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United Nations Convention on Disability Rights

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

The United Kingdom played an active role in negotiating a new convention on disability rights, which was adopted by the United Nations on 13 December 2006. On the 14 December, the Prime Minister said that he hoped the UK would be among the first states to sign the convention, Official Report, written answers, column 1288W.

The convention opens for signature on 30 March and our signature tomorrow and that of other states will mark a significant step forward to ensuring that around 650 million disabled people worldwide will enjoy their human rights on an equal basis with every one else. It is the culmination of negotiations lasting more than four years in which disabled people have played a central role in the content of the convention.

Work is underway to check the UK’s legislation, policies and practices against the convention’s obligations. Before ratification, the convention will be laid as a command paper before both Houses of Parliament, together with an explanatory memorandum. It will also be sent to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for them to consider. Either, or both Houses, might decide to hold a debate.