The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international treaty that describes the rights and freedoms of people around the world who have a disability. All countries that are part of the United Nations - including Canada - must promote, protect and ensure those rights.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is guided by eight principles. These are:
- the freedom to make choices
- the freedom to be independent
- freedom from discrimination
- the right to full and effective participation and inclusion in society
- respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities
- equal opportunity for everyone
- respect for children with disabilities
The purpose of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to:
- protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights
- ensure fundamental freedoms by all persons who have a disability
- promote respect for persons who have a disability
This Convention will be of interest to people who have an intellectual disability and their families and staff. Some of the highlights are:
- People who have a disability have the right to have support they need to ‘exercise their legal capacity’. This means that instead of others making decisions for them; people who have a disability have the right to get help to make their own decisions.
- People who have a disability have the right to live independently, be included in the community, to choose where and with whom to live and to have access to supports they need.
- Students who have a disability have the right to be included in classrooms with other students, and not be segregated.
- People who have a disability can fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others.
The Convention replaces the ideas of barriers, welfare and charity with new rights and freedoms. Canada signed the convention with other countries in March 2007.
Click here for more information about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.