Today is the 10th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. With celebrations being held in Geneva, guests include Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Lenin Moreno, Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Disability and Accessibility, and the representative of the Group of States parties friends to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
During the celebrations, six live testimonies were heard on the impact of the Convention on persons with disabilities in the areas of non-discrimination, accessibility, legal capacity, right to education, right to work and right to vote and to participate in public and political life.
Interactive panels were also held, discussing topics such as "Independent living schemes: Autonomy, self-determination and personal choice in law, policy and programmes" and "Diversity and Delivery of Services and Financial dimension for the effective implementation of article 19".
The Convention is an international human rights treaty of the UN, and is the only UN human rights instrument that has an explicit sustainable development dimension. The Convention intends to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Signatories of the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities, and ensure that they have full equality under the law.
The Convention was a major catalyst in the global movement that saw a change from viewing persons with disabilities as objects of charity and social protection, towards seeing them as full and equal members of society, with human rights.