Human Rights are a universal standard to make sure all people have the opportunity to live with dignity and freedom from fear of harassment and discrimination. Since the introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, there have been several additional declarations, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which are designed to strengthen and further promote the human rights of all people.
What is the UNCRPD?
The United Nations (UN) developed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to ensure that human rights are provided to everyone regardless of ability or level of functioning.
Originally adopted by the United Nations in 2006, Canada “ratified” the CRPD in 2010, meaning they are legally bound to promote and protect the civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights of people with disabilities.
Why is the UNCRPD Important to FASD Advocacy?
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) holds promise as a tool of advocacy for self-advocates with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and their care providers. Families can use the CRPD to help advocate for accommodation supports and services for individuals with FASD.
Many areas outlined in the UNCRPD overlap with FASD including awareness-raising (Article 8), access to justice (Article 13), living independently and being included in the community (Article 19), education (Article 24), health (Article 25), work and employment (Article 27), adequate standard of living and social protection (Article 28), and respect for home and the family (Article 23). In our Issue Paper on the UNCRPD, we explore the topics of diagnosis, housing, and justice as examples for how to use the CRPD to advocate for relevant accommodations and services in those areas.
UNCRPD Plain Language Guide
While the UNCRPD is an important document meant to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities, the language used can often be hard to understand.
We have created a UNCRPD Plain Language Guide as a tool for individuals and families to better understand the UNCRPD. This Plain Language Guide outlines keywords and definitions you may come across in the UNCRPD. We hope that this guide will also be helpful in learning how to talk about human rights related to people with disabilities, including those with FASD.
The keywords and definitions are listed in alphabetical order with an interactive alphabet bar at the top for faster use when looking for specific words.
To learn more about the UNCRPD, we encourage you to read our issue paper: Framing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Policy, Practice, and Research Using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.