14th May 2009
Department for Work and Pensions to ratify new anti-discrimination treaty for disabled people
On 13 May, Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People announced a major UN treaty that will enshrine the human rights of disabled people will soon be ratified by the UK.
Covering all aspects of life, including health, education, employment and access to justice, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) reaffirms that disabled people have – and should be able to enjoy – their human rights on an equal basis with non-disabled people.
Jonathan Shaw said:
I’m pleased to say the Parliamentary processes for ratification are complete, and we are now on track to formally ratify the Convention in June. After careful consideration it remains our view that the handful of reservations and the interpretative declaration are required and we will proceed on that basis. Once ratified we can start implementing the Convention, which will have a positive impact on the lives of disabled people.
The Government has always been very clear about the importance of this Convention. Ratification is a further demonstration of our commitment to ensuring the equality of human rights for disabled people, and our determination to achieve equality by 2025.
Notes to editors
1. The Convention is designed to promote, protect and ensure the human right, freedom and dignity of disabled people. It explicitly sets out the rights that disabled people have and should be able to enjoy on the same basis as other people – for example, the right to dignity, freedom, equality and justice. It also provides direction on how human rights should be interpreted from the perspective of disabled people all over the world.
2. Government has been working towards ratification since signature of the Convention in March 2007. As part of that process all Government Departments and the Devolved Administrations have considered the compliance of their legislation, policies and programmes against the requirements of the Convention. The Parliamentary processes necessary for ratification are now complete, and the final steps are being taken so that the Convention can be formally ratified in June.
3. Government will be working closely with disabled people and their organisations on implementation of the Convention, and will be exploring how to raise awareness, and how to take forward monitoring and reporting processes.
For more information, please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website
(Source – News Distribution Service for Government and the Public Sector)