The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights agreement written by and for disabled people.

It is for people who have a long-term physical, mental, learning or sensory impairment who may face barriers to participating equally in society.

The Convention places obligations on the UK and Scottish Governments to take steps to make sure disabled people enjoy their human rights in the same way as others.

Disabled people and the Commissions play an important role to protect, promote and monitor the implementation of these rights.

If you, your family members or friends have a disability, this Convention offers useful information and encouragement. It guides you and your family – and friends who want to help you – in exercising your rights. It also defines the actions governments must take to help all people with disabilities realise their rights.

It is important to remember that the rights in this Convention are not new rights. They are the same human rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities guarantees that these rights are respected for people with disabilities.

General principles

The principles (main beliefs) of this Convention are:

  • Respect for everyone’s inherent dignity, freedom to make their own choices and independence
  • Non-discrimination (treating everyone fairly)
  • Full participations and inclusion in society (being included in your community)
  • Respect for differences and accepting people with disabilities as part of human diversity
  • Equal opportunity
  • Accessibility (having access to transportation, places and information, and not being refused access because you have a disability)
  • Equality between men and women (having the same opportunities whether you are a girl or a boy)
  • Respect for the evolving capacity of children with disabilities and their rights to preserve their identity (being respected for your abilities and proud of who you are)