About the Convention

This section has information on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It also outlines how New Zealand was involved in the development of the Convention and when the Government agreed to it.

What is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights treaty. It does not create new rights for disabled people. Instead, it sets out what is required to implement existing human rights as they relate to disabled people.

While every country that ratifies (agrees to) the Convention has an obligation to implement it, there is no requirement that they do everything all at once. Instead, countries can work towards progressive realisation of the economic, social and cultural rights in the Convention. This means doing things gradually over time as resources allow.

How was New Zealand involved in the development of the Convention?

New Zealand was a leader in negotiating the Convention. We modelled the spirit of participation with disabled people, including by having representatives from the disability sector in the delegations to the United Nations. Our experience with the first New Zealand Disability Strategy (2001) also helped inform our contributions to the negotiation.

When did New Zealand agree to the Convention?

The Government signed the Convention at the United Nations on 30 March 2007, and ratified it on 26 September 2008.


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