Published May, 2008

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol, U.N. Doc. A/61/611 (2008)

This recent convention reaffirms and seeks to enforce established rights for those with disabilities.  Articles of the convention that are particularly relevant to HIV/AIDS issues cover: recognition of equality and prohibition of discrimination (Article 5); the right to liberty and security of person (Article 14); the right to liberty of movement and to acquire and change nationality with discrimination on the basis of disability (Article 18); the right to privacy of personal, health, and rehabilitation information (Article 22); the right to respect for home and family and prohibition on discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood, and relationships (Article 23); the right to education (Article 24); the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (Article 25); states' obligations to take measures to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence (Article 26); the right to work (Article 27); the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection (Article 28); the states' obligation to comply with legally established safeguards to ensure confidentiality and privacy in the process of collecting and maintaining data on persons with disabilities, and to comply with internationally accepted norms to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and ethical principles in the collection and use of statistics (Article 31).

The Convention also establishes a Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and requires parties to the Convention to submit periodic reports to the Committee on measures it has taken to implement the Convention.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention allows individuals who are victims of violations of Convention to present complaints before the Committee against a state that has ratified the convention and violates its obligations.
In July 2009, the United States signed the Convention; however, it has not ratified the Convention and has neither signed nor ratified the Optional Protocol.