The following terms will help you understand how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) works and how different countries can bring its principles to life through their own laws.
Adopt: Formally approve or accept (for example, the UNCRPD, another UN Convention, or a declaration).
Access: The right, opportunity or ability to use, approach, meet with or enter something.
Articles: A paragraph or a section in a legal document that is numbered; these numbers make it easy to find information as well as to write and talk about it.
Campaign: An organised series of actions intended to gain support for a particular practice; or organising or taking part in these actions.
Come into force, enter into force: When 20 countries sign and ratify a UN convention, it becomes binding law in those countries.
Committee: A group of people who are chosen to work together and help a larger group of people.
Convention: A treaty or agreement by a group of countries to develop and follow the same laws. When a country signs and ratifies a convention, it becomes a legal promise and guides the actions of the country’s government. It often leads the government to change its own laws to support the convention’s goals.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an agreement to ensure that all people, including people of with disabilities of all ages, can have full, equal rights in society.
Discrimination: Unjustifiably different treatment given to different people or groups.
Disability: The preamble to the UNCRPD defines disability as follows – disability is an evolving concept and results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
Human rights: The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.
Implement, implementation: To put something into effect. Implementing articles of the UNCRPD means turning its promises into meaningful laws and policies.
Ratification, ratify: When a signed convention or agreement is officially approved by a country. The country then does its best to turn the convention’s articles into laws.
Sign: When a country signs a convention, it officially starts the process of making its principles national law. A UN convention is signed at the UN headquarters.
States parties: Countries that signed and agreed to the UNCRPD.
UNCRPD: The abbreviation for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: This agreement lists the rights of all of the world’s people and was signed by every member country of the United Nations on 10 December 1948.