HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Monday, May 4, 2009

Human Rights and Disability website

From InSITE, information about a helpful new website:  Human Rights and Disability website -

The United Nations’ Human Rights and Disability website was founded on the premise that "persons with disabilities are entitled to the enjoyment of the full range of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights embodied in international human rights instruments on an equal basis with other persons." To this end, the site recognizes and affirms the identification of persons with disabilities as holders of rights and subjects of law. It further seeks to globally empower disabled persons by providing them a means to actively participate in society through respect, accommodation, and the "four core values of human rights law" which are of particular importance to the disabled: dignity, autonomy, equality and solidarity. The site is a fount of information for the researcher who seeks to explore international human rights law specifically from a disability perspective. It provides an historical context for the development of this facet of international human rights law as it began with the United Nations in 1981 in the "International Year of the Disabled" and continued through the adoptions of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities, and the Vienna Declaration for Human Rights. The site provides additional discussion of the various relevant provisions in the Charter of the United Nations and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In support of the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to protect and monitor the human rights of persons with disabilities, the site provides free access to extensive resources including links to full text HTML versions of relevant treaties and various other international instruments, including General Assembly resolutions and declarations, Commission on Human Rights resolutions, and Resolutions adopted by other United Nations bodies. It also provides links to several full text HTML versions of studies on human rights and disability in English, French and Spanish. Reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are also available in English, French and Spanish. To further the objective of monitoring human rights and disability, the site also identifies various treaty-monitoring bodies, provides links to each of their committee’s websites, and examines their efforts to integrate a disability rights perspective into their monitoring activities. The site additionally provides several links to pages within the UN system of websites and also to outside non-governmental organizations. Unfortunately, the site’s list of current events and recent developments is rather dated; the most recent items provided are from 2004. Information pertaining to a "proposed new convention" is also very dated. Although the site could use some attention in this regard, it otherwise serves as an excellent resource for a broad array of international materials narrowly examined from the perspective of those advocating for the recognition and protection of human rights of individuals with disabilities. [AE]

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