CRPD - 10 Facts Canadians Should Know


  1. In 2010, Canada renewed its commitment to people with disabilities, about 14.3% of the Canadian population, by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a human rights treaty, ratified by 126 countries.

  2. CRPD, which includes civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, explains human rights in the context of disability, clarifying how to protect and promote the human rights of persons with disabilities.  Example: If people with disabilities are to enjoy fully the right to work, there need to be laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and requiring employers to provide barrier free workplaces (i.e. worksites that follow the principles of universal design and use accessible information and communication technology).

  3. From 2002 to 2006 Canadians with disabilities and their organizations participated in the CRPD’s development.

  4. The CRPD enshrines the human rights and social models of disability, displacing the medical and charity approaches.  The CRPD focuses on removing barriers that prevent participation by people with disabilities.

  5. The CRPD has 8 guiding principles: Respect for dignity and individual autonomy; Non-discrimination; Full and effective participation and inclusion; Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity; Equality of opportunity; Accessibility; Gender equality; Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities.

  6. The CRPD promotes a twin-track approach to disability issues, combining mainstreaming disability in all society’s initiatives with disability-specific measures to ensure equality for persons with disabilities.

  7. When it ratified the CRPD, Canada made a commitment to the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights.

  8. The CRPD includes national and international monitoring mechanisms.  As the CRPD acknowledges the role of civil society in monitoring, all Canadians can be important partners in Canadian monitoring.

  9. Two years after ratification, states must report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an independent expert panel, which monitors CRPD implementation. Canada is due to submit its first report, which will provide an important baseline against which to measure future progress on disability issues.

  10. Disability organizations are monitoring how Canada is meeting CRPD’s standards.  Canadians can contribute to building an inclusive and accessible Canada by demanding a robust CRPD implementation plan by all Canadian jurisdictions.