The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities marks a major international milestone in the effort to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
The Convention (http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=259), along with an Optional Protocol, was adopted on 13 December 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. There were 82 signatories to the Convention, 44 signatories to the Optional Protocol, and one ratification of the Convention. This is the highest number of signatories in history to a UN Convention on its opening day. It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional integration organizations.
The Convention marks a 'paradigm shift' in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It came into force on May 3, 2008 following the 20th ratification of Convention, and the Optional Protocol 10 ratifications.