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Disability rights convention receives 100th ratification (UN)

June 2, 2011

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has received its 100th ratification. In May, Colombia joined other countries in supporting greater access, backed by the signatories’ legal systems, for persons with disabilities to participate fully in their communities, including the political process and health and education services.

The UN convention is significant in its shift away from a medical model of disability, to a social model where disability is understood as a result of the interaction between an individual and his or her environment, rather than an impairment of the individual.

It is estimated that 10 percent of the world’s population live with a disability, forming the world’s largest minority facing exclusion from participation in the economic, social, political, legal and cultural life of their communities. The UNCRPD was adopted in 2006 by the UN General Assembly to address this inequity, becoming the first international human rights treaty of the twenty-first century.

For more information, see the UN General Assembly press release

More information about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is available at the website of the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at

In recent months, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) made available a series of commissioned papers on the rights of persons with disabilities in the Ontario context. These papers can be viewed on the LCO website

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