Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Many people are disabled by barriers that prevent them from being able to realise all of their human rights. These barriers take many forms and can include:

  • physical barriers like buildings without wheelchair access;
  • financial barriers like a lack of income to meet the costs of support to take part in life;
  • cultural barriers including stigmatising attitudes and behaviour by non-disabled people.

UN Treaties


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty. It makes it clear that disabled people have the same rights as non-disabled people and should not be seen or treated as mere recipients of welfare. The Convention sets out what should be done to break down the barriers that prevent disabled people from realising all of their human rights.

In the UK


The UK has been a party to the Convention since 2009. This means the Scottish Government has explicit duties to promote, protect and ensure the human rights of disabled people. Although the Convention does not form part of Scotland's domestic law directly, it can be used to help interpret the rights that are contained in the Human Rights Act 1998.

The first review of the UK’s implementation of the CRPD will take place during 2017. In February 2017, the Commission submitted two reports to the Committee which is carrying out this review. The reports were prepared jointly with other members of the UK Independent Monitoring Mechanism for the CRPD.

UK Submission (Word)
UK Submission (PDF)
UK Submission (BSL video)
UK Submission and Scotland Supplement (Easy Read)
Scotland Supplementary Report (Word)
Scotland Supplementary Report (PDF)
Scotland Supplementary Report (BSL video)

An updated report was submitted to the UN CRPD Committee in July 2017.

Updated Submission (PDF)
Updated Submission (Word)
Updated Submission (Easy Read)
Updated Submission (BSL video)

The Commission's work


Together with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Human Rights Commission promotes, protects and monitors the implementation of the Convention in Scotland (we have been designated as the Independent Monitoring Mechanism for the Convention in Scotland). The Commission is also a member of the UK Independent Monitoring Mechanism.

In January 2016, the Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s Draft Delivery Plan for the Convention. In this response we welcomed the approach taken to coordinate the implementation of the Convention by the Scottish Government Equality Unit. We also particularly welcomed the decision to use the UNCRPD as the framework to deliver change and positive outcomes for disabled people in Scotland.

The positive, collaborative approach taken by the Equality Unit was commended and we highlighted that this provided a strong model for achieving change in areas across the social justice agenda.