"I firmly believe this new instrument presents itself in a time of noticeable and important changes in the attitude of our society towards the rights of persons with disabilities”
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2007 - Louise Arbour
Handicap & The UN treaty
According to the UN 6000 million people worldwide, or 10% of the world population, live with a disability. Since the Decade of Disabled Persons 1983-1992 an international movement advocated for the right for persons with disabilities to actively participate in society. Their efforts resulted in the creation and adoption of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006. The UN Convention does not assign additional rights to this particular target group but reformulates their existing rights ( cfr. Universal Declaration of Human Rights) to fit their special needs and situation. Up until today 140 countries worldwide ratified the Convention. Belgium signed the declaration in 2007 to ratify it in July 2009, giving the Convention power of law. Article 21 summons the member states to incorporate the principles of the Convention in all different aspects of international cooperation.