The Role of Reasonable Accommodation in Securing Substantive Equality for Persons with Disabilities: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
24 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010
Date Written: 2010
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD or Convention) elaborates for the first time in a legally binding international human rights convention the concept of reasonable accommodation, explicitly linking it to the realization of all human rights – civil, political, economic, social, cultural – and embedding it within the non-discrimination mandate. In so doing, the CRPD animates both theoretical as well as practical discussions about rendering all rights meaningful for some 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide. This chapter reviews the concept of reasonable accommodation as it is articulated in the CRPD, the human rights treaty where it makes its first appearance. This analysis is then set against the more timid manifestation of the reasonable accommodation duty in other human rights realms, including its application in the UN and regional human rights systems. The CRPD, it is hoped, will help enliven the reasonable accommodation duty and thereby give impetus for its further development in international as well as national human rights practice. This possibility, we argue, is genuine given the procedural mechanisms now in place for advancing disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation claims under the two new Optional Protocols to the CRPD and ICESCR respectively.
Keywords: disability, economic and social rights, international treaties, litigation
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