Disabled people campaigned for over 20 years to get their own human rights convention. Many disabled people and their organisations across the world were involved in agreeing its contents.
Like everyone else in the world, disabled people’s human rights have been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948. To that end the Convention does not give disabled people ‘new’ human rights. However, it was recognised that action needed to be taken to ensure rights on paper become rights in everyday reality. Too many obstacles still lead to disabled people’s human rights being abused or neglected.
The aim of a disability convention was to set out the steps which every country in the world should take to remove these obstacles. Many countries – including the UK – agreed that there should be a specific Convention to drive forward real dignity, equality and inclusion for disabled people.
The text of the Convention was agreed at the United Nations (UN) in December 2006. The UK signed the Convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 8 June 2009.