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OHCHR Thematic study on the role of international cooperation in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Gastone Ruhisha, a member of the Rwandan National Decade Steering Committee, Rwanda, presenting the new disability law to district officials © Rwanda. CBM/ Judith Van Der VeenInternational cooperation is widely recognized as vital for ensuring that persons with disabilities can fully enjoy their human rights. The Convention expressly acknowledges this relationship, and obliges States parties to cooperate with other States and/or with relevant international and regional organizations and civil society including in:

  • Building capacity, including through the exchange and sharing of information, experiences, training programmes and best practices;
  • Research programmes and facilitating access to scientific knowledge; and
  • Technical and economic assistance, including facilitating the use of accessible and assistive technologies.

By including a separate article on international cooperation, the Convention underlines the need for all such efforts, including international development programmes, to be accessible to and inclusive of persons with disabilities. Given that, in many countries, there is a higher percentage of persons with disabilities living in poverty than living in other sectors of society, a failure to include persons with disabilities in planning and implementing development programmes would only exacerbate existing inequalities and discrimination within society.

The Convention affirms that not only do States parties have a role to play in fostering international cooperation to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, but civil society, including organizations representing persons with disabilities, and international and regional organizations, such as the United Nations specialized agencies, the World Bank and other development banks, and regional organizations, such as the European Commission and the African Union, do, too.

In recognition of the necessity to increase awareness about the role of international cooperation in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Human Rights Council in its resolution 13/11 requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on this topic, that will be presented at the 16th session of the Council in March 2011.

Submissions for the Role of international Cooperation in Support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities