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UAE signs Protocol to Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

posted on 14/02/2008: 1762 views

New York - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed on Tuesday at the UN headquarters the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, becoming the 126th signatory of the international agreement since the Convention was opened for signature in March 2007. The Protocol was signed by UAE Minister of Social Affairs Mariam Al Roumi on the sidelines of the 46th session of the UN Social Development Commission. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006, and opened for signature on 30 March 2007.

The Convention was negotiated during eight sessions of an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly from 2002 to 2006, making it the fastest negotiated human rights treaty.

Highlights of the Convention: The Convention aims to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.

Countries that join in the Convention engage themselves to develop and carry out policies, laws and administrative measures for securing the rights recognised in the Convention and abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination.

Countries are to guarantee that persons with disabilities enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others, ensure the equal rights and advancement of women and girls with disabilities and protect children with disabilities.

Countries are to recognise that all persons are equal before the law, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee equal legal protection.

Countries are to ensure the equal right to own and inherit property, to control financial affairs and to have equal access to bank loans, credit and mortgages.

Countries must protect the physical and mental integrity of persons with disabilities, just as for everyone else, guarantee freedom from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and prohibit medical or scientific experiments without the consent of the person concerned.

Laws and administrative measures must guarantee freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. In case of abuse, States shall promote the recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration of the victim and investigate the abuse.

Persons with disabilities are not to be subjected to arbitrary or illegal interference with their privacy, family, home, correspondence or communication. The privacy of their personal, health and rehabilitation information is to be protected like that of others.

Countries recognise the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection; this includes public housing, services and assistance for disability-related needs, as well as assistance with disability-related expenses in case of poverty.

States are to ensure equal access to primary and secondary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning. Education is to employ the appropriate materials, techniques and forms of communication. Pupils with support needs are to receive support measures, and pupils who are blind, deaf and deaf-blind are to receive their education in the most appropriate modes of communication from teachers who are fluent in sign language and Braille. Education of persons with disabilities must foster their participation in society, their sense of dignity and self worth and the development of their personality, abilities and creativity.

Persons with disabilities have the right to the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability. They are to receive the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health services as provided other persons receive those health services needed because of their disabilities, and not to be discriminated against in the provision of health insurance.

Countries are to ensure equal participation in political and public life, including the right to vote, to stand for elections and to hold office.

Countries are to promote participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport by ensuring provision of television programmes, films, theatre and cultural material in accessible formats, by making theatres, museums, cinemas and libraries accessible, and by guaranteeing that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative potential not only for their own benefit, but also for the enrichment of society.

A Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, made up of independent experts, will receive periodic reports from States parties on progress made in implementing the Convention. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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