​​​​OHCHR and the rights of persons with disabilities

Image showing fingers reading a Braille ballot form. EPA/J.Diges“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is not only an instrument for persons with disabilities. Its principles and provisions benefit the entirety of the human family because it strengthens our responses against exclusion, and segregation and indeed, like the Sustainable Development Goals, it illustrates that reaching the furthest behind first is the key to leaving no one behind.”

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
December 3, 2018, International Day of Persons with Disabilities

About the human rights of persons with disabilities

Persons with disabilities face discrimination and barriers that restrict them from participating in society on an equal basis with others every day. They are commonly denied their rights to be included in the general school system and the workplace, to live independently in the community, to vote, to participate in sport and cultural activities, to enjoy social protection, to access justice, to choose medical treatment and to enter freely into legal commitments such as buying and selling property.

Read more about the human rights of persons with disabilities

OHCHR’s work on the rights of persons with disabilities

OHCHR has a mandate to ensure the inclusion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the United Nations system. The team focuses on providing guidance on the human rights-based approach to disability, including through reporting and activities mandated by the Human Rights Council, in particular, the annual panel on the rights of persons with disabilities.

OHCHR’s work includes:

  • Raising awareness, understanding and recognition of disability as a human rights issue as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Developing guidance on the rights of persons with disabilities and mainstreaming their rights across the United Nations system, including through the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS);
  • Facilitating and aligning policy dialogue on the rights of persons with disabilities among intergovernmental bodies and across humanitarian and development agendas including the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Facilitating engagement and participation of persons with disabilities with United Nations processes, in partnership with representative organisations of persons with disabilities

Read more about OHCHR’s work on the rights of persons with disabilities

Key documents

Training package on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Training Guide and modules can be used together to develop training courses on the Convention and its Optional Protocol. They also serve as helpful resources to better understand the instruments and how they can be used to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

Online: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | русский | Español

Recent reports, publications and resources

OHCHR Guidelines on COVID-19 and the rights of persons with disabilities (2020)
PDF: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | русский | Español

OHCHR human rights indicators on the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2020)

Analytical study on the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change (2020)
A/HRC/44/30 | English easy-to-read format

Awareness-raising under article 8 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2019)
A/HRC/43/27 | English easy-to-read format

Empowering children with disabilities for the enjoyment of their human rights, including through inclusive education (2019)

Habilitation and rehabilitation under article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2019)
A/HRC/40/32 | English easy-to-read-format

Summary report of the consultation on human rights and mental health (2018)

View all OHCHR thematic reports | View all resources and publications


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