Convention on the Fundamental Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Draft (by Holger Kallehauge, President PTU and High Court Judge in Denmark)
The States Parties to the Convention
Considering that in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, including disability,
Recalling General Assembly resolutions 37/52 of 3 December 1982, by which the Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, and 48/96 of 20 December 1993, by which it adopted the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities,
Recalling also Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1998/31 of 17 April 1998 and 2000/51 on the human rights of persons with disabilities,
Reaffirming the outcome of the major United Nations conferences and summits and their respective follow-up reviews, in particular as they pertain to the promotion of the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities as well as their full participation and equality,
Noting with great concern that persons with disabilities are still often among the poorest of the poor and continue to be excluded from the benefits of development, such as education and access to gainful employment and still lack access to the physical environment as well as to information and communication,
Noting with satisfaction that the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities play an important role in influencing the promotion, formulation and evaluation of policies, plans, programmes and actions at the local, national, regional and international levels,
have agreed as follows
Human rights are universal and according to their nature thus include all human beings, among them persons with disabilities.
All people, disabled and nondisabled, are born equal and have the same inalienable rights to life and welfare, education and work, and the right to self-determination, independent living and access to active participation in all aspects of society.
Discrimination of persons with disabilities is an offence to human dignity and a denial of the principles and meaning of the United Nations Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
Persons with disabilities have the right to equality before the law and to equal justice under the law. They also have as part of their legal rights the right to an effective remedy and protection against any discrimination.
No national or international legal instrument, provision of declarations or conventions or part of any such provision or any other legal text should be interpreted in a restrictive sense or in any other way that places persons with disabilities at a disadvantage in any context or offer them less protection than other persons.
Any violation of the fundamental principle of equality or discrimination or other negative differential treatment of persons with disabilities inconsistent with the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities is an infringement of the human rights of persons with disabilities.
It is incumbent upon anyone who does not respect, comply with or act in conformity with the words and meaning of the United Nations Standard Rules of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities to substantiate that such treatment does not constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Whenever a particular group of vulnerable, marginalised or impoverished persons is mentioned in any convention or Human Rights instrument dealing with refugees, displaced persons, migrant workers, ethnic, national or religious minorities, children, women, elderly people or other disadvantaged groups the text shall be read to include persons with disabilities belonging to such a group of persons.
1. For the purpose of examining the progress made by the States Parties in achieving the realisation of the obligations undertaken in the present convention to end all discrimination against persons with disabilities and to guarantee full respect of their human rights in accordance with the Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, there shall be established a Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which shall carry out the function hereinafter provided.
2. The Committee shall consist of 12 disability experts of high moral standing and recognised competence. The members of the committee shall be elected by the States Parties from among their most prominent national leaders of organisations of disabled persons, scholars and scientists and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to gender and equitable geographical distribution as well as to various kinds of impairment.
3. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.
4. The initial election to the Committee shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of the present Convention and thereafter every second year. At least four months before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The Secretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Convention.
5. The elections shall be held at meetings of the States Parties convened by the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which two-thirds of the States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
6. The members of the Committee shall be elected for at term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. The term of 6 of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election the names of these 6 members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting.
7. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or for any other cause can no longer perform the duties of the Committee, the State Party which nominated the member shall appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of the term, subject to the approval of the Committee.
8. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
9. The Committee shall elect its officers for a period of two years.
10. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at the United Nations Headquarters or at any other convenient place as determined by the Committee. The Committee shall normally meet annually. The duration of the meetings of the Committee shall be determined, and reviewed, if necessary, by a meeting of the States Parties to the present Convention, subject to the approval of the General Assembly.
10bis The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.
11. (With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee established under the present Convention shall receive emoluments from the United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide.)
(States Parties shall be responsible for the expenses of the members of the Committee while they are in performance of Committee duties.)
(12. The States Parties shall be responsible for expenses incurred in connection with the holding of meetings of the States Parties and of the Committee, including reimbursement to the United Nations for any expenses, such as the cost of staff and facilities, incurred by the United Nations pursuant to Paragraph 10 of this Article.)
1. States Parties to the present Convention undertake to submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights:
(a) within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned,
(b) thereafter every five years.
1. Reports made under this Article shall indicate factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the degree of fulfilment of the obligations under the present Convention. Reports shall also contain sufficient information to provide the Committee with a comprehensive understanding of the implementation of the Convention in that country.
2. A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not in its subsequent reports submitted in accordance with Paragraph 1 (b) repeat basic information previously provided.
3. The Committee may request from the State Parties further information relevant to the implementation of the Convention.
4. The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly of the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council, every two years, reports on its activities.
5. The States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in their own countries.
In order to foster the effective implementation of the Convention and to encourage international co-operation in the field covered by the Convention:
(a) the specialized agencies and UNICEF shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, UNICEF and other competent bodies as it may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities.
(b) the Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies, UNICEF and other competent bodies, any reports from States Parties that contain a request, or indicate a need, for technical advice or assistance along with the Committee's observations and suggestions, if any, on these requests or indications.
(c) the Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights of persons with disabilities.
(d) the Committee may make suggestions and general recommendations based on information received pursuant to Articles 8 and 9 of this Convention. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be transmitted to any State Party concerned and reported to the General Assembly, together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
1. The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present Convention.
3. The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
4. The present Convention shall be open to accession by all States. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1. Any State Party to the present Convention may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to the States Parties to the present Convention with a request that they indicate whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that within four months from the date of such communication at least one-third of the States Parties favour such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph (1) of this Article shall enter into force when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to this Convention.
3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of this Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be permitted.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to this effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States thereof. Such notification shall take effect on the date on which it is received.
A State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States Members of the United Nations and all States which have signed this Convention or acceded to it of the following
(a) signatures, ratifications and accessions;
(b) the date of entry into force of this Convention and the date of the entry into force of any amendments;
1. This Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of this Convention to all States.