NEWS: 12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)

Posted on 17 December 2007. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations (UN) has announced that 12 countries have now ratified the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Six of these countries also have ratified the optional protocol.

This international disability rights treaty is meant to “promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities,” including self-determination, physical and programmatic access, personal mobility, health, education, employment, habilitation and rehabilitation, participation in political life, and equality and non-discrimination. (Source: RatifyNow.) The CRPD will become legally binding after 20 countries have ratified it. The optional protocol is a separate document that would allow individuals to seek redress (justice or compensation) for treaty violations internationally after they have exhausted everything that can be done at the national level. The optional protocol will be legally binding after 10 countries have ratified it.

The most recent four countries to ratify the convention (treaty) are: Bangladesh (November 30); Spain, for both the convention and the optional protocol (December 3); Namibia, for both the convention and the optional protocol (December 4); and Nicaragua (December 7). The other eight ratifying countries are Croatia, Cuba, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Panama, and South Africa; of these, Croatia, Hungary, Panama, and South Africa also ratified the optional protocol.

A total of 118 countries have signed the convention, and 67 countries have signed the optional protocol. Signing the convention and optional protocol does not legally bind a country to obey them. However, signing these documents does commit the country to take no action that would conflict with the goals of the CRPD.

If you are sighted, you can view a global map that shows visually which countries have signed or ratified the CRPD or the optional protocol. I am not sure if this map is accessible to people with visual impairments. If not, then please consult the UN Enable web site accessibility statement, which encourages people to contact them regarding accessibility issues at their web site.

More information on the CRPD is available in the RatifyNow factsheet and the RatifyNow FAQ. More information on the optional protocol is also available at the RatifyNow website.

We Can Do learned about these ratifications in part through the AdHoc_IDC (International Disability Caucus) email list. This on-line, email-based news and discussion service can be joined for free. I also gathered additional background information from the RatifyNow and UN Enable web sites.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

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3 Responses to “NEWS: 12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)”

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visited palma cathederal on 11/03/08 could not
find any disabled ramps and was shuned away by
staff , after travelling from uk this was very
upsetting for my wife. elec.wheel chairs were
not allowed but we were not told of this ‘may
be the church could purchase a manual wheel
chair for hire to people with lack of mobilty.
will try again next year.

i think you are doing a great job but where do i go for latest news please

I’m Andrea Shettle, the editor/author for We Can Do.

In regard to your inquiry, several options:

1. The news page at We Can Do (available from the top navigation bar) has links to most of the news items that I post there:

2. I’m usually able to update the news page (and the other pages in the top navigation bar) only once every few weeks or so; if you think it’s out of date, you can also click on “news” under “Categories” (see right-hand navigation bar) for the most recent few items that are marked as “news”:

3. Or, for the most recent few posts in general (though these are not all news), click on the most recent month (or two) under “Archives” (near the top of the right-hand navigation bar).

Usually I try to keep We Can Do primarily focused on sharing information about resources, toolkits, funding sources, latest research, and other items of pragmatic interest to readers so I do not always have a steady stream of strictly “news” items. But when they are available, then these are the three best options for locating them.

Regarding the disability rights treaty: the 20th country, Ecuador, has now ratified:

And the 127th country (Malaysia) also signed it a few days ago, but I haven’t had time yet to put up a news item about it. (If your specific interest is the international disability rights treaty then you might want to try monitoring and also

You can also consider subscribing to We Can Do so that you can receive email notification whenever a new item goes up at the blog (though this will not always mean “news” per se):

If you have any future questions about how to find things at We Can Do, try checking the “Navigating We Can Do” page for guidance, from the top navigation bar:

Thanks for your interest in We Can Do,


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    Ending poverty among and oppression toward disabled people in developing countries.


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