New guide to UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Commission seeks assurance from Government that the treaty will be fully implemented

19 July 2010

A new guide to the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRDP) has been published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission today.

The Commission's guide will help disabled people to know what their rights are and how to use them. It will help people to challenge injustices and improve services for themselves and others and will help organisations understand what their responsibilities are.

The Convention, which was signed by the UK Government last year, sets out disabled peoples basic rights in one place.  It covers health, education, employment, access to justice, personal security, independent living and access to information.

The UN convention also describes what the Government has agreed to do to make these rights real. It has until next July to report back to the UN on its progress on this agreement. The Commission's guide also sets out how organisations can report to the UN.

Mike Smith, Chair of the Commission's Disability Committee, said:

'The UK signed up to this treaty just over a year ago and we will continue to work with the government to make sure that it is implemented fully'.

'The Convention is not just a paper "declaration" without any teeth. It requires government to take action to remove barriers and give disabled people real freedom, dignity and equality. We can use it in lots of different ways to make sure our rights are respected and to get a better deal'.

'Our role is to ensure Britain makes rapid progress towards making the Convention rights a reality for disabled people.  You and your organisation can get involved in telling people about these rights.  The more people who know what the Convention says, the more likely it is that disabled people will be treated fairly.'

The guide can be viewed online and copies of the guide downloaded

Printed copies of the guide can also be ordered via the Commission's helpline, either by telephone or textphone: -

England: Telephone: 08456 046 610 Textphone: 08456 046 620
Scotland: Telephone: 08456 045 510 Textphone: 08456 045 520
Wales: Telephone: 08456 048 810 Textphone: 08456 048 820

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For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.

For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Notes to Editors

Equality and Human Rights Commission 

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Information about the convention can be found in the Human Rights area of our site, and more detailed information can be found on the United Nation's website: