Friday, April 4, 2008

Thanks to Ecuador, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be ratified May 3

Reuters reported April 4 that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been ratified by the necessary 20 countries and will go into effect May 3. Ecuador was the 20th country to ratify the convention, which gives equal rights to the world's 650 million disabled people in area such as work, education and social life.

A statement from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called "the development -- 18 months after its adoption by the General Assembly, a short time by U.N. standards -- a 'historic moment,'" Reuters reported.

Ban said the ratification shows that the world wants to combat "the egregious neglect and dehumanizing practices that violate the human rights of persons with disabilities."

He calls the pact "a powerful tool to eradicate the obstacles faced by persons with disabilities: discrimination, segregation from society, economic marginalization, and lack of opportunities for participation in social, political and economic decision-making processes."

"The 32-page convention outlaws all forms of discrimination at work on the basis of disability, including in hiring, promotion and working conditions," Reuters says. "It requires equal pay for work of equal value. The pact stipulates that the disabled may not be excluded from mainstream education systems. It demands that states provide them with physical access to buildings, transportation, schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces."