A Decade of Breakthroughs for Disability Rights
By Alison Hillman
December 13, 2016, marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Among the CRPD’s many innovative aspects, one stands out: the fact that persons with disabilities played a central role in its negotiation. From drafting to ratification and implementation, the convention was and continues to be a true reflection of the disability rights movement’s motto, “Nothing about us, without us.”
Over the past decade, the CRPD has fundamentally altered the agency of persons with disabilities, allowing them to toss aside their stereotype as objects of charity and assert themselves as persons with the same rights as everyone else.
Today, the CRPD is a cornerstone of disability rights activism—it serves as both a call and a catalyst for action, providing a clear legal framework that persons with disabilities, governments, and the broader human rights movement are using to advance the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society.
Alison Hillman is a unit manager with the Open Society Human Rights Initiative.