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Why is the UN CRPD important?

The Convention marks a "paradigm shift" in attitudes and approaches to people with disabilities.

It takes to a new height the movement from viewing people with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorisation of people with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to people with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for people with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.

Countries and regions that join in the Convention commit themselves to develop and carry out policies, laws and administrative measures for securing the rights recognized in the Convention and abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination (Article 4).