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Mrs Anna Lachowska, human rights defender, Chairperson, Disability Council International
A World Report on Disability published by the World Health Organization in 2011 indicates now that an estimated more than one billion people, or 15% of the world population, live with some form of disabilities around the world!
With the adoption of the UN International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Convention), persons with disabilities worldwide have an instrument that allows them to no longer just aspire to charity and condescendence, but to full inclusion in their respective societies.
The CRPD Convention and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006 and entered into force on 3 May 2008.
The CRPD Convention establishes monitoring mechanisms both at the international and national levels. At the international level the central monitoring mechanism is the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee). At the national level the CRPD Convention encourages States to establish a number of institutions in order to facilitate implementation and monitoring. A closer work with civil society organizations including national organizations of persons with disabilities is encouraged.
States parties are obliged under the terms of the CRPD Convention to respect, to protect and ensure the equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities on equal footing with other citizens. However, ensuring the promotion, protection and implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities is not an easy task and will not be achieved without the contribution and collective efforts of civil society organizations both nationally and internationally based.