Global Policy

UNUnited Nations, ‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional integration organizations. The Convention entered into force on 3May 2008. The Convention follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as "objects" of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as "subjects" with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.

You can find more information on the UN Convention website.

WHO World Health Organization, ‘World report on disability’

The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability. People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners. This pioneering World report on disability will make a significant contribution to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the intersection of public health, human rights and development, the report is set to become a "must have" resource for policy-makers, service providers, professionals, and advocates for people with disabilities and their families. WHO Flyer - "World report"

 

WHO-ISCoS, ‘International Perspective on Spinal Cord Injury’

WHOThe International Perspective on Spinal Cord Injury (IPSCI) report is a joint WHO-ISCoS project. It first ever presents a global picture of SCI in a single WHO report and follows the WHO ‘World report on disability’. WHO launced the report on 3 December 2013, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A website with life stories of people affected by SCI, and their related advocacy and media materials, accompany the publication of IPSCI.

Every year between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a spinal cord injury, with road traffic crashes, falls and violence as the three leading causes. People with spinal cord injury are two to five times more likely to die prematurely. They also have lower rates of school enrollment and economic participation than people without such injuries.

Spinal cord injury has costly consequences for the individual and society, but it is preventable, survivable and need not preclude good health and social inclusion. Ensuring an adequate medical and rehabilitation response, followed by supportive services and accessible environments, can help minimize the disruption to people with spinal cord injury and their families.

The aims of IPSCI are to:

  • assemble and summarize information on spinal cord injury, in particular the epidemiology, services, interventions and policies that are relevant, together with the lived experience of people with spinal cord injury;
  • make recommendations for actions based on this evidence that are consistent with the aspirations for people with disabilities as expressed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

IPSCI is being developed in partnership with professional organizations and organizations of people living with SCI from around the world.

You can find the information about IPSCI on the WHO website.