The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first international legally binding instrument setting minimum standards for rights for people with disabilities, and the first human rights convention to which the EU has become a party.
All the EU countries have signed the Convention; Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands have signed, but not yet ratified it. 23 EU countries have also signed its Optional Protocol and 21 have ratified it.
This means that the EU as well as those Member States that are parties to the UN Convention are committed to upholding and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities as enshrined in the UN Convention. The core elements of the UN Convention are reflected in the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
Parties to the Convention need to periodically inform the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities about the measures taken to implement it:
EU Member States must also submit individual implementation reports to the UN for the matters under their competence.
The Commission regularly discusses the implementation of the Convention at EU and Member State level in a High Level Group on Disability made up of:
The annual Work Forum brings together those responsible for implementation and monitoring of the Convention as well as civil society and organisations of persons with disabilities from the EU and its Member States.
As a party to the Convention, the EU is required to have a mechanism responsible to promote, protect and monitor its implementation on matters of EU competence.
The EU Framework on the implementation of the UNCRPD is operational since 2013.