Human rights commission urges UK to ratify disability treaty

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has called on the government to stop dragging its feet over the ratification of a historic UN agreement to safeguard human rights for disabled people.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will come into effect on 3 May. Ecuador triggered the convention’s activation when it became the 20th country to ratify the convention last week. UN officials have hailed the convention as “one of the fastest to enter into force”.

The UK was one of the first countries to sign up to the convention was it was launched on 30 March 2007, but has yet to undergo full ratification. Disability commissioner Baroness Jane Campbell urged the government to do so by the end of 2008. She said: “Britain deserves to be seen as a beacon around the world for disability rights. In delaying ratification further, Britain will lose this status.”

So far 127 countries have signed up to the convention. Acquiring the 20 ratifications needed for a convention to into force can sometimes take several years.

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