The International Right to Sport for People with Disabilities

36 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2018

See all articles by Maureen Weston

Maureen Weston

Pepperdine University School of Law

Date Written: 2017


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) brings to the forefront the right of people with disabilities to engage in sports. This article examines Article 30’s mandate establishing people with disabilities (PWDs)' rights to participate in sport, particularly how the measure has been interpreted and implemented in various countries throughout the world, and the treatment of this issue in the United States under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Section II describes the CRPD, its general structure, coverage, and guiding principles. Section III focuses on Article 30(5) and its mandate for member States to ensure rights of PWDs to participate in sport. Section IV reports on the status of legislation and programs, which have been implemented by various member States in an effort to comply with Article 30, and analyzes comparable treatment of sport under disability laws in the United States. Reflecting upon the laws, programs, and possible measures to provide PWDs with the opportunity for meaningful participation in sport, the article concludes with thoughts for continued action, on legal and non-legal dimensions, to achieve the CRPD’s goal for inclusion of PWDs through the commitment to create and provide sporting opportunities. Among these proposals is a call to consider unified sport competitions, such as combining the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

Keywords: United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Sport Law, International Sports, Disabilities, American with Disabilities Act

Suggested Citation

Weston, Maureen A, The International Right to Sport for People with Disabilities (2017). Marquette Sports Law Review, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2017; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017/14. Available at SSRN:

Maureen A Weston (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

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