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Toward Inclusive Equality: Ten Years of the Human Rights Model of Disability in the Work of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Disability Law and Human Rights

Abstract

Disability is a new subject in international human rights law. With the adoption of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, a new era of human rights law began. This chapter looks at the first ten years of the CRPD Committee and its implication for equality law. The authors take a look at the legal interpretations of the CRPD through the Committee’s General Comments and legal concepts applied with emphasis on equality and anti-discrimination. The human rights model of disability is described as the new disability model which evolved in the first decade of treaty monitoring. It corresponds with a new concept of equality that the CRPD brings to international anti-discrimination law called inclusive equality. Inclusive equality is compared to earlier models i.e., formal and substantive equality. Inclusive equality and the human rights model of disability are introduced as innovative legal concepts which offer innovative and adequate answers to disability policy from a human rights perspective.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The preamble (e) recognizes that disability is an evolving concept and that disability “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.

  2. 2.

    In article 1 persons with disabilities are defined as “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.

  3. 3.

    Other articles under which the Committee mentioned the human rights model of disability in one or a couple of concluding observations are articles 7, 12, 15, 19, 24, 27, 31 and 32.

  4. 4.

    Together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

  5. 5.

    The second group includes: the Convention on the Elimination of all Form of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

  6. 6.

    Note that this is still disputed (e.g. Broderick 2020).

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Correspondence to Theresia Degener .

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Degener, T., de Castro, M.GC. (2022). Toward Inclusive Equality: Ten Years of the Human Rights Model of Disability in the Work of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In: Felder, F., Davy, L., Kayess, R. (eds) Disability Law and Human Rights. Palgrave Studies in Disability and International Development. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86545-0_2

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