A guide to the UN disability convention

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

What does it mean for you?

UNCRPD guideA guide for disabled people and disabled people's organisations

If you are a disabled person, the United Nations Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities (the Convention) is for you.

The Convention is a new international human rights agreement that:

  • recognises that we are all equal. Disabled people have the same rights as everyone else to freedom, respect, equality and dignity.
  • brings together all our basic human rights in one place
  • describes what government has agreed to do to make these rights real.

The Convention was created because often our human rights are not respected and we face many barriers to inclusion in society.

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.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is working hard to raise awareness of the Convention among disabled people, legal advisers and public bodies.

The Commission's role is to ensure Britain makes rapid progress towards making the Convention rights a reality for disabled people. We have produced this guide so that you can find out:

  • What your human rights are and how they are protected.
  • What difference the Convention could make to your life.
  • Hw you can be involved in putting the Convention into practice.
  • How you can use the Convention to challenge injustice and improve services.

This guide is for people living in England, Wales and Scotland. We hope you find it useful.  The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission have produced a separate guide which explains how the Convention will work in Northern Ireland.

Mike Smith
Commissioner and Chair of the Disability Committee
Equality and Human Rights Commission

More details

See also: Conference report from an event to explore what the UNCRPD means for disabled people in Scotland

Last Updated: 08 Jun 2014