The Positive Impact of The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Case Study on the South Pacific and Lessons from the U.S. Experience
Northern Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 37, pp. 363-398, 2010
Posted: 10 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 7, 2011
The personal integrity of persons with disabilities has been systematically violated for centuries. In 2006, the United Nations, recognizing the vulnerability of persons with disabilities, adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD was developed with the support of hundreds of disabled people's organizations, interest groups, and non-governmental organizations; it has been approved unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly; and it has eighty-two ratifications and 144 signatories. The rigor that led to the creation of the CRPD provides the articles of this Convention particular credibility. Many of the States that ratified or signed the CRPD now are in the process of drafting disability-rights legislation. The CRPD provides one model for the legislative protection necessary for persons with disabilities to enjoy their human rights. The United States, which has had a disability-rights statute since 1991, offers a similar model for legislation.
This article will analyze the positive impact the CRPD is having in stimulating and guiding legislative protections in developing States. It will briefly consider legislative protection in South Pacific States, and will then analyze policy and pending legislative reforms in Vanuatu, the first Pacific Island State to ratify the CRPD. This article will compare the recently released Vanuatu National Disability Policy and Plan of Action 2008-2012 to the provisions of the CRPD and provide recommendations based upon experiences from U.S. laws.
Keywords: CRPD, Disabilities, South Pacific
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