UN rights office welcomes150th ratification of disability convention News
UN rights office welcomes150th ratification of disability convention

[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] on Monday celebrated [press release] the 150th ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [official website; text] as Guyana became the latest country ratify the document. Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, on behalf of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, stated that such widespread ratification over the course of six years “highlights the growing awareness that people with disabilities suffer serious gaps in the enjoyment of their rights and that these gaps need to be addressed.” Cisternas went on to say that there was still much work to be done in this area, calling on countries that had not yet ratified to do so. According to UN figures [UN News Centre report] roughly 15 percent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, and these individuals face many barriers that limit their ability to effectively participate in society.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities entered into force [JURIST report] in May 2008 and has been ratified by 150 countries. In 2009 the US ambassador to the UN signed the Convention, a move that came after US President Barack Obama announced [JURIST reports] during a celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990’s [DOJ materials] nineteenth anniversary that the US would sign. The landmark treaty protects the 650 million persons living with disabilities worldwide [UN fact sheet] and holds that all disabled people should be treated as full-fledged citizens and completely integrated into society. The treaty also includes an Optional Protocol [text] granting individuals the right to petition a committee of experts for violations of the Convention after all national procedures have been exhausted.