The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty that protects the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities.
Under international law, countries that ratify the treaty consent to be bound to its contents, which champions equal status for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities monitors countries’ implementation of CRPD and issues reports on their successes and failures in upholding the rights of individuals with disabilities that are certified in the treaty.
CRPD is one of the most widely supported major international human rights treaties in world, and 167 states are party to the treaty, including Brazil, Peru, Kenya, and Tanzania. However, the United States has not ratified CRPD, even though it is modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and reflects many of the policy stances and principles championed by disability rights advocates in the United States.
Inclusive Education and CRPD
CRPD is the first legally binding document to recognize the concept of inclusive education. Article 24 of CRPD affirms the right of all people with disabilities to inclusive education, requiring countries to “ensure an inclusive education system at all levels” wherein:
- Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability;
- Children with disabilities are not excluded from free compulsory primary and secondary education on the basis of disability;
- Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality primary and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;
- Persons with disabilities can access general tertiary education, adult education, vocational training, and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others;
- Persons with disabilities receive the support required from the general education system to facilitate an effective education.