greatly encouraged by this 100th ratification of the Convention. This is a great achievement by the international community in working towards a just and equitable society, based on equality and equal opportunity for all, including persons with disabilities.”

For more information on the work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities, as well as a list of countries that have ratified the Convention, please see www.un.org/disabilities.


Source: UN