The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) is an international human rights treaty adopted in 2006 that reaffirms that all persons with disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies that all persons with disabilities have the right to participate in civil, political, economic, social and cultural life of the community.

The CRPD clearly stipulates what public and private authorities must do to ensure and promote the full enjoyment of these rights by all people with disabilities. It is legally binding. Crucial provisions of the Convention are determining the development of human rights policies, such as the recognition of full legal capacity, right to community living and to inclusive education. 

The UN CRPD is the first international treaty negotiated with direct participation of its beneficiaries: persons with disabilities and their families. It clearly explains that no decision concerning the rights of persons with disabilities is legitimate unless it is taken by persons with disabilities or with their active and meaningful involvement. The motto of the disability movement – “Nothing about us without us” – is applicable on all the rights of the Convention.

All Member States of the European Union (EU) have ratified the UN UN CRPD. The EU acceded to the CRPD in December 2010 and is committed to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights for all persons with disabilities through the adoption of new legislation, policies and programmes and the review of existing measures.

EU monitoring of the UN CRPD

The UN CRPD provides for the establishment of a national mechanism for independent and transparent monitoring of the country obligations under the Convention which must have a broad mandate to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the rights protected under the Convention. The continuous monitoring by this body of the national human rights situation is an incentive for the government to take seriously the obligations undertaken when ratifying the Convention and show genuine progress in fulfilling them.

The European Union set up the EU monitoring Framework to monitor the UN CRPD. EDF is a full member, together with the European Ombudsman, the European Agency of Fundamental Rights and the European Parliament. The European Commission withdrew itself from the Framework, following the recommendation in the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee to the EU.

Advocating for the UN CRPD