UN General Assembly adopts International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
13 December 2006 - On 13 December, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It requires countries to ensure that people with disabilities are granted equality under the law and freedom from discrimination, and is a milestone in the fields of disability and human rights. The ratification process for this legally binding instrument is expected to begin in March 2007. In addition to the Convention itself, States will be able to ratify an "Optional Protocol" to the Convention. A committee of experts is established by the Convention to monitor its implementation. This committee will engage in dialogue with ratifying States and will formulate specific recommendations for steps to be taken to remain in compliance with the Convention. The committee will then be able to review claims by, or on behalf of, alleged victims of violations of the Convention as well as undertake enquiries in cases where it has reliable evidence of gross and systematic violations of the rights of people with disabilities. WHO welcomes the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is committed to work to ensure that it is widely known and understood. WHO also looks forward to working with the committee to support its reporting system to ensure effective implementation of the Convention.