A legal framework for our rights – a closer look at the UNCRPD

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The UNCRPD and EBU – Making Rights a Reality

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol is THE landmark comprehensive human rights convention and international development tool and is at the heart of the disability rights movement. We should also remind ourselves that it is a legally binding instrument that aims to protect and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. It was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and entered into force on 03 May 2008. There are currently 177 ratifications to the CRPD and 92 ratifications to its Optional Protocol.

The CRPD has of course been a cornerstone of EBU’s work since it came to be, and we have not only based much of our work around the rights it enshrines, but also specifically worked on the treaty itself and how it can assist our members in their own campaigning and advocacy work, at an international, national, local and even individual level.

The International Disability Alliance - the CRPD in practice; progress made and work still to do

Throughout the past 15 years, since the adoption of the CRPD, States Parties have made advancements to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Convention continues to provide a roadmap for States Parties in the formulation of legislation, strategies, policies and programmes that promote equality, inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities. Additionally, the United Nations, together with Member States, Organisations of People with Disabilities and other stakeholders, have also been mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities in development and human rights frameworks.

Making the CRPD work at EU level

Despite of all our common agreed values and treaties, and the fact the EU and its Member States have signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, persons with disabilities continue to face multiple obstacles and discrimination in everyday life, preventing them from enjoying the fundamental freedoms and rights.

During the past year I worked as the rapporteur on the report on the protection of persons with disabilities, calling on the European Commission and Member States to implement a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring that the Member States are in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Currently, I am working on the file “Towards equal rights for people with disabilities”. MEP Alex AGIUS SALIBA,

An example at National level - the CRPD is most valuable in advocacy work in Sweden

The CRPD is an important tool in the work of SRF (EBU Member for Sweden) for an equal and accessible society. The rights in the CRPD empower Persons with Disabilities and the Disability movement in Sweden.

The Swedish legal system is characterised by dualism. Which implies that the UN conventions are implemented by the legislator and not as in certain countries, where a private person can invoke the convention in judicial courts.