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Rehabilitation International's Charter

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made on proposals for a UN convention on the rights of disabled people as referred to in the answer of 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 618W, on Rehabilitation International's Charter (for the Third Millennium); what contribution the UK Government has made to this process; and when he expects to be in a position to sign such a convention. (109237)

Negotiations on the text of the draft United Nations (UN) Convention on Disability Rights were completed earlier this year and the General Assembly adopted the Convention on 13 December. The Government support the Convention wholeheartedly.

The UK is committed to supporting comprehensive and enforceable rights for disabled people and wishes to see those rights enjoyed by disabled citizens everywhere. Despite many UN human rights conventions, the human rights of disabled people have not been fully recognised around the world, and they continue to experience discrimination and disabling barriers. The UK therefore welcomed the decision of the UN General Assembly to set up an ad hoc committee to prepare the text of a new Convention on Disability Rights and played a full and positive role in the negotiations. We also led negotiations for the European Union during our Presidency in 2005 and hope to be among the first countries to sign and ratify it.