This communication expresses the support of the European Commission "for a United Nations (UN) legally binding instrument to protect and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disability". It notes that respect for equality and non-discrimination should be a cornerstone of such an instrument and goes on to observe that the focus on equality is fully in line with the EU's rights-based approach to disability.
This 1996 publication is a collection of instruments adopted by the UN system, including ILO and UNESCO towards furthering the goal of the elimination of all forms of discrimination. Race, gender and disability are the three grounds covered by the instruments documented.
This instrument is a major outcome of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981). One of its key themes is the promotion of full participation of disabled people in society. The document addresses disability prevention, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities for disabled people. It was adopted by General Assembly resolution 37/52.
Among the major outcomes of the Decade of Disabled Persons was the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Standard Rules in 1993. Although not a legally binding instrument, the Standard Rules represent a strong moral and political commitment by governments to take action to attain equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities.
These rules cover areas such as medical care, rehabilitation, support services and education and are aimed to promote the integration of disabled people in society. The Rules also emphasize the duties of the state regarding preconditions for equal participation, which include the responsibilities of public authorities, media and the private sector. It was adopted by General Assembly resolution 48/96 of 20 December 1993.
Article 2 of the EC Treaty provides that promotion of equality between men and women is a task of the European Community. Under Article 3(2), the Community should aim to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between men and women.
These principles lay down provisions to promote the rights of mentally disabled persons in health care. There are specific provisions on informed consent, confidentiality, standard of care and treatment and the rights available to inmates of mental disability institutions. Principle 1(4) prohibits discrimination on the ground of mental disability. It was adopted by General Assembly resolution 46/119 of 17 December 1991.
This declaration guarantees rights respecting the dignity of the mentally disabled, including the right not to be exploited and abused, the right to economic security, the right to a decent standard of living and the right to proper medical care and therapy. It was adopted by General Assembly resolution 2856 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971.
This protocol provides for a collective complaint mechanism under which certain kinds of organizations specified in Article 1 or national organizations specified in Article 2 of this additional protocol can file complaints against state parties to the protocol for non-compliance with the provisions of the Charter. It may be noted that unlike the European Court of Human Rights, individuals cannot file complaints. The Committee of Independent Experts, who is responsible for examining each complaint and deciding on its merits, considers the complaints.
The European Social Charter of 1961 guarantees several social and economic rights and was intended to complement the European Convention on Human Rights.