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The purpose of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of rights and freedom of disabled people and ensure they are respected  and treated with dignity, just like other people.

The Convention and its Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. This received the highest number of signatories in history to a UN Convention on its opening day with 82 signatories to the Convention. There were also 44 signatories to the Optional Protocol, and 1 ratification of the Convention. It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional integration organizations. The Convention was negotiated during eight sessions of an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly from 2002 to 2006, making it  the fastest negotiated human rights treaty. The Convention came into force on 3 May 2008.

The Convention is the outcome of decades of work by the United Nations to better the lives of persons with disabilities. Its regulations are made with a view to change the perspective of people from viewing disabilities as “objects”  of charity, medical treatment and social protection to seeing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their own lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

The Convention reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedom. It clarifies and qualifies that disabled people have all rights that others have and identifies areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced. It also mentions the areas where further improvements are required to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights.

Keeping in view Article 49 of Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the text of the Convention has been made available in an accessible format.

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