The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities : Will it help disabled children in the UK?

Author: Zoe Picton - Howell
Category: Children with disabilities

4th October 2010

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ("the Children's Convention"), ratified by the UK in December 1991, has arguably done little to improve the lives of the UK's estimated 700,000 children living with disability.

Some commentators have suggested that the newer United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("the Disability Convention") may be overcome some of the shortcomings of the Children's Convention for these children.

The Disability Convention, described by Jeremy Cooper(1) a commentator on law and disability, as a "landmark" convention. It was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 13th December 2006 and was open for signature on 30 March 2007. As of today, the Disability Convention has been signed by 146 States and ratified by 91. 89 states have signed and 57 have ratified the Optional Protocol. After some initial reluctance to do either, particularly sign and ratify the Optional Protocol, the UK has signed and ratified both.