Report on access to rights-based support to persons with disabilities

Published:20 December 2016
Author:Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Presented:To the HRC at its 34th session, 3 March 2017
Link: A/HRC/34/58 | Easy-to-read


For most persons with disabilities, access to quality support is a necessary precondition for living and fully participating in the community on the basis of choices equal to others. Without adequate support, persons with disabilities are at risk of falling into neglect and institutionalization. The provision of appropriate support is necessary to the realization of the full spectrum of human rights and enables persons with disabilities to achieve their full potential, thus contributing to the overall well-being and diversity of the communities in which they live. For many persons with disabilities, support represents an essential precondition for their active and meaningful participation in society, while preserving their dignity, autonomy and independence. In this report, the Special Rapporteur provides guidance for States on how to provide different forms of rights-based support and assistance for persons with disabilities, and to do so in consultation with them.

Expert consultation

On 6-7 September 2016, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas, jointly with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, hosted a regional Expert Group Meeting on support services for persons with disabilities in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), with the support of the Government of Finland, the African Disability Forum, and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)/ Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA).

Participants included experts from the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, academics, policy makers, organizations of persons with disabilities, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

On the basis of a background note, participants discussed gaps and challenges in the implementation of support services for persons with disabilities in Africa; identified CRPD-compliant good practices for the implementation of support services for persons with disabilities in Africa; and proposed possible concrete solutions for the implementation of support services for persons with disabilities in Africa. The findings of the meeting informed the Special Rapporteur's report on the same issue.

Inputs received

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All inputs received in accessible formats are available below. Non-accessible formats are available upon request at


National Human Rights Institutions

Civil Society, including Organizations of Persons with Disabilities

Academics and Individuals:

  • Catherine Boutten (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Ben Attoumane Hamza (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Alex Garcia (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Ekaterina Panteleeva (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Ghulam Nabi Nizamani (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Linda Burnip (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • John Duff (response in non-accessible format, but available upon request)
  • Jorge Octavio Magos Chong (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Patricia V. Ingénito (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Rebecca Fawcett (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Sally Blefari (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Samuel Wilkins (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Sebastián de Jesús Rocha Sancén (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Tambe Richard (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Tayieba Shah (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Ted Pottage (non-accessible format available upon request)

United Nations Country Teams

  • Albania (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Belarus (non-accessible format available upon request)
  • Cambodia (non-accessible format available upon request)