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.
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.
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.
Under the Convention, the UK has to report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on how the rights within the convention are being implemented. States must report initially within two years of accepting the convention, and thereafter every four years.
The Initial UK State Report was submitted to the Committee in November 2011 and the UK was first reviewed in 2017. The pre-session took place in April 2017 to determine the List of Issues. The UK Government’s reply to the List of Issues was sent in July 2017 and can be read here. The full review took place in August 2017 and the Concluding Observations from the review can be accessed here. The UK government is due to submit its next report by 8 July 2023.
More information on the reporting status and access to all the relevant documentation, including follow up state reports, civil society and National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) submissions can be accessed here.
In February 2017, the Commission submitted two reports to the Committee to inform the List of Issues. 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 for the review was also submitted to the UN CRPD Committee in July 2017.
Updated Submission (PDF)
Updated Submission (Word)
Updated Submission (Easy Read)
Updated Submission (BSL video)
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 (UKIM).
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. We think that this positive, collaborative approach provides a strong model for achieving change in areas across the social justice agenda.