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Belgian Disability Forum

Belgium & UNCRPD

Belgium has signed the UNCRPD !

Early in 2003, one of the BDF's first "Belgian" battles consisted in raising the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) among players such as the BDF member organisations and the National High Council for Persons with Disabilities (NHCPD). It is certainly due to the influence of the entire "sector" that Belgium was present at the UN Headquarters in New York, on March 30, 2007, to affix its official signature to the text of the Convention.

For the occasion, BDF's President, Pierre Gyselinck, and the Vice-President of NHCPD, Gisèle Marlière, were among the Belgian delegation. The gesture was important: Belgium was beginning to apply the very principles of the Convention

To sign, what does this imply ?

By signing the text of the UNCRPD, the signatory state agrees to the text of the Convention. This is a formal step. The actual implementation will begin with the ratification.


Belgium has ratified the UNCRPD !

On July 2, 2009, Belgium formally ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the "optional Protocol".

For the Belgian movement of persons with disabilities, this is a key event towards the recognition of the rights of disabled people.

To ratify, what does this means ?

From the moment Belgium has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it has the obligation to respect the content of the articles of the Convention. In practice, this means that it must adapt its entire legislation (laws, decrees, regulations, implementation decrees ...) to conform to the Convention.

Similarly, any new legislation must respect the content of the Convention. The spirit of the Convention will therefore profoundly influence the overall Belgian legislation.


Optional Protocol

Belgium has also signed the "Optional Protocol" to the UNCRPD.

By signing the Optional Protocol, Belgium allows the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to receive requests from individuals or groups of individuals relating to the non-observance of their rights. To introduce a legal action, the person or the group of persons must first exhaust all domestic legal actions.


The following : enforcement process and regular control phases

To sign and subsequently ratify the text of the Convention were significant steps. They showed Belgium’s support for the principles of the Convention as well as Belgium’s will to apply them later on in its laws and regulations.

Since 2009, Belgium has concretely entered the implementation stage of the Convention, for the benefit of all disabled persons, whatever the area and level of governance may be.

This implementation is also subject to the evaluation and recommendations of a committee of experts within the United Nations.