International Day of Disabled Persons 2020
All men are created equal, with rights that are universal and inalienable to the person, without discrimination on the basis of disability. Within that context, the UN General Assembly declared the 3rd of December to be International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in accordance with Resolution 47/3 (1992), affirming the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy the right to a life of equality in dignity and rights and the respect of his or her physical and mental integrity, without discrimination.
With the aim of raising awareness on the unique situation of persons with disabilities, including the socio-cultural and economic aspects of life, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2005). Similarly, as it promotes the global respect for human rights and non-discrimination, the 2030 Agenda commits to empowering persons with disabilities.
Other international frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Humanitarian Disability Charter and the Ethiopian National Plan of Action of Persons with Disabilities are all inclusive of persons with disabilities in development, planning and implementing national programs. Ensuring the inclusion of persons with disabilities is a prerequisite for the realization of human rights, ensuring sustainable peace and achieving the promise of the 2030 Agenda to “leave no one behind”.
Ensuring the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities is not merely a matter of justice but rather represents an important factor in achieving a more inclusive global society based on the fundamental human rights value that “all human beings are born free and equal”.
The international participation of this day demonstrates understanding and solidarity with those who have been historically excluded and deprived of their individual choice in all areas of their lives.
The UN presented a Disability Inclusion Strategy in 2019 to “raise the standards of the UN’s performance on disability inclusion across the board and action to bring about a unified and transformation change.” In that regard, States should follow suit in recognizing people with disabilities as contributors to society and removing communication and attitudinal barriers that affect their ability to fully participate in society.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights praises the role of the UN in raising awareness and on the steps taken to mainstream disability inclusion through all pillars of work. Within that framework, the Institute urges states, governmental and non-governmental organizations to take into account the unique experiences and challenges of persons with disabilities, including the political and socio-economic context, in the design and implementations of national policies and programs to ensure that persons with disabilities benefit equally.
Furthermore, the Institute calls upon all countries to ensure access to education by the provision of services to students with disabilities and promoting equal opportunity in employment.
The inclusion of people with disabilities is vital to social and economic development, as well as ensuring social justice and equality.