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Consultation and Influence
Disability Awareness in Action
Resource Kit No. 2
Download the Consultation and Influence Kit as a PDF file (143 KB)
Part Two. Documents
List of Documents
"In considering the status of disabled persons with respect to human rights, priority should be placed on the use of United Nations covenants and other instruments, as well as those of other international organisations within the United Nations system that protect the rights of all persons." (WPA/163)Find out which conventions, covenants and protocols your government has ratified. Ask the UN office in your country for an up-to-date copy of Human Rights: Status of International Instruments, a chart of which states have signed what. How does your government compare with others? Is it following the rules or recommendations of the documents it has ratified?
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, 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.Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Article 21
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realisation, through national effort and international cooperation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each state, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.Article 25
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.Article 26
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.Article 27
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.Article 6
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right.Article 7
2. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realisation of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance.Article 12
1. The States parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.Article 13
1. The State Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.Article 7
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.Article 17
1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.Article 23
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognised.
"The purpose of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons is to promote effective measures for prevention of disability, rehabilitation and the realisation of the goals of 'full participation' of disabled persons in social life and development, and of 'equality'. This means opportunities equal to those of the whole population and an equal share in the improvement in living conditions resulting from social and economic development. These concepts should apply with the same scope and with the same urgency t all countries, regardless of their level of development." (Paragraph 1)The main aims of the WPA are prevention, rehabilitation and equalisation of opportunities.
A person is disabled when denied the opportunities generally available in the community that are necessary for the fundamental elements of living, including family life, education, employment, housing, financial and personal security, participation in social and political groups, religious activity, intimate and sexual relations, access to public facilities, freedom of movement and a general style of daily living.Paragraph 71:
Full participation in the basic units of society - family, social groups and community - is the essence of human experience. The right to equality of opportunity for such participation is set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and should apply to all people, including those with disabilities. In reality, however, disabled persons are often denied the opportunities of full participation in the activities of the socio-cultural system of which they are a part. This deprivation comes about through physical and social barriers that have evolved from ignorance, indifference and fear.Paragraph 76:
Many disabled persons are excluded from active participation in society because of doorways that are too narrow for wheelchairs; steps that cannot be mounted leading to buildings, buses, trains and aircraft; telephones and light switches that cannot be reached; sanitary facilities that cannot be used. Similarly, they can be excluded by other types of barriers, for example oral communication which ignores the needs of the hearing impaired and written -information which ignores the needs of the visually impaired. Such barriers are the result of ignorance and lack of concern; they exist despite the fact that most of them could be avoided at no great cost by careful planning. Although some countries have enacted legislation and launched campaigns of public education to eliminate such obstacles, the problem remains a crucial one.Paragraph 89:
Matters concerning disabled persons should be treated within the appropriate general context and not separately. Each ministry or other body within the public or private sector responsible for, or working within, a specific sector should be responsible for those matters related to disabled persons which fall within its area of competence. Governments should establish a focal point (for example, a national commission, committee or similar body) to look into and follow the activities related to the World Programme of Action of various ministries, of other government agencies and of non-governmental organisations. Any mechanism set up should involve all parties concerned, including organisations of disabled persons. The body should have access to decision-makers at the highest level.Paragraph 91:
Member States should increase their assistance to organisations of disabled persons and help them organise and coordinate the representation of the interests and concerns of disabled persons.Paragraph 92:
Member States should actively seek out and encourage in every possible way the development of organisations composed of or representing disabled persons. Such organisations, in whose membership and governing bodies disabled persons, or in some cases relatives, have a decisive influence, exist in many countries. Many of them have not the means to assert themselves and fight for their rights.Paragraph 93:
Member States should establish direct contacts with such organisations and provide channels for them to influence government policies and decisions in all areas that concern them. Member States should give the necessary financial support to organisations of disabled persons for this purpose.Paragraph 110:
In drafting national human rights legislation, and with respect to national committees or similar coordinating national bodies dealing with the problems of disability, particular attention should be given to conditions which may adversely affect the ability of disabled persons to exercise the rights and freedoms guaranteed to their fellow citizens.Paragraph 111:
Member States should give attention to specific rights, such as the rights to education, work, social security and protection from inhuman or degrading treatment, and should examine these rights from the perspective of disabled persons.Action Ideas
1. The term "disabled person" means any person unable to ensure by himself or herself, wholly or partly, the necessities of a normal individual and/or social life, as a result of a deficiency, either congenital or not, in his or her physical or mental capabilities.
2. Disabled persons shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. These rights shall be granted to all disabled persons without any exception whatsoever and without distinction or discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, state of wealth, birth or any other situation applying either to the disabled person himself or herself or to his or her family.
3. Disabled persons have the inherent right to respect for their human dignity. Disabled persons, whatever the origin, nature and seriousness of their handicaps and disabilities, have the same fundamental rights as their fellow-citizens of the same age, which implies first and foremost the right to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible.
4. Disabled persons have the same civil and political rights as other human beings; paragraph 7 of the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons applies to any possible limitation or suppression of those rights for mentally disabled persons.
5. Disabled persons are entitled to the measures designed to enable them to become as self-reliant as possible.
6. Disabled persons have the right to medical, psychological and functional treatment, including prosthetic and orthotic appliances, to medical and social rehabilitation, education, vocational training and rehabilitation, aid, counselling, placement services and other services which will enable them to develop their capabilities and skills to the maximum and will hasten the process of their social integration or reintegration.
7. Disabled persons have the right to economic and social security and to a decent level of living. They have the right, according to their capabilities, to secure and retain employment or to engage in a useful, productive and remunerative occupation and to join trade unions.
8. Disabled persons are entitled to have their special needs taken into consideration at all stages of economic and social planning.
9. Disabled persons have the right to live with their families or with foster parents and to participate in all social, creative and recreational activities. No disabled person shall be subjected, as far as his or her residence is concerned, to differential treatment other than that required by his or her condition or by the improvement which he or she may derive therefrom. If the stay of a disabled person in a specialised establishment is indispensable, the environment and living conditions therein shall be as close as possible to those of the normal life of a person of his or her age.
10. Disabled persons shall be protected against all exploitation, all regulations and all treatment of a discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature.
11. Disabled persons shall be able to avail themselves of qualified legal aid when such aid proves indispensable for the protection of their persons and property. If judicial proceedings are instituted against them, the legal procedure applied shall take their physical and mental condition fully into account.
12. Organisations of disabled persons may be usefully consulted in all matters regarding the rights of disabled persons.
13. Disabled persons, their families and communities shall be fully informed, by all appropriate means, of the rights contained in this Declaration.
1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.Article 6
States Parties recognise the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health. To this end, States Parties shall:
- d Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous.
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parents, legal guardians or any other person who has the care of the child.Article 23
1. States Parties recognise the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.Article 27
1. States parties recognise the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.Article 28
- a Make primary education compulsory and available free to all
- b Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need
- c Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means
- d Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children
- e Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.Article 34
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.Article 39
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child
Each Member shall, in accordance with national conditions, practice and possibilities, formulate, implement and periodically review a national policy on vocational rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons.Article 3
The said policy shall aim at ensuring that appropriate vocational rehabilitation measures are made available to all categories of disabled persons, and at promoting employment opportunities for disabled persons in the open labour market.Article 4
The said policy shall be based on the principle of equal opportunity between disabled workers and workers generally. Equality of opportunity and treatment for disabled men and women workers shall be respected. Special positive measures aimed at effective equality of opportunity and treatment between disabled workers and other workers shall not be regarded as discriminating against other workers.Article 5
The representative organisations of employers and workers shall be consulted on the implementation of the said policy, including the measures to be taken to promote cooperation and coordination between the public and private bodies engaged in vocational rehabilitation activities. The representative organisations of and for disabled persons shall also be consulted.Part III. Action at the National Level for the Development of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services for Disabled Persons
Each Member shall, by laws or regulations or by any other method consisArticle 8
measures with a view to providing and evaluating vocational guidance, vocational training, placement, employment and other related services to enable disabled persons to secure, retain and advance in employment; existing services for workers generally shall, wherever possible and appropriate, be used with necessary adaptations.
Measures shall be taken to promote the establishment and development of vocational rehabilitation and employment services for disabled persons in rural areas and remote communities.Article 9
Each Member shall aim at ensuring the training and availability of rehabilitation counsellors and other suitably qualified staff responsible for the vocational guidance, vocational training, placement and employment of disabled persons.Part IV. Final Provisions
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director General of the International Labour Office for registration.Article II
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.Article 15
At such times as it may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.Article 16
Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.Article 5
Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man, particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment, shall be prohibited.Article 13
Every individual shall have the right to work under equitable and satisfactory conditions, and shall receive equal pay for equal work.Article 16
Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person.Article II
All persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties established in this Declaration, without regard to race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor.Article XI
Every person has the right to preservation of his health through sanitary and social measures relating to food, clothing, housing and medical care, to the extent permitted by public and community resources.Article XIV
Every person has the right to work, under proper conditions, and to follow his vocation freely, insofar as existing conditions of employment permit.Article XVI
Every person has the right to social security which will protect from the consequences of unemployment, old age, and disabilities arising from causes beyond his control that make it physically or mentally impossible for him to earn a living.Article XXII
Every person has the right to associate with others to promote, exercise and protect his legitimate interests of a political, economic, religious, social, cultural, professional, labour union or other nature.
1. It is the duty of every government to ensure and protect the basic rights of all persons to life, a decent standard of living, security, dignity, identity, freedom, truth, due process of law, and justice; and of its people to existence, sovereignty, independence, self-determination, and autonomous cultural, social, economic and political development.
2. It is the duty of every government to respect, implement, enforce, guarantee, preserve and protect, at all times, the following fundamental liberties and rights of people and ensure that such rights and liberties are incorporated in its national constitution beyond impairment or abridgement by statute or executive action:
- a the right to life, liberty and security of person
- b the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
It is the duty of all governments and all peoples to strive actively and continuously for peace...In times of peace, military expenditures shall not exceed the expenditures for education and health.Article 3
It is the duty of government to ensure the autonomous political, economic, social and cultural development of its people.Article 5
7. It is the duty of government to establish and maintain an effective health care delivery system, which incorporates useful indigenous or traditional health systems.Article 6
II. It is the duty of the government to assist physically and mentally disabled persons to lead as normal a life as possible, consistent with their disability, as integrated members of their family and community, to provide them with the best possible therapeutic and medical treatment within its means, to make special provisions to meet their needs, to prevent all forms of neglect, cruelty or exploitation of disabled persons, and to consult with organisations of disabled persons on all matters of direct concern to them.
It is the duty of government to establish an educational system that provides equal education for all citizens of the highest quality within its means, responds to the needs of society, encourages critical thinking and creativity, promotes a scientific culture, inculcates respect for human rights, fosters loyalty to people and country, respects national traditions, and contributes to national development and common good.Article 10
Torture, cruel and degrading treatment or punishment, unexplained disappearances and extralegal executions are crimes against humanity. Consequently, it is the duty of government to recognise the rights of victims of such practices and their families to enforce their claims against those who have perpetrated such acts without limitations in space or time.
Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.Article 3
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Article 8
Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.Article 12
Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.Article 13
Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.Article 14
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.Article 19
To ensure the observance of the engagements undertaken by the High Contracting Parties in the present Convention, there shall be set up:
- a A European Commission of Human Rights, hereinafter referred to as "the Commission".
- b A European Court of Human Rights, hereinafter referred to as "the Court'.
The Commission may receive petitions addressed to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe from any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals claiming to be the victim of a violation by one of the High Contracting Parties of the rights set forth in this Convention, provided that the High Contracting Party against which the complaint has been lodged and declared that it recognises the competence of the Commission to receive such petitions.