Brief Facts

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted on December 13, 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on March 30, 2007. There were 82 signatories to the Convention, 44 signatories to the Optional Protocol, and one ratification of the Convention. This is the highest number of signatories in history to a UN Convention on its opening day.

It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional integration s. The Convention entered into force on May 3, 2008. Malaysia signed the CRPD on April 8, 2008 and ratified it on July 19, 2010.

The Convention follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorisation of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.

CHALLENGES MAGAZINE VOL4 ISSUE4, 2011 (Challenges Magazine is a journalism skills training project for persons with disabilities started in 2007)