OHCHR’s work on the rights of persons with disabilities

OHCHR has a mandate to ensure the protection and promotion of all rights of all persons with disabilities, including women and girls, older persons, indigenous persons, persons belonging to underrepresented groups, and their inclusion across the three pillars of work of the United Nations system.

The team focuses on providing guidance on the human rights based approach to disability enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including through reports and activities mandated by the Human Rights Council, and through the implementation of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS).

Activities of the UN human rights office

  • Raise awareness, understanding and recognition of disability as a human rights issue.
  • Encourage States and regional integration organizations to become party and implement the Convention.
  • Support the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as the independent body mandated to monitor the implementation of the Convention.
  • Support the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, the independent expert mandated by the Human Rights Council to promote the rights of persons with disabilities from a human rights-based approach, in line with the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the broader human rights framework.
  • Encourage and support the human rights system in its entirety to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in its work, in line with the Convention.
  • Promote the coordinated action of the United Nations mechanisms in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Promote implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals inclusive of persons with disabilities and guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Through its human rights and disability team, build national capacity through advisory services, conducting research and analysis, servicing intergovernmental and expert mechanisms; and engage with the wider community to forge partnerships, raise awareness and mobilize support for anti-discrimination measures such as legislation, policies and programmes.
  • Support disability-inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery
  • Support implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS) at the system-wide, inter-agency, and individual entity level; and engage in annual reporting on OHCHR's efforts across the areas of leadership, strategic planning and management, inclusiveness, programming, and organizational culture.