The way that our human rights are set out in different documents is complicated. This page links you to some of the key ones.
Disabled people have the same human rights as everyone else.
These are contained in different Declarations, Treaties, Covenants and Acts –
- United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – this is about things like our right to life, justice, and not to be discriminated against, and freedom from inhumane treatment
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – this is about our things like our rights to education, health, food, work and working conditions, political freedoms and participation in social and cultural life.
Together these three documents are known as the “International Bill of Human Rights”.
The Council of Europe – which the UK is a member of – adopted a European Convention on Human Rights to protect the human rights of everyone who lives in the 47 Council of Europe member states. The UK remained a member of the Council of Europe after it’s exit from the European Union in January 2020.
The United Nations has also passed Treaties to show how the rights in these documents should take effect for different groups. There is a Treaty for disabled people’s rights – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.
What is the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People?
Disabled people have their own Convention which sets out how countries should respect and protect our human rights: the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
It in an international Treaty that sets out the rights of disabled people and how these have to be met for disabled people so that we can enjoy the same human rights as everyone else.The Convention covers a wide range of areas including:
- Access to justice
- Personal security
- Independent living
- Access to information.
The full text of UNCRPD is available on the UN website; it is also available in an Easy Read format (pdf)
- See the 50 articles that form the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The United Kingdom Government ‘ratified’ this Convention. This means that they ‘intend’ to deliver legal rights, but it has not been passed into law.
There is also a UK Human Rights Act