, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 71-85

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: an introduction

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Abstract

The European Union for the first time ratified an international human rights treaty: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Such ratification will undoubtedly impact on EU law, and importantly on the position of people with disabilities in Europe and further afield. The Convention has been described as embodying the ‘paradigm shift’, being revolutionary and ground breaking. This paper will assess the content of the Convention, addressing the innovative general principles, the means of implementation as well the substantive rights contained in the Convention.

The author was speaker at the seminar EU Disability Law and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, organised by ERA on 24–25 October 2011 in Trier. She would like to thank Dr. Laurent Pech, Dr. Mary Keys and Ursula Connolly for commenting on earlier versions of this paper.