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Metropolitan Model United Nations Conference XLII United Nations Human Rights Council

Rights of Disabled People


Disabled people are denied basic rights in society, employment, education, and in their general lives. People with disabilities are entitled to exercise their political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights on an equal basis among others as mentioned in all international treaties. However, disabled individuals continue to be denied the right to live freely and independently in their communities. For this to be further realized, modern international law has led to an increase in the requirement for all nations to include human rights standards in their national legislation. Although no country is excused from the improvement of policies and laws for individuals with disabilities, the methods to promote the social, cultural, and economic rights differ. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established to provide equal rights to all people worldwide. Despite the efforts of the United Nations, certain groups of people, such as the disabled, face more challenges. Many of the 650 million people living in the world with disabilities, making up 10% of the global population, will lack the opportunities of the major population. Due to acts of discrimination, a legally binding legislation is needed to guarantee the rights of people with disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes the international human rights standards for people with disabilities worldwide. The right to equality is the foundation of the rights of people with disabilities. Although the convention was developed to prevent abuse, countries such as China go against the principles created. China fails to reach the requirements of the Convention, such as denying children with disabilities the right to a proper education, in which more than 40% of the 83 million people in the country are illiterate. In addition, China has been involuntarily confining people with mental disabilities. The patients are rarely allowed to make the decisions regarding their treatment, confinement, and forced medications. In 2008, an elderly woman who was arbitrarily detained in a psychiatric hospital was found beaten to death. Other examples of human rights abuses against disabled people come in the instances of two incidents in Jordan and Ghana. In private care homes for disabled children in the country of Jordan, the care-takers were beating the children. Children were found seriously injured when undercover cameras went to the care facilities. In Ghana, thousands of people with mental disabilities are forced to live in death-like sentences, often against their will and with little possibility of challenging their confinement, while living in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Don MacKay, Chairman of the committee that negotiated the treaty of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said, What the Convention endeavors to do, is to elaborate in detail the rights of persons with disabilities and set out a code of implementation. The action of the Convention is to eliminate the discrimination of people with disabilities and to provide

equal rights to all. The goal of countries is to provide development assistance by developing countries to put into practice the Convention.

Questions to Consider: What are the conditions in your nation regarding this issue? What are some solutions that are helpful in eliminating abuse? How should the governments be urged to follow treaties and declarations? What are some suggestions in providing equal rights to disabled people? Sources: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/07/15/china-end-discrimination-exclusion-childrendisabilities http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/03/china-end-arbitrary-detention-mental-healthinstitutions http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18073144 http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/03/31/ghana-people-mental-disabilities-face-seriousabuse http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10522001 http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/questions.shtml