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The text of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) consists of 50 articles. They are as follows:

  • Preamble
  • Art. 1-4: Purpose, framework and commitment
  • Art. 5-32: Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Art. 33: Implementation and monitoring at national level
  • Art. 34-38: Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Art. 39-50: Practical arrangements


The preamble recalls the importance of protecting human rights, and the need to affirm the existence of such rights in a specific agreement


Purpose, framework and commitment (art. 1 to 4)

These articles specify a series of essential elements such as:

  • the need to guarantee all human rights, fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities
  • the meaning of the term "disabled person"
  • the definition of reasonable accommodation and universal design
  • principles of dignity, individual autonomy, freedom of choice, independence, non-discrimination, participation into society, equal opportunities, development of children capacities
  • the commitment of States Parties to the Convention

Rights of Persons with Disabilities (art. 5 to 32)

Sections 5-32 are the body of the Convention. We do not accept here that the titles of articles. These give a clear idea of what items are. For details, it is important to refer to official text of the Convention

  • Art.5 Equality and non-discrimination
  • Art.6 Women with Disabilities
  • Art.7 Children with disabilities
  • Art.8 Awareness
  • Art.9 Accessibility
  • Art.10 Right to Life
  • Art.11 Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies
  • Art.12 Equal recognition before the law
  • Art.13 Access to Justice
  • Art.14 Liberty and security of the person
  • Art.15 Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Art.16 Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
  • Art.17 Protecting the integrity of the person
  • Art.18 Liberty of movement and nationality
  • Art.19 Living independently and being included in the society
  • Art.20 Personal Mobility
  • Art.21 Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
  • Art.22 Respect for privacy
  • Art.23 Respect for home and the family
  • Art.24 Education
  • Art.25 Health
  • Art.26 Habilitation and rehabilitation
  • Art.27 Work and Employment
  • Art.28 Adequate standard of living and social protection
  • Art.29 Participation in political and public life
  • Art.30 Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
  • Art.31 Statistics and data collection
  • Art.32 International Cooperation

Implementation and monitoring at national level (art. 33)

Article 33 has a very special significance: it states how each State Party to the Convention must organise the implementation of the Convention. This article specifically states that persons with disabilities and their representative organisations must be involved in monitoring the implementation of the Convention.

This is a key element: indeed, without an effective monitoring process, the Convention text would be nothing more than beautiful and sympathetic words...


Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (art. 34 to 38)

At international level, a Committee of 18 experts is created and elected for four years. This Committee reviews the reports that are required from the States Parties. Based on this review, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will provide each State Party with recommendations on how to best progress towards achieving the aims of the Convention. The first report of a State Party must be delivered two years after signing the Convention. Subsequent reports must be submitted every four years.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will report its activities to the UN General Assembly every other year.


Practical arrangements (art. 39 to 50)

Articles 39-50 specify all the practical arrangements relating to signature, ratification and entry into force of the Convention. Though essential, they will not be developed here. You can find them in the official text of the Convention


Optional Protocol

States Parties recognise that the Committee is responsible for:

  • Receiving and studying individual or collective "communications"
  • Questioning confidentially any incriminated State Party
  • Helping incriminated States Parties with suggestions and recommendations to correct the situation