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Extending your knowledge: Developing the Convention

In this video, Gerard Quinn and Rosemary Kayess give a background to the development of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In the above video, Gerard Quinn and Rosemary Kayess tell the story of how the UNCRPD came to fruition, and how it was drafted.

Gerard suggests that a separate Convention was needed for people with disability because addressing disability-related discrimination requires different mechanisms than addressing other forms of discrimination. He refers to human rights as a model of disability which “goes much further and much deeper” than the social model. Specifically, it positions people with disabilities as people with different needs who require not only express recognition of their personhood but also express accommodation of their diverse bodies and minds within society.

Rosemary reiterates that the representation of people with disabilities during the drafting of the Disability Convention resulted in a large degree of capacity-building for all involved stakeholders — including policy-makers, disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and civilians.

Talking points

  • In terms of human rights, what makes disability different from other dimensions of human diversity?
  • Why was personhood more emphasised in the Disability Convention that in other conventions?
  • Why was it so important for the Disability Convention to include the voices of people with disabilities?

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Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

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