Ratify the Disability Convention

In 2006 the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Organisations like MDAC advocated for its adoption and now we must advocate for countries to ratify the Convention and implement it so that the Convention fulfils its huge potential. On 3 May 2008 the Convention came into force. Now is the time for action to ensure the Convention is ratified and implemented!

Some people have pointed out that the human rights of people with intellectual and mental health disabilities are already protected by existing human rights treaties. Why is there a need for a specific Convention? The need is simple. Until the Convention, people with disabilities were virtually invisible: to the societies in which they lived and to the international community. The long years of its drafting process highlighted this invisibility, the routine abuse to which they were exposed, and the need for immediate change. It also highlighted the Convention’s potential to ensure that disability is, from now on, viewed through the lens of human rights and not through that of charity or medicine. It is only when the human rights of people with disabilities are recognised and protected without discrimination that the potential of the Convention will be fulfilled.

Pressure from civil society led to the drafting and adoption of the Convention. Now we must urge that all governments to take the next step: to agree formally to respect the rights of all people with disabilities. Join MDAC and our colleagues at RatifyNow and take action!

How can you participate?

Many people remain unaware of the Convention and its potential. Please help us raise awareness of it in your country. Talk about it to your friends, to your children, and to your colleagues. Encourage national discussion by contacting your local media, tell them why they should write about it, and why their readers will be interested in it.

Public pressure increasingly influences governments. Please contribute to this pressure by writing a letter to governments that have still not ratified the Convention asking that they do so. For suggestions about points to raise in your letter, click here.

Our campaigns rely on credible information on the human rights situation of people with intellectual or mental health disabilities. If you would like to tell us about your human rights experiences as a person with a disability or those of someone else, we would welcome your comments. These can be made by following the link to our feedback box. Your confidentiality is assured.

Help MDAC to continue to fight for the rights of people with disabilities by donating to MDAC.


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