COUNCIL OF Brussels, 16 September 2008
THE EUROPEAN UNION PUBLIC
12892/2/08 REV 2 (en)
PESC 1107 COHOM 91 CONUN 91 SOC 484
No. Cion doc.:
COM(2008) 530/final/2 VOL. I
Subject: Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION concerning the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Brussels, 2.9.2008 COM(2008) 530 final/2
Ce document annule et remplace le COM(2008) 530 final du 29.8.2008.
La référence interinstitutionnelle devant se lire (CNS) au lieu de (COD) Concerne toutes les versions linguistiques
Proposal for a
concerning the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
This United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol were adopted on 13 December 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly. On the basis of negotiating directives adopted by the Council on 24 May 2004, the Commission conducted the negotiation of the Convention on behalf of the European Community.
On 27 February 2007, the Commission presented a proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (COM(2007)77).
The Council Decision dated 27 March 2007 (ST07404/07) authorised the Community to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and issued a declaration on the Optional Protocol (Annex II of the Decision) stating that the Council of the European Union shall reconsider the question of signing the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the European Community as soon as possible. The Commission signed the Convention on 30 March 2007.
On 3 May 2008, the Convention and its Optional Protocol entered into force. Since the Optional Protocol has not yet been signed, its accession should be proposed. Two proposals, one for concluding the Convention, the other for acceding to the Optional Protocol, are therefore required.
Articles 13, 26, 47(2), 55, 71(1), 80(2), 89, 93, 95 and 285 in conjunction with the second sentence of the first paragraph of Article 300(2), and the first subparagraph of Article 300(3)
of the Treaty establishing the European Community are chosen as the legal basis.
Pursuant to Article 300(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Council shall act unanimously when the agreement covers a field for which unanimity is required. In this case, unanimity is required by Article 13 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Pursuant to Article 300(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Council shall conclude agreements after consulting the European Parliament. The European Parliament shall deliver its opinion within a time-limit which the Council may lay down according to the urgency of the matter.
Proposal for a
concerning the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 13, 26, 47(2), 55, 71(1), 80(2), 89, 93, 95 and 285 in conjunction with the second sentence of the first paragraph of Article 300(2), and the first subparagraph of Article 300(3) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission1,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament2,
(1) In May 2004, the Council authorised the Commission to conduct negotiations on behalf of the European Community concerning the United Nations Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities;
(2) The UN Convention and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006 and entered into force on 3 May 2008;
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
1.The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is hereby approved on behalf of the Community, subject to a reservation in respect of Article 27.1 thereof.
2.The text of the UN Convention is contained in Annex 1 to this Decision. The text of the reservation is contained in Annex 2.
1.The President of the Council is hereby authorised to designate the person(s) empowered to deposit, on behalf of the European Community, the instrument of formal confirmation of the Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in accordance with Article 41 of the UN Convention.
2.When depositing the instrument of formal confirmation, the designated person(s) shall, in accordance with Articles 44.1 and 46.1 of the Convention, deposit the declaration and reservation set out in Annex 2 to this Decision.
1.In respect of matters falling within the Community's competence, the Commission shall be a focal point for matters related to the implementation of the UN Convention in accordance with Article 33.1 of the UN Convention.
2.Community institutions may establish a coordination mechanism in accordance with Article 33.1 of the UN Convention.
3.The Council shall decide on the basis of a Commission proposal on designation or establishment of a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms, as appropriate to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the Convention in respect of matters falling within the competence of the Community, in accordance with Article 33.2 of the UN Convention
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in accordance with Articles 35.1 and 35.2 of the UN Convention. The Commission is empowered to establish the modus operandi for this reporting mechanism.
2.Community institutions shall decide by common agreement on the reporting modalities in respect of the implementation of the UN Convention by the Institutions.
In respect of matters falling within the Community's competence, the Commission shall represent the Community at meetings of the bodies created by the UN Convention, in particular the Conference of Parties referred to in Article 40 thereof, and shall act on its behalf concerning questions falling within the remit of those bodies.
The Council may decide on the basis of a Commission proposal to submit an amendment to the UN Convention, on behalf of the Community, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in accordance with Article 47.1 of the UN Convention.
The Council may decide on the basis of a Commission proposal to submit written notification on denunciation of the UN Convention, on behalf of the Community, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in accordance with Article 48 of the UN Convention.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The States Parties to the present Convention,
(a) Recalling the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations which recognize the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
(b) Recognizing that the United Nations, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, has proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind,
(c) Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and
interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination,
(d) Recalling the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,
(e) Recognizing that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others,
(i) Recognizing further the diversity of persons with disabilities,
(j) Recognizing the need to promote and protect the human rights of all persons with disabilities, including those who require more intensive support,
(k) Concerned that, despite these various instruments and undertakings, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the world,
(l) Recognizing the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in every country, particularly in developing countries,
(m) Recognizing the valued existing and potential contributions made by persons with disabilities to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities, and that the promotion of the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their human rights and fundamental freedoms and of full participation by persons with disabilities will result in their enhanced sense of belonging and in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of society and the eradication of poverty,
(n) Recognizing the importance for persons with disabilities of their individual autonomy and independence, including the freedom to make their own choices,
(o) Considering that persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programmes, including those directly concerning them,
(p) Concerned about the difficult conditions faced by persons with disabilities who are subject to multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic, indigenous or social origin, property, birth, age or other status,
(u) Bearing in mind that conditions of peace and security based on full respect for the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations and observance of applicable human rights instruments are indispensable for the full protection of persons with disabilities, in particular during armed conflicts and foreign occupation,
(v) Recognizing the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms,
(w) Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he or she belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the International Bill
of Human Rights,
(x) Convinced that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State, and that persons with disabilities and their family members should receive the necessary protection and assistance to enable families to contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities,
(y) Convinced that a comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities will make a significant contribution to redressing the profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities and promote their participation in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres with equal opportunities, in both developing and developed countries,
Have agreed as follows:
"Language" includes spoken and signed languages and other forms of non spoken languages;
"Discrimination on the basis of disability" means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation;
"Reasonable accommodation" means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
"Universal design" means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. "Universal design" shall not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed.
The principles of the present Convention shall be:
(a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons;
(c) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
(d) Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
(b) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities;
(c) To take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes;
(d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with the present Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the present Convention;
(e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability by any person, organization or private enterprise;
(f) To undertake or promote research and development of universally designed goods, services, equipment and facilities, as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, which should require the minimum possible adaptation and the least cost to meet the specific needs of a person with disabilities, to promote their availability and use, and to promote universal design in the development of standards and guidelines;
(g) To undertake or promote research and development of, and to promote the availability and use of new technologies, including information and communications technologies, mobility aids, devices and
technologies, suitable for persons with disabilities, giving priority to technologies at an affordable cost;
(h) To provide accessible information to persons with disabilities about mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, including new technologies, as well as other forms of assistance, support services and facilities;
(i) To promote the training of professionals and staff working with persons with disabilities in the rights recognized in the present Convention so as to better provide the assistance and services guaranteed by those rights.
5.The provisions of the present Convention shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.
Equality and non-discrimination
1.States Parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law.
2.States Parties shall prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all grounds.
3.In order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, States Parties shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided.
4.Specific measures which are necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of the present Convention.
Women with disabilities
1.States Parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
2.States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development, advancement and empowerment of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the present Convention.
Children with disabilities
(b) To combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age, in all areas of life;
(c) To promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities.
2.Measures to this end include:
(a) Initiating and maintaining effective public awareness campaigns
(i) To nurture receptiveness to the rights of persons with disabilities;
(ii) To promote positive perceptions and greater social awareness towards persons with disabilities;
(iii) To promote recognition of the skills, merits and abilities of persons with disabilities, and of their contributions to the workplace and the labour market;
(b) Fostering at all levels of the education system, including in all children from an early age, an attitude of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities;
(c) Encouraging all organs of the media to portray persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with the purpose of the present Convention;
(d) Promoting awareness-training programmes regarding persons with disabilities and the rights of persons with disabilities.
1.To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all
(b) To ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;
(c) To provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities;
(d) To provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;
(e) To provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
(f) To promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
(g) To promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet;
(h) To promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.
Right to life
States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
provide for appropriate and effective safeguards to prevent abuse in accordance with international human rights law. Such safeguards shall ensure that measures relating to the exercise of legal capacity respect the rights, will and preferences of the person, are free of conflict of interest and undue influence, are proportional and tailored to the person's circumstances, apply for the shortest time possible and are subject to regular review by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body. The safeguards shall be proportional to the degree to which such measures affect the person's rights and interests.
5.Subject to the provisions of this article, States Parties shall take all appropriate and effective measures to ensure the equal right of persons with disabilities to own or inherit property, to control their own financial affairs and to have equal access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit, and shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not arbitrarily deprived of their property.
Access to justice
1.States Parties shall ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others, including through the provision of procedural and age-appropriate accommodations, in order to facilitate their effective role as direct and indirect participants, including as witnesses, in all legal proceedings, including at investigative and other preliminary stages.
2.In order to help to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities, States Parties shall promote appropriate training for those working in the field of administration of justice, including police and prison staff.
Liberty and security of person
1.States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others:
(a) Enjoy the right to liberty and security of person;
(b) Are not deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily, and that any deprivation of liberty is in conformity with the law, and that the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty.
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
1.States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender-based aspects.
2.States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision of information and education on how to avoid, recognize and report instances of exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive.
3.In order to prevent the occurrence of all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, States Parties shall ensure that all facilities and programmes designed to serve persons with disabilities are effectively monitored by independent authorities.
4.States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection services. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the person and takes into account gender- and age-specific needs.
5.States Parties shall put in place effective legislation and policies, including women- and child-focused legislation and policies, to ensure that instances of exploitation, violence and abuse against persons with disabilities are identified, investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.
Protecting the integrity of the person
Every person with disabilities has a right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity on an equal basis with others.
2.Children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the
right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents.
Living independently and being included in the community
States Parties to the present Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that:
(a) Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
(b) Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
(c) Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.
States Parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including by:
(a) Facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost;
(b) Facilitating access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost;
(a) Providing information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities in a timely manner and without additional cost;
(b) Accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and all other accessible means, modes and formats of communication of their choice by persons with disabilities in official interactions;
(c) Urging private entities that provide services to the general public, including through the Internet, to provide information and services in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities;
(d) Encouraging the mass media, including providers of information through the Internet, to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities;
(e) Recognizing and promoting the use of sign languages.
Respect for privacy
1.No person with disabilities, regardless of place of residence or living arrangements, shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence or other types of communication or to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation. Persons with disabilities have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
2.States Parties shall protect the privacy of personal, health and rehabilitation information of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
Respect for home and the family
disabilities in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.
3.States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have equal rights with respect to family life. With a view to realizing these rights, and to prevent concealment, abandonment, neglect and segregation of children with disabilities, States Parties shall undertake to provide early and comprehensive information, services and support to children with disabilities and their families.
4.States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. In no case shall a child be separated from parents on the basis of a disability of either the child or one or both of the parents.
5.States Parties shall, where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, undertake every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family setting.
1.States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning directed to:
(a) The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;
(b) The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;
(c) Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.
3.States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development
skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:
(a) Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;
(b) Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;
(c) Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.
4.In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate
measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.
5.States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities.
States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services that are gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation. In particular, States Parties shall:
of persons with disabilities through training and the promulgation of ethical standards for public and private health care;
(e) Prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in the provision of health insurance, and life insurance where such insurance is permitted by national law, which shall be provided in a fair and reasonable manner;
(f) Prevent discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disability.
Habilitation and rehabilitation
1.States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures, including through peer
support, to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life. To that end, States Parties shall organize, strengthen and extend comprehensive habilitation and rehabilitation services and programmes, particularly in the areas of health, employment, education and social services, in such a way that these services and programmes:
(a) Begin at the earliest possible stage, and are based on the multidisciplinary assessment of individual needs and strengths;
(b) Support participation and inclusion in the community and all aspects of society, are voluntary, and are available to persons with disabilities as close as possible to their own communities, including in rural areas.
2.States Parties shall promote the development of initial and continuing training for professionals and staff working in habilitation and rehabilitation services.
(c) Ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise their labour and trade union rights on an equal basis with others;
(d) Enable persons with disabilities to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programmes, placement services and vocational and continuing training;
(e) Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the labour market, as well as assistance in finding, obtaining, maintaining and returning to employment;
(f) Promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the development of cooperatives and starting one's own business;
(g) Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector;
(h) Promote the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector through appropriate policies and measures, which may include affirmative action programmes, incentives and other measures;
(i) Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities
in the workplace;
(j) Promote the acquisition by persons with disabilities of work experience in the open labour market;
(k) Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and return-to- work programmes for persons with disabilities.
2.States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others, from forced or compulsory labour.
(c) To ensure access by persons with disabilities and their families living in situations of poverty to assistance from the State with disability-related expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and respite care;
(d) To ensure access by persons with disabilities to public housing programmes;
(e) To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to retirement benefits and programmes.
Participation in political and public life
States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others, and shall undertake:
(a) To ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected, inter alia, by:
(i) Ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use;
(ii) Protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote by secret ballot in elections and public referendums without intimidation, and to stand for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate;
(iii) Guaranteeing the free expression of the will of persons with disabilities as electors and to this end, where necessary, at their request, allowing assistance in voting by a person of their own choice;
(a) Enjoy access to cultural materials in accessible formats;
(b) Enjoy access to television programmes, films, theatre and other cultural activities, in accessible formats;
(c) Enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services, and, as far as possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance.
2.States Parties shall take appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential, not only for their own benefit, but also for the enrichment of society.
3.States Parties shall take all appropriate steps, in accordance with international law, to ensure that laws protecting intellectual property rights do not constitute an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier to access by persons with disabilities to cultural materials.
4.Persons with disabilities shall be entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and deaf culture.
5.With a view to enabling persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities, States Parties shall take appropriate
(a) To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent possible, of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all levels;
(b) To ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to organize, develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources;
(b) Comply with internationally accepted norms to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and ethical principles in the collection and use of statistics.
2.The information collected in accordance with this article shall be disaggregated, as
appropriate, and used to help assess the implementation of States Parties' obligations under the present Convention and to identify and address the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in exercising their rights.
3.States Parties shall assume responsibility for the dissemination of these statistics and ensure their accessibility to persons with disabilities and others.
1.States Parties recognize the importance of international cooperation and its promotion,
in support of national efforts for the realization of the purpose and objectives of the present Convention, and will undertake appropriate and effective measures in this regard, between and among States and, as appropriate, in partnership with relevant international and regional organizations and civil society, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities. Such measures could include, inter alia:
(a) Ensuring that international cooperation, including international development programmes, is inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities;
(b) Facilitating and supporting capacity-building, including through the exchange and sharing of information, experiences, training programmes and best practices;
(c) Facilitating cooperation in research and access to scientific and technical knowledge;
3.Civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, shall be involved and participate fully in the monitoring process.
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
1.There shall be established a Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereafter referred to as "the Committee"), which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
2.The Committee shall consist, at the time of entry into force of the present Convention, of twelve experts. After an additional sixty ratifications or accessions to the Convention, the membership of the Committee shall increase by six members, attaining a maximum number
of eighteen members.
3.The members of the Committee shall serve in their personal capacity and shall be of high moral standing and recognized competence and experience in the field covered by the present Convention. When nominating their candidates, States Parties are invited to give due consideration to the provision set out in article 4, paragraph 3, of the present Convention.
4.The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems, balanced gender representation and participation of experts with disabilities.
5.The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by the States Parties from among their nationals at meetings of the Conference of States Parties. At those meetings, for which two thirds of States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
6.The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of entry into force of the present Convention. At least four months before the date of each election, the Secretary- General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit the nominations within two months. The Secretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the State Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Convention.
7.The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election once. However, the term of six of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these six members shall be chosen by lot by the chairperson of the meeting referred to in paragraph 5 of this article.
the importance of the Committee's responsibilities.
13.The members of the Committee shall be entitled to the facilities, privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
Reports by States Parties
1.Each State Party shall submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a comprehensive report on measures taken to give effect to its obligations under the present Convention and on the progress made in that regard, within two years after the entry into force of the present Convention for the State Party concerned.
2.Thereafter, States Parties shall submit subsequent reports at least every four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.
3.The Committee shall decide any guidelines applicable to the content of the reports.
4.A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not, in its subsequent reports, repeat information previously provided. When preparing reports to the Committee, States Parties are invited to consider doing so in an open and transparent process and to give due consideration to the provision set out in article 4, paragraph 3, of the present Convention.
5.Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under the present Convention.
Consideration of reports
1.Each report shall be considered by the Committee, which shall make such suggestions and general recommendations on the report as it may consider appropriate and shall forward these to the State Party concerned. The State Party may respond with any information it chooses to the Committee. The Committee may request further information from States Parties relevant to the implementation of the present Convention.
2.If a State Party is significantly overdue in the submission of a report, the Committee may notify the State Party concerned of the need to examine the implementation of the present Convention in that State Party, on the basis of reliable information available to the Committee, if the relevant report is not submitted within three months following the notification. The Committee shall invite the State Party concerned to participate in such examination. Should the State Party respond by submitting the relevant report, the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article will apply.
1.Each State Party shall cooperate with the Committee and assist its members in the fulfilment of their mandate.
2.In its relationship with States Parties, the Committee shall give due consideration to ways and means of enhancing national capacities for the implementation of the present Convention, including through international cooperation.
Relationship of the Committee with other bodies
In order to foster the effective implementation of the present Convention and to encourage international cooperation in the field covered by the present Convention:
(a) The specialized agencies and other United Nations organs shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies and other competent bodies as it may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their respective mandates. The Committee may invite specialized agencies and other United Nations organs to submit reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities;
(b) The Committee, as it discharges its mandate, shall consult, as appropriate, other relevant bodies instituted by international human rights treaties, with a view to ensuring the consistency of their respective reporting guidelines, suggestions and general recommendations, and avoiding duplication and overlap in the performance of their functions.
Report of the Committee
The Committee shall report every two years to the General Assembly and to the Economic and Social Council on its activities, and may make suggestions and general recommendations based on the examination of reports and information received from the States Parties. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be included in the report of the Committee together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the depositary of the present Convention.
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States and by regional integration organizations at United Nations Headquarters in New York as of 30 March 2007.
Consent to be bound
The present Convention shall be subject to ratification by signatory States and to formal confirmation by signatory regional integration organizations. It shall be open for accession by any State or regional integration organization which has not signed the Convention.
Regional integration organizations
1."Regional integration organization" shall mean an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by the present Convention. Such organizations shall declare, in their instruments of formal confirmation or accession, the extent of their competence with respect to matters governed by the present Convention. Subsequently, they shall inform the depositary of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.
2.References to "States Parties" in the present Convention shall apply to such organizations within the limits of their competence.
3.For the purposes of article 45, paragraph 1, and article 47, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the present Convention, any instrument deposited by a regional integration organization shall not
4.Regional integration organizations, in matters within their competence, may exercise their right to vote in the Conference of States Parties, with a number of votes equal to the number of their member States that are Parties to the present Convention. Such an organization shall not exercise its right to vote if any of its member States exercises its right, and vice versa.
2.Reservations may be withdrawn at any time.
1.Any State Party may propose an amendment to the present Convention and submit it to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall communicate any proposed amendments to States Parties, with a request to be notified whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and deciding upon the proposals.
In the event that, within four months from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of two thirds of the States Parties present and voting shall be submitted by the Secretary- General to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval and thereafter to all States Parties for acceptance.
2.An amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the number of instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States Parties at the date of adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, the amendment shall enter into force for any State Party on the thirtieth day following the deposit of its own instrument of acceptance. An amendment shall be binding only on those States Parties which have accepted it.
3.If so decided by the Conference of States Parties by consensus, an amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article which relates exclusively to articles 34, 38, 39 and 40 shall enter into force for all States Parties on the thirtieth day after the number of instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States Parties at the date of adoption of the amendment.
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary- General of the United Nations. The denunciation shall become effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
1.Declaration of the European Community in application of Article 44(1) of the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The current members of the European Community are the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, Romania, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This Declaration indicates the competences transferred to the Community by the Member States under the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the areas covered by the Convention.
The Community has shared competence as regards action to combat discrimination on the ground of disability (Article 13), free movement of goods, persons, services and capital (Article 26, Articles 45-48 and Article 55), agriculture (Articles 36-37), transport by rail, road, sea and air transport (Article 71 and Article 80), State aid (Articles 87-88), indirect taxation (Article 93), internal market (Article 95), equal pay for male and female workers (Article 141), and statistics (Article 285). Pursuant to Article 125, Member States and the Community shall work towards developing a coordinated strategy for employment. Pursuant to Article 149 the Community shall contribute to the development of quality of education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action. Pursuant to Article 150, the Community shall implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States. Pursuant to Article 158 in order to promote its overall harmonious development, the Community shall develop and pursue its actions leading to the strengthening of its economic and social cohesion.
than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat, amending Directives 70/156/EEC and 97/27/EC (OJ L 125, 13.2.2002, p.1)
Council Directive 91/439/EEC of 29 July 1991 on driving licences (OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 1 24)
Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system (O J L 235, 17.09.1996, p. 6-24) as amended by Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 (O J L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 114-163 )
Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans European conventional rail system (O J L 110, 20.04.2001, p. 1-27) -as amended by Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004.
(OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 114-163 )
Directive 2003/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 April 2003 amending Council Directive 98/18/EC on safety rules and standards for passenger ships - OJ
L 123, 17.5.2003, p. 18 21.
Directive 2003/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003 on the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers, amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 and Council Directive 91/439/EEC and repealing Council Directive 76/914/EEC (OJ L 226, 10.9.2003, p. 4 17)
Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC)
No 295/91 (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 46, 17.2.2004, p. 1 8)
Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air, Text with EEA relevance. (OJ L 204, 26.7.2006 p.1)
Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 377, 27.12.2006, p. 1 175)
Commission Regulation (EC) No 8/2008 of 11 December 2007 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 as regards common technical requirements and administrative procedures applicable to commercial transportation by aeroplane (Text with EEA relevance ) (OJ L 10,
12.1.2008, p. 1 206)
Commission Decision 2008/164/EC of 21 December 2007 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to `persons with reduced mobility' in the trans- European conventional and high-speed rail system (OJ L 64, 7.3.2008, p. 72 - 205)
Directive 95/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 June 1995 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to lifts (OJ L 312, 7.9.1995, p.1)
Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medical products for human use, as amended by Directive 2004/27/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 (OJ L 136, 30.4.2004, p.34)
Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (Framework Directive) (OJ L 108, 24.4.2002, p. 33)
Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive) ( OJ L 108, 24.4.2002, p. 51)
Directive 2007/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 amending Council Directive 89/552/EEC on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 332, 18.12.2007, p. 27)
Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/2002 of 12 December 2002 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to State aid for employment (OJ L 337, 13.12.2002, p. 3)
procedure provided for in Article 28(6) of Directive 77/388/EEC (OJ L 314, 15.11.2006, p.
Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ L 347, 11.12.2006, p.1)
Council Directive 86/378/EEC of 24 July 1986 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes (86/378/EEC) (OJ L 225,
12.8.1986, p. 40)
Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast) (OJ L 204, 26.7.2006 p. 23)
Council Decision 2006/544/EC of 18 July 2006 on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (OJ L 215, 5.8.2006, p. 26)
Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (Directive on electronic commerce) (OJ L 178, 17.7.2000, p.1)
Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (OJ L 167, 22.06.2001 p.10)
Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of services (OJ L 15, 21.1.1998, p.14) as amended by Directive 2002/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 June 2002 amending Directive 97/67/EC with regard to the further opening to competition of Community postal services. (OJ L 176, 05.7.2002, p. 21)
Directive 2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (OJ L 134, 30.04.2004, p.1)
Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning (OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p.45)
Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (OJ L 277,
Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No. 259/68 of 29 February 1968 laying down the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European Communities (OJ L 56, 4.3.1968, p. 1)
The scope and the exercise of Community competence are, by their nature, subject to continuous development and the Community will complete or amend this declaration, if necessary, in accordance with Article 44.1 of the Convention.
2.Reservation concerning Article 27.1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities
In relation to Article 27.1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the European Community invites Parties to the Convention to take note of Article 3(4) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation. This provision gives Member States of the European Community the possibility to provide that the Directive, in so far as it relates to discrimination on the grounds of disability, shall not apply to the armed forces.
Therefore, the conclusion by the European Community of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is without prejudice to the right conferred on Member States by Community law, provided that such right is exercised in conformity with Community law, so as to exclude armed forces from the scope of application of the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of disability.