Canada Signs UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

For Immediate Release

Canada Signs UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities

Friday, 30 March 2007, the Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Canada today signed the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), the first human rights convention of this century. People with disabilities were on hand for this announcement, which was anticipated eagerly. The Canadian disability community worked for five years for the achievement of a CRPD consistent with Canadian values. Steve Estey, Chairperson of CCD's International Committee, was present at the United Nations for the signing ceremony.

CCD thanks Minister MacKay for his leadership on the CRPD. By participating in the signing ceremony, Canada has become an important role model to other nations, demonstrating how to make rights meaningful for a group that has experienced some of the most severe forms of human rights violations, ranging from forced sterilization to the denial of legal capacity. By involving people with disabilities in the development of the Convention and by being among the first to sign on to the CRPD, Canada is sending an important message to other nations of the world, regarding an inclusive and principled approach to working with people with disabilities and their organizations.

Canada is an acknowledged leader in human rights and, during the development of the CRPD, Canadian officials played a key role in ensuring that the Convention was built on a strong foundation of equality and human rights. Canada helped deliver to people with disabilities around the world an elaboration of human rights principles, as seen through a disability lens.

The Government of Canada collaborated with disability organizations during the development of the CRPD. Steve Estey and Mary Ennis, another member of CCD's International Committee, participated on Canadian delegations that worked on the development of the CRPD. The Department of Human Resources and Social Development Canada supported the disability community's participation in the development of the Convention. The process benefited from the Canadian disability community's keen understanding of human rights violations and the remedies that are needed to ensure people with disabilities have full enjoyment of their rights.


For More Information Contact:

Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator 204-947-0303