Report on legal measures key for the ratification and effective implementation of the CRPD

25 January 2009
To the HRC at its 10th session, 6 March 2009


In its Resolution 7/9 entitled �Human rights of persons with disabilities�, the Human Rights Council decided to hold on an annual basis an interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Council further decided to hold its first such debate in the course of its tenth session, focusing on �key legal measures for ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, including with regard to equality and non-discrimination� and requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to prepare a study on this subject.

In preparation of this report, OHCHR held a one-day consultation meeting on 24 October 2008. Through this Consultation, the Office aimed at:

  • Present national experiences in the ratification of the Convention;
  • Identify and discuss key priority areas for implementation of the Convention, with a focus on equality and non-discrimination measures in particular in the areas of legal capacity and education;
  • Identify and reflect on the structure and role of national mechanisms for national implementation and monitoring;
  • Identify and reflect on potential gaps and obstacles to effective implementation of the Convention at country level.

The meeting was open to the participation of Member States, inter-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, representatives from non-governmental organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities as well as other interested individuals. The report of the consultation outlines the main points raised during the discussions. Report of the consultation.


Key legal measures for the ratification and effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol:

  • States considering ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol should engage in a domestic effort to clarify the implications of becoming a party to the Convention. Review of domestic legislation and policies for the identification of gaps or areas for reform should be a key element of such a process, which should also include meaningful and adequate consultation with stakeholders, including civil society and organizations of person with disabilities.
  • States becoming parties to the Convention should carefully evaluate the opportunity to lodge reservations or interpretative declarations to the Convention. Human rights treaty bodies have consistently expressed the view that reservations might have the effect of diminishing the scope of protection afforded by treaties.
  • Incorporation of the Convention in the domestic legal order of States parties realizes the full potential of the treaty and results in enhanced protection. States parties where the Convention is not automatically incorporated into the national legal system should consider the adoption of specific measures for this purpose.
  • International human rights treaties prevail over national legislation. Provisions of constitutional law as well as other aspects of domestic law cannot be invoked to justify a failure to perform or give effect to the obligations assumed by States upon ratification of the Convention.
  • The domestic review for compliance with the Convention that States are required to conduct should extend to all areas covered by the treaty, including equality and non-discrimination measures required for the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by women, men and children with disabilities.
  • With a view to guaranteeing effective equality of persons with disabilities in all areas of life, legislative measures are not sufficient and should be accompanied by judicial, administrative, educational, financial and social measures, amongst others.
  • States parties to the Convention should ensure that all rights enshrined in the Convention are justiciable before national courts and access to justice for persons with disabilities should be ensured, in accordance with article 13.
  • States parties are required to establish or designate national implementation and monitoring structures in accordance with article 33. The effective establishment and functioning of such structures plays a key role in the effective implementation of the Convention.
  • States parties to the Convention should continuously assess the impact of policies and legislation adopted to give effect to the Convention, in cooperation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

Inputs received

In preparation of the study, OHCHR invited States and relevant stakeholders to present submissions by transmitting a set of questions related to legal measures key for the ratification and effective implementation of the CRPD. As a result, OHCHR received the responses listed below.

Member States


NGOs and Civil society organizations