The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the first international, legally binding instrument setting minimum standards for rights of people with disabilities.

The Convention is a human rights treaty designed by representatives of the international community - including people with disability, government officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and others - to change the way people with disability are viewed and treated in their societies.

The Convention challenges people worldwide to understand disability as a human rights issue. The Convention covers many areas where obstacles can arise, such as physical access to buildings, roads and transportation, and access to information through written and electronic communications. The Convention also aims to reduce stigma and discrimination, which are often reasons why people with disability are excluded from education, employment and health and other services.

For the first time, a legally binding international instrument now exists to guarantee that States that have ratified the treaty will promote and protect the rights of people with disability. These States will next work on passing their own national civil rights legislation to improve the lives of people with disability.

  • Over 1 billion people live with some form of disability
  • The number of people with disability are dramatically increasing. This is due to demographic trends and increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes.
  • Almost everyone is likely to experience some form of disability ─ temporary or permanent ─ at some point in life.
  • People with disability are disproportionately affected during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • If health services for people with disability exist, they are invariably of poor quality or under resourced.
  • There is an urgent need to scale up disability services in primary healthcare, particularly in rehabilitation interventions.

Mai Pham