UN Convention

The UN Ad Hoc Committee for the elaboration of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Rows of people, some wearing headphones, sit at desks. in the background is a large screen.

To promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Convention aims to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis as others.

The Convention marks a major shift in attitudes and approaches to disabled people: Disabled people are people with rights. They are capable of claiming those rights. They are capable of making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension

It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to disabled people. It identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for them to effectively exercise their rights. It identifies areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.

DAA has been involved in promoting a convention since 1992. We collected testimonies from disabled people worldwide to say why it was needed.

These testimonies made a real difference. It was your voice and your experience that made the UN really understand the need for a separate convention.

Useful links are




On 6th March 2009, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay gave a very powerful speech.

Ms. Pillay highlighted the major shift in thinking about disability brought about by the treaty. The Convention “requires us to move away from charity-based or medical-based approaches to disability to a new perspective stemming from and firmly grounded in human rights.

To read the full report and speech click here


Who has signed up? For a full list of countries, go to this page


The DAA publishes the following two papers on subjects related to the UN Convention:


UN Convention Campaign Briefing

The UK Government has not yet ratified the Convention

Go to this page

Crippen on the Convention

It’s official, according to the UK Government, Disabled people are not really human!

Go to this page