UN Convention

What is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) is an international human rights treaty that reaffirms that all persons with disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies that all persons with disabilities have the right to participate in civil, political, economic, social and cultural life of the community just as anyone else. The CRPD clearly stipulates what public and private authorities must do to ensure and promote the full enjoyment of these rights by all people with disabilities.

The CRPD was adopted in 2006 by the United Nations and became the world’s most quickly ratified human rights treaty. It was also the first human treaty ratified not only by State Parties but also by a regional organisation - the European Union.


Why is it important?


The Convention is the first international treaty that was negotiated with direct participation of its beneficiaries: persons with disabilities and their families.

Many crucial provisions of the Convention are determining the development of human rights policies, such as the recognition of full legal capacity, right to community living and to inclusive education. They have been included thanks to uncompromising pressure of persons with disabilities organised in global networks, who were present at the negotiation table.

As a result, the Convention clearly explains that no decision concerning the rights of persons with disabilities is legitimate unless it is taken by persons with disabilities or with their active and meaningful involvement. The motto of the disability movement – “Nothing about us without us” – is applicable on all the rights of the Convention.

Learn more about the importance of the Convention

The EU has ratified the Convention. What does this mean?

All the Member States of the European Union (EU) have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The European Union, as a regional integration organisation, has ratified it. 

The EU acceded to the CRPD in December 2010, making it the first human rights treaty to ever have been ratified by a regional organisation, like the European Union. By concluding the UN Convention, the EU is committed to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights for all persons with disabilities through the adoption of new legislation, policies and programmes and the review of existing measures.

Read more about what competences is the EU responsible for and how they were defined. 

How does the EU monitor the implementation of the Convention?

The European Union set up the EU monitoring Framework to monitor the CRPD. EDF is a full member, together with the European Ombudsman, the European Agency of Fundamental Rights and the European Parliament. The European Commission withdrew itself from the Framework, following the recommendation in the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee to the EU.

What is the role of the UN Committee?

How does the EU report to the UN Committee?


How do the state parties report to the Committee?

What does EDF do? What is the EDF Alternative Report?

What is the European Human Rights Report?

How do EDF Members Campaign?