The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international treaty that promotes and protects the rights of people with disabilities. It is the first fully comprehensive international convention that countries can use to ensure that people with disabilities have the same human rights as everyone else.
The CRPD is important because it helps to shed light on the importance of accessibility for all, regardless of where you live in the world. In a time where diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of multiple conversations and actions, it is essential to include accessibility in these discussions. Too often, disability and accessibility are not discussed in the larger concept of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
People with disabilities are the most marginalized population in the world. It is estimated that 20% of the population has a disability, intersecting every racial, ethnic, and economic group. The CRPD helps to open doors for education, employment, political participation, and accessibility for people with disabilities. This framework empowers everyone, individuals with and without disabilities, to learn more about justice for people with disabilities.
What is the CRPD?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is underlined by eight guiding principles that underlie the Convention and each one of its specific articles:
- Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons.
- Full and effective participation and inclusion in society.
- Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity.
- Equality of opportunity.
- Equality between men and women.
- Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.
These principles provide a framework for promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities, ensuring that they have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate fully in society. By promoting these principles, the CRPD helps to advance the rights of people with disabilities around the world.
How does the CRPD promote accessible travel?
Article 9 of the CRPD focuses on accessibility, stating that
“To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas” .
This includes measures such as developing minimum standards for accessibility, ensuring that private entities take into account accessibility for persons with disabilities, providing training on accessibility issues, providing signage in Braille and easy-to-read forms, promoting access to new information and communications technologies, and promoting the design of accessible technologies .
In terms of travel accessibility, this means that countries that have ratified the CRPD are required to take measures to ensure that transportation, buildings, roads, and other facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. This can include measures such as providing wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, and designated seating on public transportation.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) plays an important role in promoting accessible travel for people with disabilities. By promoting accessibility through its guiding principles and specific articles such as Article 9 on accessibility , it helps to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to transportation and other facilities when traveling.
Anyone who works with individuals with a disability or has a disability should take this opportunity to learn more about the CRPD and its promotion of human rights for individuals with disabilities. By understanding and promoting the principles of the CRPD, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and accessible world for all.