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Human rights and disability: A manual for national human rights institutions

CROWTHER, Neil
QUINN, Gerard
REKAS, Abigail
March 2017

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(Updated Dec 2018)

This Manual is designed to provide practical guidance for national human rights institutions (NHRIs) that are actively working to advance the human rights of persons with disabilities, as well as those NHRIs that are seeking to strengthen their efforts in this area. This Manual provides practical guidance and recommendations about how the role and functions of NHRIs can be directed to provide better protection for persons with disabilities, to promote greater awareness and respect for their rights, and to monitor the progress made and obstacles encountered in advancing their rights.

There are three parts to the manual.

  • Part I: The concepts - the human rights framing of disability
  • Part II: The law - international human rights law and disability (CRPD and others)
  • Part III: The practice - what NHRIs can do to contribute to the process of change

 

 

The Americans with disabilities act at 25 years : lessons to learn from the convention on the rights of people with disabilities

KANTER, Arlene S
2015

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“In this Article, the Author argues that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the subsequent ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), have not realized the goal of ensuring equality for people with disabilities. The Author suggests that the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

(CRPD), adopted in 2006 by the United Nations, offers a new approach to realizing the right to equality for people with disabilities”

Drake Law Review, Vol. 63

Abuse and denial of sexual and reproductive rights of women with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico

RODRIGUEZ, Priscila
et al
February 2015

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This report presents the situation faced by women with psycho-social conditions in Mexico based on the results of a year-long study. This research included the application of a questionnaire to fifty-one women with psychosocial disabilities who were either members of the Colectivo Chuhcan or received outpatient services at four different health clinics and psychiatric institutions in Mexico City. The main finding of this report is that the Mexican government has failed to implement policies that ensure that women with psychosocial disabilities have safe access to sexual and reproductive health services, on an equal basis with others. It is recommended this research be extended to the rest of the country to gain a clearer picture on the situation of the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities at a national level

Guardianship for young adults with disabilities as a violation of the purpose of the individuals with disabilities education improvement act

KANTER, Arlene S
2015

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“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) was originally enacted in 1975 as the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act. The purpose of the IDEIA is to “provide a free appropriate public education” to children with disabilities and to prepare them for further education, employment, and full participation in society. Under the IDEIA, all students are required to have a transition plan to facilitate their movement from high school to life after school. Although the transition planning process does not require parents to become guardians for their children with disabilities, many parents throughout the United States believe that becoming their adult child’s guardian is the next step in the transition process as their child reaches the age of majority. As a legal procedure, guardianship cedes decision-making authority from the young adult child to the parent just at the time in the young person’s life when he or she should be supported to exercise decision-making authority so as to live the most independent life possible. Further, schools, parents, and courts often fail to consider less restrictive alternatives to guardianship, such as supported decision-making, for those young adults who may need help in decision-making. Supported decision making has gained international attention recently due to the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which calls for support for people with disabilities rather than substituted decision-making, which is included in most guardianship laws. This article presents the view that guardianship as part of the transition planning process for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities undermines the language and purpose of the IDEIA.”

 

Journal of International Aging Law & Policy, Vol. 8

Equal basis 2014 : access and rights in 33 countries

BURKE, Megan
PERSI VICENTIC, Loren
December 2014

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This report presents research about efforts to meet the needs and uphold the rights of persons with disabilities in four thematic areas: health care, rehabilitation, work and employment, and accessibility and enabling environments. Research findings are drawn from the experiences of landmine and cluster munition survivors and other persons with similar needs in 33 countries experiencing armed conflict or emerging from armed conflict or political or economic transition. Findings are placed within the context of relevant articles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Report on Disability

The right to vote of persons with disabilities in Chile : Law no 20.183 as a factor of progress for inclusive democracy

REYES, Maria Soledad Cisternas
March 2013

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"This article describes the process of adoption of Law 20.183 of 2007, which recognises the right of persons with disabilities to have support in the act of voting. The process began with a lawsuit which inspired legal research conducted at the national level. A project of civil society advocacy was subsequently developed and implemented to promote the right to vote of persons with disabilities. The process resulted in a legislative initiative and culminated in the adoption of the 2007 Constitutional Act on voting and elections which recognized the right to support in the act of voting for persons with disabilities"
IDA Human Rights Publication Series, Issue 1, The Right to Vote and to Stand for Election

Assessment of election access barriers in Guatemala

SERPE, Lauren
November 2012

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This research report presents the lessons learned from various activities to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral process and future programming needs in Guatemala. Three research activities captured the different perspectives of those working on or affected by inclusion issues: a survey of 250 electoral authorities; six focus groups consisting of persons with disabilities and those who work with persons with disabilities; and six in-depth interviews with leaders of disabled persons organizations (DPOs) with whom IFES had worked during the previous electoral cycle

Electoral participation of electors with disabilities : Canadian practices in a comparative context

PRINCE, Michael J
March 2012

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"This report addresses three main research questions: What barriers do people with disabilities, physical and/or mental, face when trying to vote? What reforms have countries and, in the case of Canada, provinces introduced since 2000 to reduce or eliminate barriers to voting for people with disabilities? More specifically, what services, supports and laws or standards have governments introduced to ensure better access to voting by electors with disabilities The specific focus of this report is on the right to vote, rather than on the right to freely associate as an activist or to run as a candidate and to hold elected office. Five national jurisdictions are reviewed in this report, specifically Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand. On Canada, attention is given to developments and practices at the federal, and provincial and territorial levels of government"

Inclusive democracies require voting rights for people with disabilities

NEIER, Aryeh
November 2011

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This blog post presents the story of a woman with Down Syndrome who initially was prevented from voting in Peruvian elections because of her intellectual disability but successfully won her right to vote. The article concludes by encouraging inclusive policies that support the participation of people with disabilities in political life
Note: This post is part of a blog series that reflects on The Open Society Foundations work to advance the rights of persons with disabilities around the world

Recognition of the legal capacity of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disability through the documentation of good practices

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
August 2010

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This presentation discusses the Making It Work multi-stakeholder initiative which documented and promoted good practice relating to people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities exercising their legal capacity and citizenship. The aim is to reform the 1306 law in Colombia that is currently preventing this, in line with implementing Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Article 12 Equal recognition before the law. The presentation summarises the objectives and approach of the report, and the collaboration partners, and it does not give examples of good practice or recommendations

Note: The original report is in Spanish and has not been translated

Ensuring the enfranchisement of people with disabilities

WARD, Andrew
BAKER, Paul M A
MOON, Nathan W
October 2008

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"In a representational democracy, the process of selecting people to represent the electorate is critical. To accomplish this goal, it is crucial that elections be fair and accurate reflections of the decisions of the voters. However, a significant and relatively unacknowledged constituency, people with disabilities, faces a variety of barriers to full participation in the U.S. electoral democracy. Recent research has provided evidence that how people with disabilities vote is just as important as the physical barriers they face when casting their votes. This article presents an overview of the literature addressing issues that affect how people with disabilities vote, with an especial focus on the role of election officials as both facilitators and inhibitors of voting by people with disabilities"
Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Vol 20, No 2

Moving forward : progress in global disability rights monitoring

LINDQVIST, Bengt
RIOUX, Marcia H
SAMSON, Rita M
2007

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This report is part of a comprehensive project to develop international systems and methodologies for monitoring the human rights of people with disabilities. It represents the second phase of the Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) project, the specific aim of which, is to develop capacity building tools and resources to enable people with disabilities to effectively monitor systems, individual experiences and media. This work would be useful to anyone with an interest in human rights, disability and development and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

National institutional frameworks and human rights of persons with disabilities

DEPARTMENT FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (DESA), UNITED NATIONS
August 2006

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This resource compares national disability institutions and frameworks in Australia, Sweden, India, Guatemala and the UK. It aims to: identify the core institutions concerned with disability rights and describe how they were established; review the legislative framework; and examine the organisational structure, mandates and activities of the states’ monitoring institution/s

Report on the RI-USICD seminar on implementation of the UN convention

REHABILITATION INTERNATIONAL (RI)
UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY (USICD)
2006

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This report brings together the views of Government officials and members of civil society and academia to develop programmes and policies that incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The aim is to identify goals, compare best practices and create momentum for the implementation and ratification of the Convention

The concept of reasonable accommodation in selected national disability legislation

DEPARTMENT FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (DESA), UNITED NATIONS
December 2005

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This paper describes how national legislation in selected countries has managed to incorporate the concept of reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. It utilises case studies from the following selected countries: Australia, Canada, European Union, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe

Definition of disability in selected national legislation

DEPARTMENT FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS, UNITED NATIONS

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This useful resource is a collection of definitions of disability, as presented in selected national legislation and international agencies from across the globe. It also includes the dates when various countries implemented disability rights legislation. It would be useful for anyone with an interest in disability, human rights and legislation

Expert paper on existing monitoring mechanisms, possible relevant improvements and possible innovations in monitoring mechanisms for a comprehensive and integral international convention on the protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of person

UNITED NATIONS

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This unedited resource is an expert paper on monitoring mechanisms for the international convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. It was produced from the seventh session of the Ad Hoc Committee meeting to draft the convention

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