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Statements and speeches Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Time to fulfill the rights of people with disabilities

2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December 2023

03 December 2023

Delivered by

Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


Video message

Today we celebrate the invaluable contributions of people with disabilities – agents of change and progress in our communities.

People with disabilities have the right to lead dignified and independent lives like all people - defined by their own choices and aspirations.

That is what I hear from them when I visit countries and I have a chance to engage with people with disabilities – that’s what they tell me.

But they also tell me that without adequate care and support systems, we are denying their rights, holding back their potential, and undermining our own economies.

It’s time Governments prioritise and fund disability-responsive support and care systems.

It’s time to act for the rights of people with disabilities now.