Thursday, December 14, 2006

UN adopts convention on rights of those with disabilities

The UN has adopted a convention calling for universal rights for people with disabilities. The AP explains: "The convention requires countries to guarantee freedom from exploitation and abuse for the disabled, while protecting rights they already have -- such as ensuring voting rights for the blind and wheelchair-accessible buildings. The convention advocates keeping the disabled in their communities rather than removing them and educating them separately, as many countries do." Don't think this is needed? Listen to Jim Derksen, a member of the human rights committee with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, who pointed out in this article that "only in about 40 countries are the rights of disabled persons articulated in law. In some countries, a disabled person's right to marry, vote and even travel are restricted."
Even travel. Yes the archives here sadly would support Derksen's assertion in that arena.
The convention must be ratified by 20 countries to take effect. (Photo of UN General Assembly in session is a UN photo by Marie Gandois)


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