This year, the theme “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and Justice for All of Us” is based on the goal of full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by persons with a disability, established by the World Programme of Action concerning persons with a disability, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1982.
Interested communities around the world will take the opportunity today and focus on innovative measures to further implement international norms and standards related to persons with a disability. Communities participating include governmental, non-governmental and the private sector, where they will be promoting greater interest and awareness among interested parties of the social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights of persons with a disability.
The media has especially important contributions to make in support of the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, as well as throughout the year, with the presentation of progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, programmes, projects, and the promotion of public awareness of the contributions by persons with a disability.
This year’s observance is also significant in the international human rights movement given the entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 3 May. The Convention entered into force after it was ratified by 20 countries. Those countries will introduce laws ensuring that persons with a disability are treated fairly. And while the Convention does not require countries to implement measures they cannot afford, it does require them to progressively work toward measures that allow persons with a disability better access to transportation, education, employment and recreation.
Universal principles within the theme of “Dignity and Justice for all of us” have guided the work of the United Nations for the past 60 years, and are preserved in various instruments such as the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in treaties such as the International Covenants on Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Since its inception, the UN has recognized that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Around 10 per cent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. The Convention promotes and protects the human rights of persons with a disability.
For more information about the UN and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, please visit www.un.org.