Article 29 Participation in political and public life

Article 29 says:

  • Disabled people have the same political rights and should be able to enjoy them the same as everyone else.
  • Governments must ensure that it is easy for disabled people:
    • to access polling stations
    • to access material about elections and candidates
    • to vote in secret or with whatever help they need from another person
    • to take up important roles in government and public life (for example being a councillor, a school governor, a magistrate, being an MP or Member of the Scottish Parliament or Assembly Member or helping to run health services locally) – and do them well
    • to form and join disabled people’s organisations.

What does this mean?

It means that disabled people have the right to vote, stand for election and fully and effectively participate in public life. It also means that you have the right to be involved in decisions which affect your human rights.

It also recognises that disabled people’s organisations are important for giving disabled people a voice at international, national, regional and local level.

Public appointments are an important way of involving disabled people in policymaking and decision-making. However, only a small number of public appointments in the UK are filled by disabled people. In 2010 there was a Speaker’s Conference on political representation. It made many recommendations to political parties and Governments about increasing disabled people’s representation. 

The Convention also places a duty on governments to involve disabled people in the implementation and the monitoring of the Convention.

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