Canada finally ratifies UN disabilities Covention | National Union of Public and General Employees

Canada finally ratifies UN disabilities Covention

'The actions Canada subsequently takes to create a more accessible and inclusive society will be the subject of both domestic and international scrutiny.'

Ottawa (12 March 2010) - The Conservative government has finally ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) after mounting pressure at home and from the international community and after waiting nearly three years since the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion supporting ratification.

Ratification commits the country to honouring all of the requirements set out in the convention. The CRPD is the UN's newest international human rights treaty. It articulates a human rights framework for addressing the exclusion and lack of access that people with disabilities have encountered in Canada — and in all societies.

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) says the CRPD is built upon the basic Canadian values of equality, non-discrimination and the duty to accommodate.

Globally, the convention is a product of an historic partnership between the global movement of people with disabilities and their governments. 

'End of an era'

“Today’s ratification by the government of Canada signals the end of an era where people with disabilities were seen as objects of charity and passive recipients of rehabilitation and state-supported largesse," the council says.

"Today ushers in a new era where people with disabilities are viewed as full citizens with exactly the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens of Canada."

Steve Estey, chair of CCD’s international committee and a member of the Canadian delegation at the UN that worked to develop the CRPD, said the CRPD is not simply another well-intentioned declaration without any teeth. "It requires the government of Canada to act and monitor progress in achieving the commitments of the treaty," he noted.

Marie White, national chairperson of CCD, said the actions Canada subsequently takes to create a more accessible and inclusive society will be the subject of both domestic and international scrutiny.

“Today we celebrate at the international level Canadian leadership on disability issues but tomorrow we get down to work on the domestic agenda of removing barriers that prohibit the full and equal participation of Canadians with disabilities,” White added.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
• Dec. 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
• Pressure mounting for ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 
• NUPGE poster: Persons with Disabilities Day Dec. 3

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