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Disability Inclusive Grantmaking is the mission of DFN: inclusion of disability in grantmaking programs and inclusion of people with disabilities in grantmaking organizations.

U.N. Convention

U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

About the Convention

  • www.un.org/disabilities
    Current information on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol – information, documents, status and activities
  • Fact Sheet on Persons with Disabilities
    Global overview of disability facts
  • From Exclusion to Equality: Realizing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Handbook for parliamentarians
  • Promoting the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Rehabilitation International’s publication, International Rehabilitation Review, has published a special edition focused on promoting the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). People with disabilities, advocates, disability experts, and human rights experts, all contributed 20 articles to the December 2007 edition.

Latest News

House Resolution Calls for Ratification of U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities!

On May 1, the House of Representatives introduced House Resolution 1169, “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should become an international human rights leader by ratifying and implementing certain core international conventions.”

Amongst those international conventions specifically mentioned was the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

From the resolution:

“Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that:

  1. the United States recommits to fighting discrimination, xenophobia, human and civil rights abuses in both domestic and foreign policy;
  2. the United States should give thorough review to domestic policy and legislative proposals that would improve the rights and lives of marginalized communities within the United States;
  3. the Senate should give its advice and consent to the ratification of the… UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol….”

Read the rest of the resolution. [from AAPD]

Comparison of ADA to CRPD

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on May 3, 2008. In order to clarify the potential impact of that Convention’s articles, the National Council on Disability (NCD) is pleased to release “Finding the Gaps: A Comparative Analysis of Disability Laws in the United States to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).” This independent analysis was commissioned by NCD to increase understanding of how the CRPD varies from, or is consistent with, U.S. disability laws. It is a useful tool to those determining public policy on possible support or ratification of this treaty. The document can be found at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2008/doc/ncd_crpd_analysis.doc. [from DPI]

A Blur of Hand, Spokes and Determination

By Alan Schwarz

Equal parts oh-boy Virginian and oh-man athlete, Josh George,24, has established himself as one of the fastest wheelchair racers. [from New York Times, May 15, 2008, Sports section]

U.S. Ratification

RatifyNow has organized a CRPD briefing on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, on June 3. Speakers include Eric Rosenthal, vice president, U.S. International Council on Disability (USICD), and executive director, Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI), and Judy Heumann, director of the Department on Disability Services, District of Columbia; director, USICD; former adviser on disability and development, The World Bank.

RatifyNow was founded by lifelong disability rights advocates who worked with other advocates at the United Nations to produce the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Members are individuals and organizations who are passionate about using the CRPD to protect and advance the rights of people with disabilities worldwide. For information on activities, please go to http://ratifynow.org/latest-news/. [from DPI; all from EFC]

Launching the European Consortium of Foundations on Human Rights and Disability!

The European Foundation Centre (EFC), in cooperation with Fundación ONCE, is about to launch the European Consortium on Human Rights and Disability, an exciting new venture that aims to bring together funders interested in ensuring the implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Europe. The first informal meeting will take place on Thursday, May 29, in Istanbul. Mr. Ten Geuzendam, head of the EU Commission Unit for Disabilities, and Professor Gerard Quinn, from Galway University, are both confirmed to attend.

This groundbreaking human rights declaration was adopted by the U.N. and opened for signature in March 2007, after which it entered into force on May 3, 2008. The content of the treaty is closely linked to the work already supported by foundations active in the field of human rights, disability and social inclusion. The empowerment of persons with disabilities and their right to actively participate in society, and to access education and employment, among other areas, are all covered in the text. The Convention also marks the official recognition of disability as a human rights issue, thus confirming a radical shift of approach regarding disability: from a medical/charity model to a human rights/social justice model.

The EFC and Fundación ONCE firmly believe that independent funders – foundations and private donors – have a major role to play in ensuring the implementation of the Convention as they have the resources, flexibility and autonomy to support this agenda in several ways – monitoring and advocacy efforts at national and European levels that will highlight areas policymakers should address and press for action; funding demonstration projects; and promoting good practice across Europe, which together, can contribute in important ways towards the advancement of this agenda.

Hosted by the EFC and chaired by Fundación ONCE, the Consortium envisions an initial two-year phase starting in 2009, after which its purpose, objectives and continuation will be reviewed. In this planning phase, we are reaching out to funders only. However, it should be noted that the Consortium aims to also gradually involve leading academics in the field of human rights and disability as well as organisations with legal expertise of relevance to this initiative. The public launch event will be organised in spring 2009 after two preparatory meetings scheduled for autumn 2008.

U.N. Inter-Agency Support Group Commits to CRPD

The recently formed U.N. group – the Inter-Agency Support Group for the Convention – issued a Statement of Commitment vowed to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity as laid out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Through the U.N. group, the United Nations system will support planning and action in countries that are party to the new Convention and in supporting measures within the UN system to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the programmes and policies. Primarily, the group will concentrate its efforts on six main areas: policies to support the purpose and objectives of the Convention; programmes including international cooperation; capacity-building of Member States, civil society, and the United Nations system; research and access to knowledge on disabilities; accessibility; and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Read more on UN-Enable Web site.

Global Partnership for Disability and Development

World leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania representing civil society organizations, governments, and multilateral agencies including the World Bank and UNESCO unanimously approved a Charter and elected the First Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). With a commitment to partnership to combat the social and economic exclusion and impoverishment of people with disabilities and their families in developing countries worldwide, the GPDD represents an unprecedented alliance of agencies, organizations, and resources to accelerate change within and outside of government that targets development activities to include and promote social and economic rights of individuals with disabilities.

This unique global partnership will bring important world attention to the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities in developing countries. The assembled GPDD members agreed on a beginning plan of action to expand the membership base of GPDD, promote data collection and analysis that identifies more accurately the living conditions of and barriers faced by people with disabilities in developing countries; to facilitate information sharing on effective inclusive development policies and programs; to support the implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in cooperation with partners and member organizations; and mobilize resources to build the capacity of the GPDD broad constituency through alliances and networks to become a reliable and effective expert disability and development platform. With support from the World Bank and the governments of Italy, Finland, and Norway as donors to a Multi Donor Trust Fund, the GPDD will bring much needed attention to reduce poverty and eliminate barriers to full social and economic participation. For more information about GPDD and how you may become involved, please contact Maria Reina, executive director, at mvreina@law.syr.edu. [from DPI]

Ratification Status

Countries that have ratified the CRPD as of May 19 (listed alphabetically):

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Croatia
  3. Cuba
  4. Ecuador
  5. Egypt
  6. El Salvador
  7. Gabon
  8. Guinea
  9. Honduras
  10. Hungary
  11. India
  12. Jamaica
  13. Jordan
  14. Kenya
  15. Mali
  16. Mexico
  17. Namibia
  18. Nicaragua
  19. Panama
  20. Peru
  21. Philippines
  22. Qatar
  23. San Marino
  24. Slovenia
  25. South Africa
  26. Spain
  27. Tunisia

Countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol as of April 29 (listed alphabetically):

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Croatia
  3. Ecuador
  4. El Salvador
  5. Guinea
  6. Hungary
  7. Mali
  8. Mexico
  9. Namibia
  10. Panama
  11. Peru
  12. San Marino
  13. Slovenia
  14. South Africa
  15. Spain
  16. Tunisia

Resources, Implementation, Toolkits, Funding

  • Notes from May 20 teleconference
  • Position paper by the International Disability Alliance (IDA)
    Member organizations: Disabled Peoples’ International, Inclusion International, International Federation of Hard of Hearing People, Rehabilitation International, World Blind Union, World Federation of the Deaf, World Federation of the DeafBlind, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, European Disability Forum, Arab Organization of Disabled People
  • Human Rights. YES!: Action and Advocacy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Human Rights, YES! is a new human rights education tool, based on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The tool was developed to equip persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to integrate a comprehensive human rights approach in their advocacy work. The training in Human Rights, YES! is designed to enhance organizations’ advocacy at the national and community levels as well as to promote individual empowerment and self-advocacy initiatives. Human Rights. YES is also an essential resource for other human rights groups, such as women’s rights and children’s rights organizations, that want to understand disability rights and integrate a disability perspective into their human rights efforts.While the United Nations has long encouraged the development and dissemination of disability rights education materials, such efforts are rare due to lack of attention to disability from large human rights groups and the historic de-prioritization of disability among mainstream funders of human rights initiatives. At this crucial time in the history of international disability rights, a pioneering initiative is required to address the urgent need for disability and human rights education resources.With the generous support of the Shafallah Center, the Human Rights. YES! project team was finally able to pursue the vision to produce the core curriculum on disability that is missing from the global body of human rights education materials. It is our hope that Human Rights. YES! will serve as a major resource for building the human rights and advocacy capacity of disability rights advocates and their allies worldwide. Together we can work to ensure that the human rights enshrined in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are fully realized and integrated as part of the legal, political, social and cultural fabric of all societies.
  • Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) Implementation Toolkit
  • WNUSP CRPD Manual
  • Implementation Manual for the U.N. Convention
    From the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry
    In MS Word format
    In PDF format
  • WE CAN DO Web site


  • Landmine Survivor’s Ratification Handbook
  • “The Gift: A Photographic Exhibition Exploring Life Beyond Limits” – a joint project of No Limits Media and the United Nations (www.nolimitsmedia.org/thegift.html)”The Gift” is a photographic exhibition designed to help affirm the positive image of people with disabilities. It is being created to travel around the world under the auspices of the United Nations. The dramatic photos in this exhibit demonstrate the possibilities and new vision for all people with disabilities. This exhibition is being mounted by No Limits Media (NLM) in collaboration with the U.N. Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the U.N. Office of Exhibitions.The themes embodied in “The Gift” photo collection grew out of the successful 2005 exhibition at the U.N. headquarters, “Raising the Bar.” “The Gift” will be shown at U.N. offices around the world to help elevate awareness and promote universal passage of the Convention, which affirms “Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity and assumes their full and effective participation and inclusion in society”.