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United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People is an international human rights treaty that grants disabled people a comprehensive set of rights.

The UK ratified the convention in July 2009. All UK government policies and practices must comply with the convention. The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) coordinates work on the convention on behalf of the UK government. In November 2011, we published the first UK report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

The Optional Protocol to the convention

The government has also ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This allows people to complain to the United Nations if they feel that their convention rights have not been met and they have tried all means of complaint in the UK.

The language of the UN convention

The government supports use of the social model of disability. An international committee with differing approaches to disability drafted the convention, so the language of the convention does not reflect the model the UK government would prefer.

The full title of the convention is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but within the UK we usually call it the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

More information

Read the full text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Read more about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the UN website.

Easy read

We’ve also published easy read explanations of the UN convention: