Article 8 Awareness-raising

Article 8 says:

  • Governments should take immediate, effective and appropriate steps to:
    • raise awareness throughout society, including at family level, and to encourage respect towards disabled people
    • eliminate prejudice and abuse against disabled people
    • raise awareness of the value of the contribution disabled people make to society.

These steps include – but are not limited to – public awareness campaigns, building positive attitudes into education, influencing the portrayal of disabled people in the media, and promoting disability equality training, including awareness of the legal rights of disabled people.

What does this mean?

Disabled people can enjoy full human rights only if society changes its attitude towards, and its expectations of, disabled people. This won’t happen by itself. Article 8 highlights four important steps that governments and other public bodies should take to bring about a culture change, including the need to promote disability equality training.

You can use this Article to promote disability equality training for policymakers and decision-makers (local and national) so that they know how to respect, protect and promote the human rights of disabled people so that disabled people can reach their potential in society and that their contributions are valued.

Example: Need for awareness-training about disabled people and their rights

It is very important that doctors and other medical professionals are aware of disabled people’s rights under the Convention. For example, if they place a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order on disabled people’s medical records without their consent, this may breach their right to life. Also, doctors should not make assumptions about the quality of life of disabled people.

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