Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the entry into force of the first international treaty on the human rights of persons with disabilities, after the required twentieth country ratified the landmark convention.
"It is a historic moment in our quest for realization of the universal human rights for ALL persons, creating a fully inclusive society for all,"Mr. Ban's spokesperson Marie Okabe said in a statement celebrating the rapid progress of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted in December 2006.
"The Convention will be a powerful tool to eradicate the obstacle faced by persons with disabilities,"she said, pointing to discrimination, segregation from society, economic marginalization, and lack of opportunities for participation in social, political and economic decision-making processes.
The last ratification by Ecuador means that the Convention, along with an optional protocol that will allow individuals and groups to petition for relief, has been legally binding as of 3 May 2008.
"It is estimated that there are at least 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide, of whom
approximately 80 percent live in less developed countries,"Ms. Okabe noted.
"The Convention, together with its Optional Protocol, is deeply rooted in the firm commitment of the international community to rectifying the egregious neglect and dehumanizing practices that violate the human rights of persons with disabilities,"Ms.Okabe concluded, calling on all States that have not yet done so to accede or ratify it without delay.
The newly-formed Inter-Agency Support Group for the Convention said that support will focus 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 UN system research and access to knowledge on disabilities, accessibility, and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In addition to the above we may mention that The 50-article Convention asserts the rights to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement, freedom from exploitation and equal recognition before the law for persons with disabilities.It also addresses the need for persons with disabilities to have access to public transport, buildings and other facilities and recognizes their capacity to make decisions for themselves.
Keep in mind that:Disability is a Human Rights issue.