As the World Disability Day was marked by the disabled people in different parts of the world on Thursday (Dec.3), the U.N.’s human rights chief urged ratification of a disability convention on Wednesday to mark Thursday’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that ratifying the disability convention would help states achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
"I therefore urge states to re-examine their approach to human rights and development issues affecting persons with disabilities, and to make ratification and implementation of this important new convention a priority.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which entered into force in May 2008, promotes disabled access, equal treatment, and the right to education, health and work, among other things.
Seventy-five states have ratified the convention and dozens have signed it, making it one of the fastest treaty ratification processes in U.N. history.
Pillay said disabilities were widespread. "Estimates indicate that more than 10 percent of the world’s population have a disability themselves or have a close family member with one, and that in a quarter of all households there is someone with some sort of disability." he said.
Disabilities also disproportionately affect the poor. "According to UNESCO, more than 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school," Pillay said.
The Geneva-based Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was established in 1993 to promote and protect human rights.