Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Short title: UN Disability Rights Convention (not official)
Title (engl.): Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Date: December 13, 2006
Come into effect: May 3, 2008
Reference: English
Reference (German): Germany: Federal Law Gazette 2008 II p. 1419, 1420 (trilingual)
Austria: Federal Law Gazette III No. 155/2008 ( German )
Switzerland: SR 0.109 (trilingual)
Contract type: Multinational
Legal matter: Human rights
Signing: 163 (July 23, 2020)
Ratification : 182 (July 23, 2020)
European Union: formal confirmation (December 23, 2010)
Germany: Ratification (February 24, 2009)
Liechtenstein: -
Austria: Ratification (deposited in New York on September 26, 2008; entered into force October 26, 2008)
Switzerland: Ratification (April 15, 2014)
Please note the note on the applicable contract version .

Contracting states of the UN Disability Rights Convention (dark green), signatory states (light green) (October 1, 2012)

The 2006 by the UN General Assembly in New York adopted and entered into force in 2008 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( UN CRPD , BRK) is one of 182 States and the European Union through ratification , accession ( accession ) or (in the case EU) formal acknowledgment ( formal confirmation ) concluded international treaty , the previously existing eight human rights treaties assets specified for the lives of disabled people:
you will not "sick" as or referred to as "sick" and considered ( " medical model "), but as people with equal rights (“human rights model”), whose disability tends to come from outside through the environment and structures.

The convention was drawn up over five years and affects around 650 million people; no other UN convention has been ratified so quickly by so many states and drawn up with representatives of those affected.

History and entry into force

"The most important precursors of the Convention [are]
The International Charter of Human Rights :

Other United Nations and ILO conventions specifically addressing human rights and disability:

  • Declaration on the Rights of the Mentally Disabled (1971)
  • Declaration on the Rights of Disabled People (1975)
  • World Program of Action for Disabled People (1982)
  • Tallinn Guidelines on Human Resource Development Policies in the Disability Field (1990)
  • Principles for the Protection of the Mentally Ill and Improving Mental Health Care (1991)
  • Framework provisions for the establishment of equal opportunities for disabled people (1993) "
- German translation of the handbook of the United Nations and the Interparliamentary Union.

The conclusion of the convention was preceded by four years of deliberations with eight working meetings of the ad hoc committee set up by the General Assembly in 2001. Previous attempts to draft a disability rights convention failed. 80 states and 30 non-governmental organizations took part in the first session, and in the end there were 120 states and 468 non-governmental organizations. The convention was drawn up with the participation of those affected as representatives of the United Nations, government delegations and non-governmental organizations. For Germany, constitutional lawyer Theresia Degener took part in the negotiations as an independent lawyer.

On December 13, 2006, the Convention and the Optional Protocol were adopted; They came into force on May 3, 2008, after the first twenty states ratified the Convention and ten ratified the Optional Protocol. Of the 193 member states of the United Nations, 161 states and the European Union had signed the convention by 2018 . At the same time it had been ratified by 177 states and the EU or entered into force through accession or formal approval. By then, 92 states have signed the Optional Protocol and put it into effect. All 27 EU member states have signed the convention, 22 EU member states have signed the Optional Protocol on February 1, 2011, 17 member states have put the Convention into force and 14 the Optional Protocol. The EU signed the convention on March 30, 2007, and on November 26, 2009 the Council adopted the decision on the conclusion (ratification) of the convention. The EU is bound by this to the extent of its competence. On December 23, 2010, the EU completed the ratification process by depositing the document for formal confirmation with the UN Secretary General in New York. For the EU, the agreement entered into force on January 22, 2011. In Austria the convention was ratified on October 26, 2008, in Germany it came into force on March 26, 2009.

Only a little more than half of the contracting states had also concluded the Optional Protocol by 2018, which can be concluded separately in addition to accession to the Convention. This gives individuals or groups of people the option of international complaints proceedings.


Worldwide 650 million people, 10% of the world's population and the largest minority, live with a disability. This group will continue to grow as the world population increases, medical advances, and an aging society. People with disabilities often live on the margins of society and make up the poorest fifth of the world's population. 98% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not go to school, 30% of street children have disabilities, only 3% of adults with disabilities can write and read, in some countries only 1% of women with disabilities. People living in poverty are at greater risk of becoming disabled, and disability can also lead to poverty. In the member countries of the OECD , 19% of people with a low level of education are disabled, in the groups with a higher level of education 11% are disabled. In the European Union at the end of 2011 every sixth person had a slight to severe disability, which affected 80 million people. Of those over 75 years of age, more than a third had disabilities. As the aging population increases, so will these numbers. In 2009 there were 9.6 million people with disabilities in Germany, 7.1 million of them severely disabled, a total of around one in ten residents. Worldwide, disabled people are among the group whose human rights are most at risk. In many states, disabled infants are killed, forced sterilization, sexual abuse, and drug trials.

"These basic rights are regularly denied to people with disabilities:
The right

  • get a good education
  • to move freely and unhindered from one place to another
  • to lead a self-determined life in the community
  • Finding work even if they are highly skilled
  • To have access to information
  • receive adequate health care
  • their political rights such as B. exercise their right to vote
  • to make their own decisions. "
- German translation of the handbook of the United Nations and the Interparliamentary Union.


In addition to the preamble, the convention consists of 50 articles. Articles 1–30 are the main focus. The General Part, Articles 1-9, contains the purpose, definitions and principles of the Convention. In the special part, Articles 10–30, the individual human rights are listed.

The convention outlines the obligations of states to guarantee the human rights that exist for people with disabilities. The task of all human rights conventions is to empower people by asserting claims to self-determination, freedom from discrimination and equal participation in society and making it possible to enforce them. In the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, awareness of one's own human dignity and that of others as the basis of this empowerment comes into play more strongly than in any other human rights convention. The concept of human dignity is not only a more frequent content of the text of the convention, it is also called for more explicitly than in other human rights conventions as a goal of raising awareness.

The principles of the Convention are contained in Article 3:

a) Respect for human dignity, individual autonomy , including the freedom to make decisions, and independence;
b) non-discrimination;
c) Full and effective participation in and inclusion in society;
d) Respect for the diversity of people with disabilities and the acceptance of these people as part of human diversity and humanity;
e) equal opportunities ;
f) accessibility ;
g) equality between men and women ;
h) respect for the developing abilities of children with disabilities and respect for their right to their identity.

Definition of disability

In preamble e) it is stated that the understanding of disability is evolving. It also says there

"That disability arises from the interaction between people with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers .."

Article 1 sentence 2 reads:

"People with disabilities include people who have long-term physical, emotional, mental or sensory impairments, which, in interaction with various barriers, can prevent them from participating fully, effectively and equally in society."

Art. 1 allows the interpretation that anyone who is excluded from full participation in society must be considered "disabled" in a very broad sense and can therefore claim the rights that the Convention provides for people with disabilities in the following articles granted.

Equal opportunities and non-discrimination, Article 5

Human dignity forms the basis of human rights equality and the prohibition of discrimination . The legal positions based on human rights belong directly to the people. It does not need to be assigned by the company, just as a withdrawal is not possible.

Equal participation in the community (integration)

This includes independent living and inclusion in the community Article 19, education Article 24, work and employment Article 27, adequate standard of living and social protection Article 28, participation in cultural life as well as recreation, leisure and sport Article 30. Here the Convention calls for the Integration (the term inclusion does not appear in the Convention ).

Based on the Convention, the right to participation of people with disabilities arises from the central human right to respect for human dignity and is not just a question of social well-being. The Convention distances itself from a disability policy of care and the compensation of imaginary deficits, "deficit approach". It has the model of so-called "inclusion". It is no longer just a question of integrating the excluded, but of enabling all people to participate fully in all social activities at all levels from the outset. This means that all areas of society must be tailored or opened up for the participation of people with disabilities. It is not the job of a person with disabilities to adapt in order to enjoy their rights. Ensuring infrastructure suitable for the disabled is a basic idea of ​​the Disability Rights Convention. People with disabilities should be supported by community-based services or personal assistance. Many of the barriers to participation that people with disabilities suffer from are related to physical or mental barriers. Overcoming these demands broad-based state and social efforts and the willingness to assume the costs necessary for implementation.

See also: Participation (disabled people) .

Inclusive society

The aim of the convention by respecting the different talents and abilities of people with disabilities, "diversity approach", to promote the development of a human, social and economic society with the unrestricted participation of people with disabilities (integrative society; the concept of inclusion appears in the Convention not on), without overlooking their needs, is already set out in the preamble m). The understanding of disability, which is not negative from the outset, but the normality of living together with and without disabilities, increases the quality of life for all citizens. Raising awareness of the respect for human dignity of people with disabilities can lead to their self-respect. Article 24 Paragraph 1 a). The states party to the convention should take measures to educate and raise awareness of society, Article 8, and strengthen the awareness of people with disabilities through an everyday culture that is free of barriers to access and participation.

Legal capacity and capacity to give consent as equal recognition before the law, Article 12

The same recognition before the law includes not only the legal capacity but also the capacity to give consent with regard to medical measures. This was a controversial point in the convention negotiations, since in many states disabled people are declared incapable of doing business. According to Article 12, everyone is in principle legally entitled to act, whereby Article 12 paragraph 4 regulates the restriction of equality before the law. The necessary protection of people who have limited knowledge or who are mentally ill should be ensured through help in decision-making, which has priority over the substitute decision.

Access to justice, Article 13

In general, the principle of accessibility applies to disabled people : Blind or visually impaired people must read out legally relevant texts or make them accessible in another way. Hearing or speech impaired people must be provided with the necessary aids during hearings. People with cognitive disabilities have the right to have legal documents explained to them in a language they understand.

Inclusive education, Article 24

This article had the greatest public response in Germany. The content and scope of this regulation are controversial.

Joint school and university visit

The official German translation calls for an integrative education system in which disabled people are not excluded from the general education system due to disability (Art. 24 (2) a of the Convention) and without discrimination and on an equal footing with others, access to general higher education, vocational training, adult education and have lifelong learning (Art. 24 (5) of the Convention).

Inclusion , i.e. the joint teaching of students with and without disabilities, is not explicitly required in the UN Convention. Nevertheless, in public discussions it often appears that the possibility of joint schooling for disabled and non-disabled children in general schools and attending universities is the central point of this article.

In Germany, 20.1% of pupils with special educational needs attended general schools in the 2009/10 school year. Article 24 stipulates that access to mainstream schools is the norm.

“The monitoring body attaches great importance to compliance with and implementation of the right to inclusive education in the federal states. Realizing the right to education as a human right is central to realizing other human rights; this also applies to the joint learning of non-disabled and disabled children and young people.
The right to inclusive education within the meaning of the Convention is designed as an individual right. This right sets binding standards both for the gradual development of an inclusive education system and for access to this education system in individual cases. ...
It applies to all countries that enormous structural efforts are still required at all levels of action in order to successfully implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the medium and long term and, moreover, in the short term, the individual right to non-discriminatory access to meaningful local education at a regular school practically redeemable. "

The education law of the UN Disability Rights Convention can be interpreted as an obligation of the contracting states to enable access to an integrative education system. The Viennese university professor Gottfried Biewer sees Article 24 less as an indication of the dissolution of special schools than as a call to political actors to provide the necessary measures to support children with disabilities in regular schools. These should open up and accept children and young people regardless of their different requirements. In the school sector in Germany, distinctions and conceptual classifications such as learning disabilities have so far been used that are not used internationally.

German universities generally had representatives for the needs of disabled and chronically ill students long before the Convention came into force. For some years now, service points for students with disabilities or chronic illnesses have been in place at individual German universities. On the occasion of the entry into force of the Convention, the University Rectors' Conference adopted the recommendation "One University for All". The individual federal states (state governments) develop action programs for the implementation of the convention, within the framework of which the universities were asked for statements and thought was given as to whether and in what form those affected should be included or involved.

In Austria around 50% of all pupils with special needs have been integrated into general school classes to date .

Regarding the question of whether special schools for people with disabilities are now permitted on the basis of the Convention, the United Kingdom, in its declaration on Art. 24 Paragraph 2 lit. a and b of the Convention take the view:

"The UK General Education System includes mainstream and special schools which the UK believes are permitted under the Convention."

The correctness of this view of the United Kingdom is supported by the fact that according to Art. 24 Para. 1 lit. b an "integrative education system" to be established has, among other things, the goal of "allowing people with disabilities to fully develop their personality, their talents and their creativity as well as their mental and physical abilities." In certain cases, this may require special educational institutions. Art. 24 para. 2 lit. b only ensuring that "people with disabilities have access to inclusive, quality and free education in primary and secondary schools on an equal footing with others in the community in which they live."

In contrast, the Austrian Federal Disability Attorney Erwin Buchinger ( SPÖ , until 2017) and the former incumbent President of the State School Council for Styria, Bernd Schilcher ( ÖVP ), claimed (without citing legal arguments) that the existence of special schools was contrary to the Convention.

See also: Inclusive Education .

Compensation for disadvantage

For a long time, the “Principles for the Promotion of Schoolchildren with Special Difficulties in Reading and Spelling or Arithmetic” of the “ Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education of the Federal States in the Federal Republic of Germany ” on December 4th were decisive for dealing with affected students in regular schools 2003. The KMK resolution names the extension of working hours, especially in class work, as well as the provision of technical and didactic aids in the classroom to compensate for the disadvantages of reading and spelling weaknesses. In addition, an assessment of reading and spelling performance can be dispensed with. However, it is not possible to dispense with the evaluation of computational performance in mathematics and in the natural science subjects. In the upper secondary level at the latest, inadequate or inadequate language skills must be sanctioned, in the form of a point deduction from the content-related performance in class work in all school subjects.
The wording, which was not changed in the 2007 revision: “may be considered”, makes it clear that, from the point of view of the ministers of education, the measures cited are in no way based on a legal claim derived from the UN Convention or Art. 3 Para could. From the perspective of the 2000s, such claims could at best be derived from the threat or the existence of a mental handicap within the meaning of Section 35a of Book VIII of the Social Code (e.g. in the form of the right to therapy or the use of an integration assistant in class).
However, the higher administrative courts of several countries are now of the opinion that all students who have a discrepancy between average or above-average intelligence on the one hand and unexpectedly poor performance in reading, writing and / or arithmetic on the other hand are considered disabled, if not severely disabled would have to apply, provided that licensed medical specialists or psychotherapists confirmed this finding in writing.

A systematic translation of all important written information into easy language , but also speaking into easy language , is helpful for all groups of people who have problems dealing with texts that are difficult to understand . Texts in easy language are considered barrier-free .

Dealing with the concept of disability

Expansion of the internationally accepted understanding of disability

The term "learning disability" makes it possible in the German-speaking area to apply the UN Convention, which is exclusively intended to protect people with disabilities, to groups of people who are not "disabled" in the narrower sense of the word in a way that is not possible outside of the German-speaking area. Section 19 (1) of Book III of the Social Code also guarantees people with a “learning disability” the right to vocational training. For this reason, there are various support options and forms of vocational training for young people with special educational needs (learning) in Germany. During the period of vocational preparation and training, young people with “learning disabilities” are treated equally with severely disabled people if the degree of disability is less than 30 or a degree of disability has not been determined ( Section 68 (4 ) SGB ​​IX ). Young people with "learning disabilities" certified by the responsible school authority therefore receive benefits from the Federal Employment Agency.

Another possibility of bringing students within the scope of the UN Convention is to define partial performance disorders such as poor reading and spelling or dyscalculia as a "disability". If German courts confirm this diagnosis, claims for benefits under SGB ​​IX or SGB ​​VIII could be derived. However, an impairment or a functional disorder according to § 2 SGB ​​IX can only be recognized as a disability if it is very likely that the problem still persists after six months. It should therefore be possible to rule out that pupils diagnosed with LRS or dyscalculia achieve significant progress within six months through effective educational measures (i.e. without services provided by integration assistance ).
The WHO regards both partial performance disorders as "diseases" (Category F81: circumscribed developmental disorders of school skills according to ICD10 ). However, neither the UN Convention nor Art. 3 Paragraph 3 Clause 2 of the German Basic Law can be applied to sick people who have not also been assigned a degree of disability . Health insurance companies would actually be responsible for diseases; the SGB V , however, does not provide services for students with dyslexia or dyscalculia.
The Administrative Court of
Hanover stated in its decision of February 10, 2012: "Partial performance disorders (here: reading and spelling weaknesses - LRS) do not in themselves constitute mental disorders within the meaning of Section 35a of Book VIII of the Social Code ." Only then is there a claim to integration assistance when a partial performance weakness has led to a "secondary neurotization ". In that case, Section 35a of the Book of the Social Code (SGB VIII) would apply, since a lasting exclusion of the pupil at risk of mental disability from social participation was to be feared.

Accusation of stigmatizing people

For people who rate the use of the word field “disability” as discrimination (see, for example, people first - network People First Germany # changes in speaking and thinking ), the use of the word field “disability” stigmatizes “people with Learning difficulties ". The DGB in the Cologne-Bonn area speaks of" people [...] who have a physical or mental disability, [and] people with learning disabilities in connection with the group that is to be funded on the basis of § 66 of the Vocational Training Act [n], developmentally delayed [n] and socially disadvantaged [n] adolescents ”and consciously avoids the term“ disability ”in the latter groups.

Right to the highest attainable standard of health, Article 25

The right to the highest attainable level of health.

Participation in working life, Article 27

Article 27 protects people with disabilities worldwide from being held in slavery, serfdom or from having to do forced or compulsory labor.

In Article 27, the contracting parties reaffirm "the equal right of people with disabilities to work". Since, according to the German view, human rights must be enforceable in court, there is no “ right to work ” in the German Basic Law , because the possibility of forcing companies to hire people who they do not want to hire would be fundamentally unconstitutional. Art. 27 therefore does not grant a claim in the sense of a subjective enforceable right of a person with a disability to a specific job. The standard is not directly applicable. Rather, Art. 27 determines the framework that the legislature must adhere to.

Article 27 only calls for an inclusive labor market. This does not result in a call for inclusion, even if this is often presented differently in the public discussion.

Uwe Becker interprets the evocation of an alleged “right to work” for people with disabilities as follows: “Only the differentiation in the second sentence explains that what is meant here is not a conceivably absolute right to work, but only the 'right to the possibility' of a job to obtain. Whether and how the real redemption results from this possibility, ie how the potential becomes a reality, is decided by the conditions of the labor market. "

The appeal to the existence of a general “right to work” suggested by the wording of Art. 27 does not protect against the non-employment of people with disabilities. On the other hand, people with disabilities can only be helped by bans on discrimination, especially in the sense of the General Equal Treatment Act . Specifically, the following applies in Germany: "According to Section 8 (1) AGG, unequal treatment is justified [only] if the absence of a disability is an essential and decisive professional requirement."

Nevertheless, according to Art. 27, states are obliged to take action to save people with disabilities a life without regular vocational training outside the primary labor market, if possible. The double motto applies: “As few special work environments as possible!” And “An integrative labor market is to be aimed for.” Employment obligations that the state can impose on companies of a certain size, but from which companies can “buy their way out” through equalization levies, are possible. It is also possible that the state itself becomes the carrier of measures that are intended to implement Art. So there are z. For example, there is little interest in the German private sector in training young people with disabilities to become skilled practitioners .

In general, in an economy and society in which competition and competitiveness are of central importance, it is difficult to prevent processes of exclusion, since the displacement and exclusion of uncompetitive people from the markets are essential features of capitalism.

In 2015, the responsible UN State Committee reviewed the implementation of Art. 27 in Germany. Accordingly, the committee was concerned about

a) segregation in the labor market of the Contracting State;
b) financial disincentives that prevent people with disabilities from entering or transitioning into the general labor market;
c) the fact that segregated workshops for disabled people neither prepare nor promote the transition to the general labor market.

The Committee recommends Germany to effectively create an inclusive labor market in line with the Convention through appropriate regulations

a) the creation of employment opportunities in accessible workplaces, especially for women with disabilities;
b) the gradual abolition of workshops for disabled people through immediately enforceable exit strategies and timetables, as well as incentives for employment with public and private employers in the general labor market;
c) Ensuring that people with disabilities do not experience any reduction in their social protection or old-age security, which are currently linked to the workshops for disabled people.

Using the example of participation in working life, it becomes clear that, in general, the UN Convention is able to protect people with a disability, but possibly not people with deficits that are just above the threshold below which people are classified as "disabled" be valid. German educational researchers, for example, criticize the fact that there is considerable resistance to extending measures for inclusion in the vocational training system to young people who are disadvantaged but not considered to be “disabled” and “without qualifications ” if they are excluded from the training and labor market from the outset because of their deficits (should). Although not only people with disabilities are excluded from the training market, in the practice of interpreting the convention in Germany, the term “inclusion”, in particular by company management, relates solely to people with disabilities. But also Peter Masuch , President of the Federal Social Court , justified the privileging of people with disabilities in 2016: “While [...] people without disabilities can and must help themselves because of the subordinate status of social welfare, people with disabilities need support from fellow men and society Some authors doubt that states are not obliged to help “merely the disadvantaged”: All people have a right to education, “including those with disabilities and other disadvantages.”

Wolfgang Rhein doubts that “work” within the meaning of Art. 27 of the UN Convention should always be understood to mean gainful employment from which the worker can finance his livelihood. “ Teaching disabled people who work outside the general labor market to distinguish between work and income. They show that work can be meaningful, satisfying, enriching interpersonal relationships, and socially valuable without being dedicated to the supposed main purpose of earning income. They stand for the development of a culture in which socially valuable work apart from income and socially valuable contributions apart from work are recognized as valuable and enriching, without the contributors being dismissed as failures, free riders, social parasites. In doing so, they anticipate the as yet rarely used opportunities of a post-industrial society, for which, regardless of current bottlenecks (shortage of skilled workers), it is less and less appropriate to only tie income to the usual forms of increasingly scarce (gainful) work that must continuously give way to technical progress . "

Participation in political and public life, Article 29

ISG TopVoter voting machine : A PC interface that enables disabled people to actively participate in a (political) election

The contracting states are obliged to guarantee the political participation of people with disabilities. Electoral procedures, facilities and materials must be suitable, accessible and easily understandable so that people with disabilities can exercise their right to vote on an equal footing .


In Germany, until January 2019, according to Section 13 of the Federal Election Act (BWahlG), Section 6a of the European Election Act (EuWG) and all state election laws, there was an exclusion of the right to vote for people who had a supervisor appointed for all matters .

On the other hand, the monitoring body turned to the UN Disability Rights Convention with reference to Article 29 of the Convention. When the Consent Act was passed at the end of 2008, however, the legislature assumed that the Convention would not preclude the exclusion of voting rights.

On January 29, 2019, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the exclusion of the right to vote for those under custody in all matters and offenders placed on the grounds of incapacity are unconstitutional. In a further ruling, the court made it clear that the previously excluded population group may, upon request, participate in the 2019 European elections , which will be held in Germany on May 26, 2019.

Although elections according to Art. 38 GG must be secret and the right to vote according to § 14 BWahlG can only be exercised personally , according to § 57 Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO) people with physical disabilities can use an auxiliary person to vote who, for example, fills out the ballot, folds the ballot paper or throws it in the ballot box.


The Austrian electoral law also provides for this aid. Furthermore, bedridden people can find themselves there in hospitals and facilities for the disabled can be visited by flying election commissions if necessary . The needs of people with physical disabilities are also taken into account through the option of postal voting .

In Austria, people who are under full care are also entitled to vote since the Constitutional Court in 1987 repealed Section 24 of the National Council election regulations (NRWO) as inadmissible unequal treatment because it was undifferentiated and linked solely to the appointment of an administrator.


In Switzerland, according to Art. 136 Para. 1 of the Federal Constitution, the right to vote is restricted to persons “who are not incapacitated because of mental illness or mental weakness”. According to Art. 2 of the Federal Act on Political Rights, this is to be understood as "persons who are under comprehensive assistance due to permanent incapacity to judge or who are represented by a person authorized to do so". The view that this regulation does not contradict the UN Convention will be maintained in Switzerland even after its ratification.

Other states

There have been no voting rights restrictions for people with intellectual disabilities in the Netherlands since 2009 and in the UK since 2006.

More human rights

  • Right to life Article 10, protection of the integrity of the person Article 17, personal mobility Article 20, freedom of movement and nationality Article 18, freedom of expression, freedom of expression and access to information Article 21, respect for privacy Article 22, respect for home and family Article 23
  • Freedom and security of person Article 14, Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Article 15, Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse Article 16
  • Habilitation and rehabilitation Article 26
  • International cooperation Article 32

Expansion of German development cooperation to include the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities, which is made necessary by Article 32 (international cooperation).


The official German translation of the Convention was agreed between Germany, Liechtenstein , Austria and Switzerland . Those affected and their associations in Germany did not see themselves sufficiently involved in this. In particular, no agreement could be reached on the translation of the English term "inclusive" used in Article 24 of the Convention. In the French version the term “inclusif” is used, in the German “integrativ”.

"Shadow translations"

This deviation of the German version led to the creation of a "shadow translation " which , in the opinion of the authors, comes closer to the original version than the official German translation. The German stakeholders and their organizations to be included in all phases of implementation and monitoring according to the convention were involved in the preparation of this version, the third edition of which appeared in March 2018 with further changes (e.g. participation no longer " Participation ", but rather" participation "[which means something active]).

Implementation of the Convention

Like all human rights conventions, the UN Disability Convention is primarily aimed at states as guarantors of defined rights; it makes them responsible in several ways:

  • The state is required to respect human rights as a guideline for its own actions.
  • In addition, he has to actively protect the people concerned from impending legal violations by third parties.
  • After all, he has to take infrastructure measures so that people can actually make use of their rights.

The convention contains the usual implementation and monitoring regulations.

UN Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The central body of the international monitoring is a treaty body of the United Nations, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Engl. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities , CRPD), based in Geneva , which twice a year for each Week comes together. It checks compliance with the Convention on the basis of regular reports from the contracting states. Of the 18 committee members (as of 2013), 16 are disabled, including six blind people and four wheelchair users. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the official languages ​​of the committee.

According to the convention, each state party has to submit a report on the fulfillment of the convention within two years and thereafter at least every four years (Article 35 § 1).

Members of the UN Committee

Surname country Until on
Mr. Ahmad AL SAIF Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 12/31/20
Mr. Danlami Umaru BASHARU NigeriaNigeria Nigeria 12/31/18
Mr. Munthian BUNTAN ThailandThailand Thailand 12/31/20
Mr. Imed Eddine CHAKER TunisiaTunisia Tunisia 12/31/20
Ms. Theresia DEGENER GermanyGermany Germany 12/31/18
Mr. Jun ISHIKAWA JapanJapan Japan 12/31/20
Mr. Samuel Njuguna KABUE KenyaKenya Kenya 12/31/20
Mr. Hyung Shik KIM Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 12/31/18
Mr. Stig LANGVAD DenmarkDenmark Denmark 12/31/18
Mr. Lászlo Gábor LOVASZY HungaryHungary Hungary 12/31/20
Mr. Robert George MARTIN New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand 12/31/20
Mr. Martin Babu MWESIGWA UgandaUganda Uganda 12/31/20
Mr. Carlos Alberto PARRA DUSSAN ColombiaColombia Colombia 12/31/18
Mr. Coomaravel PYANEANDEE MauritiusMauritius Mauritius 12/31/18
Mr. Valery Nikitich RUKHLEDEV RussiaRussia Russia 12/31/20
Mr. Jonas RUSKUS LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania 12/31/18
Mr. Damjan TATIC SerbiaSerbia Serbia 12/31/18
Mr. Liang YOU China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 12/31/18

Complaints procedure

The complaints submitted to the UN are first examined by the Secretariat of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Then the complaint is either rejected or forwarded to the CERD committee, where the complaint is registered and forwarded to the state concerned for comment. Whereupon the state concerned can for its part raise the objection of inadmissibility.

Decisions of the CRPD committee
States Pending impermissible set violation No violation Registered
GermanyGermany Germany 0 0 0 1 0 1
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
AustriaAustria Austria 0 0 0 0 0 0
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
81 states in total 13 1 0 5 0 19th

Switzerland and Liechtenstein have rejected the right to individual complaints. The figures do not include the complaints already rejected by the Secretariat of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The individual decisions can also be called up in the UN database.

Implementation in the European Union

On November 15, 2010, the EU Commission sent the other EU institutions a working paper entitled European Disability Strategy 2010–2020: Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe . The eight “action areas” accessibility, participation, equality, employment, education and training, social protection, health and external measures were named as strategic priorities for the EU and its member states. The specifications are binding for the member states. The Quali-TYDES project of the European Science Foundation (ESF), the Austrian part of which was headed by the educational scientist Gottfried Biewer , investigated how the changes in social and educational legislation, the norms of which are reflected in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, investigated the lives of people with Has influenced disabilities in European countries. Although Austria, Ireland, Spain and the Czech Republic have committed to implementing the UN CRPD in the education sector, serious problems with implementing inclusive learning environments are evident in all participating countries. The social capital of the parental home continues to play an important role in asserting the rights of disabled people. In particular, access to higher education was only possible if parents or other actors had given special support here. Once the level of university studies was reached, personal assistance was an essential tool that is rarely offered in the European countries examined.

Implementation in Germany

In accordance with the convention, the following contact points have been set up in Germany:

  • State contact point: Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
  • State coordination mechanism: Federal Government Commissioner for the Issues of Disabled People
  • independent mechanism, Article 33: Monitoring body for the UN Disability Rights Convention at the German Institute for Human Rights

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs presented the First State Report on August 3, 2011.

The Federal Association of Protestant Disability Aid (BeB) sees a need for action in numerous areas in its statement on joining the convention in 2008:

  • Equal recognition before the law (Article 12) Instead of a fundamental deprivation of legal capacity in §§ 104 and 105 of the Civil Code to people with disabilities or mental illness, a legal support - should be set up - no substitution. In contrast, the Federal Government states that the provisions on legal capacity apply equally to people with and without disabilities, tailored to the specific occasion.
  • Barrier-free access to the judiciary: The scope of the assistance is not sufficient, and more understandable language is required.
  • Habilitation and rehabilitation (according to Art. 26 of the Convention): Not only professional helpers, but also other people with disabilities ( peer support ) should support people with disabilities in order to achieve the highest level of independence and comprehensive physical, mental, social and professional skills preserve.

In order to align the disability policy of inclusion, the legal entitlement to personal budget was included in Book IX of the Social Code (SGB IX) with effect from January 1, 2008 .

In 2009, the Housing and Care Contract Act strengthened the rights of the elderly, those in need of care and the disabled, who conclude contracts for the provision of living space with care or support services.

The barrier-free information technology regulation guarantees barrier-free websites. People with disabilities can be exempted from the license fee.

In September 2011 the federal government published a national action plan.

The German Federal Administrative Court - BVerwG - ruled with its rulings of December 2nd, 2009 No. 5 C 21.08, 5 C 31.08 and 5 C 33.08 that with regard to the costs of boarding school accommodation for disabled pupils, additional benefits for educational grants are to be granted in not inconsiderable amounts . Section 95 of Book XII of the Social Code grants the providers of integration assistance the option of establishing the social benefits of an entitled person (i.e. the trainee in this case) in litigation - i.e. in their own name, if the provider of social assistance is entitled to reimbursement. The offices for educational grants are responsible for BAföG implementation in the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 2012 the law on family care leave (FPflZG) came into force.

On March 6, 2012, the Federal Social Court ruled : “As a federal law, the BRK binds the German courts; these have to observe and apply the CRPD within the framework of a methodologically justifiable interpretation. ”In this way, the court of last instance declared the view that individual affected persons had no opportunity to directly invoke the convention as a source of law in a legal dispute as erroneous.

In view of the developments mentioned, however, it must be taken into account that in Germany the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” is classified as an international treaty with the rank of federal law. Like all German laws and other legal provisions, the provisions of the UN Convention must also be interpreted in such a way that this interpretation is not unconstitutional under German constitutional law. In particular, it would not be constitutional to interpret the convention, according to which the federal, state, municipal and social insurance funds in Germany would have to finance every measure postulated as necessary for the benefit of people with disabilities (or even for people with impairments without a disability quality), whereby the question also arises who should have the authority to define with regard to the assessment of the necessity of a measure. If the definition of disability is expanded and measures can be funded, high costs arise for the service provider. In the event of a legal entitlement to the approval of corresponding funding, the legislature's financial sovereignty (ie its “royal right”) would be fundamentally called into question.

As far as the prohibition of discrimination in the UN Convention is concerned, Germany's accession to the Convention does not result in any concrete need for action, since this prohibition largely coincides with the prohibition in Article 3 (3) sentence 2 of the Basic Law .

Implementation in Austria

The federal government has the 5 October 2010 First State Report of Austria decided on the UN Disability Convention. It was coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Representatives of the interests of the disabled movement have requested a concrete action plan from the federal government to implement the rights of people with disabilities defined in the Convention and not yet or not yet fully implemented in Austria. On July 24, 2012, the Council of Ministers adopted the "National Action Plan 2012–2020" (Strategy of the Austrian Federal Government for the Implementation of the UN Disability Rights Convention - Inclusion as a Human Right and a Mission).

In accordance with Section 13 of the Federal Disabled Persons Act, the Ministry of Social Affairs has also appointed a seven-person monitoring committee in which reports are drawn up on the status of the realization of rights with the participation of interest groups and other experts.

Situation in Switzerland

On December 22, 2010, the Swiss Federal Council opened the consultation process on Switzerland's accession to the Convention (without an additional protocol). The University of Bern had previously been commissioned by the Interior Department to provide an expert opinion on the possible need for changes through ratification. On April 15, 2014, the Swiss Confederation ratified the convention. Unlike Austria and Germany, Switzerland has not yet signed the additional protocol.

See also


  • Valentin Aichele: The UN Disability Rights Convention in judicial practice. ... , Anwaltsblatt (AnwBl) 2011, 727–730 [5]
  • Florian Demke: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Disability Rights Convention). Effects on social policy and assistance for the disabled in Germany . GRIN Verlag , 2011, ISBN 978-3-640-99252-2 .
  • Katrin Grüber, Stefanie Ackermann, Michael Spörke: Disability Mainstreaming in Berlin - The subject of disability concerns everyone . Project on behalf of the Senate Department for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs, the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Senate Department for Education, Science and Research, Berlin; represented by the state representative for people with disabilities. In: (549 kB, April 28, 2012; PDF)
  • Corinne Wohlgensinger: Disability and Human Rights: A Relationship Put to the Test . Budrich UniPress , 2014, ISBN 978-3-86388-084-2 .
  • Annette Leonhardt, Katharina Müller, Tilly Truckenbrodt: The UN Disability Rights Convention and its implementation. Contributions to intercultural and international comparative curative and special education . Klinkhardt Verlag , 2015, ISBN 978-3-7815-1943-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Status of current status , in: UN Treaty Collection, UNTC (English) accessed on October 13, 2016
  2. The EU adopted the UN Convention on December 23, 2010. This was the first time that the EU has entered into a human rights treaty as a separate legal entity . (Source: Report in the lawyer gazette 3/2011, p. VIII)
  3. a b c Julia Prosinger: Theresa Degenershausen, pioneer Disability Rights: Radical normal . Badische Zeitung , December 15, 2014
  4. 3rd edition of the shadow translation published. Retrieved May 17, 2019 .
  5. ^ The International Bill of Human Rights. (PDF) In: Fact Sheet No.2 (Rev.1). Published by UNHCHR , accessed April 3, 2019 .
  6. The International Charter of Human Rights. In: Human Rights. Published by: UN German Translation Service, accessed on April 3, 2019 .
  7. ^ German Bundestag: From Exclusion to Equal Rights - Realizing the Rights of People with Disabilities. A handbook for MPs on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. German translation of the handbook of the United Nations and the Interparliamentary Union. ( Memento from July 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 3.57 MB) on , p. 10
  8. a b Heiner Bielefeldt: On the innovation potential of the UN Disability Rights Convention, Bonn - Berlin, June 2009 (PDF file, 103 kB) p. 6
  9. a b UN Convention on People with Disabilities, text and explanation, published by the Family for Social Affairs, Family, Health and Consumer Protection Hamburg (pdf, 487.01 kB;; February 2013) p. 10
  10. a b c Europ. Commission UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (
  11. [1] ( (English) accessed on September 24, 2018
  12. UN Convention on People with Disabilities, text and explanation, published by the Family for Social Affairs, Family, Health and Consumer Protection Hamburg (pdf, 487.01 kB;; February 2013) p. 18/19
  13. a b German Bundestag: From Exclusion to Equal Rights - Realizing the Rights of People with Disabilities. A handbook for MPs on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. German translation of the handbook of the United Nations and the Interparliamentary Union. ( Memento from July 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) ( (PDF file, 3.57 MB) pp. 1, 3
  14. Presidents of the Commission, Parliament and the European Council discuss a common approach with the European Disability Forum (
  15. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities First State Report of the Federal Republic of Germany Adopted by the Federal Cabinet on August 3, 2011 p. 1
  16. ^ German Bundestag: From Exclusion to Equal Rights - Realizing the Rights of People with Disabilities. A handbook for MPs on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. German translation of the handbook of the United Nations and the Interparliamentary Union. ( Memento from July 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file, 3.57 MB) ( p. 5
  17. a b c d UN Convention on People with Disabilities, text and explanation, published by the Family for Social Affairs, Family, Health, and Consumer Protection Hamburg (pdf, 487.01 kB;; February 2013) pp. 12–17
  18. a b Heiner Bielefeldt: On the innovation potential of the UN Disability Rights Convention, Bonn - Berlin, June 2009 (PDF file, 103 kB) p. 5
  19. a b Heiner Bielefeldt: On the innovation potential of the UN Disability Rights Convention, Bonn - Berlin, June 2009 (PDF file, 103 kB) p. 4, 6
  20. a b c d National Action Plan of the Federal Government for the Implementation of the UN Disability Rights Convention - Our Path to an Inclusive Society (PDF file, 12 MB;; September 2011) p. 11
  21. a b c d Brochure with original version, official and "shadow translation"
  22. a b National Action Plan of the Federal Government for the Implementation of the UN Disability Rights Convention - Our Path to an Inclusive Society (PDF file, 12 MB;; September 2011)
  23. Heiner Bielefeldt: On the innovation potential of the UN Disability Rights Convention, Bonn - Berlin, June 2009 (PDF file, 103 kB) pp. 5, 6
  24. ^ Opinion of the BeB. P. 7 (PDF file; 95 kB)
  25. a b c United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Deutsch, English, Francais Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs; Information, Monitoring, Citizen Service, Library; 53107 Bonn. Document order no. A 729. As of December 2011. Accessed on February 25, 2019.
  26. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities First State Report of the Federal Republic of Germany Adopted by the Federal Cabinet on August 3, 2011 p. 55
  27. a b UN Convention for People with Disabilities, text and explanation, published by the Family for Social Affairs, Family, Health and Consumer Protection Hamburg ( pdf p. 16
  28. Opinion of the monitoring office - cornerstones for the implementation of an inclusive education system (PDF; 124 kB) March 7, 2011. Accessed March 7, 2011. (122 kB)
  29. Gottfried Biewer (2011): The UN Disability Rights Convention and the Right to Education. In: Oskar Dangl & Thomas Schrei (eds.), Education Rights for Everyone? (Pp. 51-62). Vienna, Berlin: Lit-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-643-50334-3
  30. The exception must become the rule, DLF broadcast on September 26, 2009 . September 26, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  31. Examples are the DoBuS Dortmund Center for Disability and Studies ( Memento from November 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) or the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Students (BliZ) ( Memento from December 19, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) of the Giessen-Friedberg University of Applied Sciences.
  32. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Resolution 71st DSW General Assembly on November 30th / December 1st, 2010: A university for everyone - strategies of the student unions (PDF file; 1.07 MB).@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  33. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Press release DSW dated December 1, 2010 Studentenwerke support "University for All" (PDF file; 472 kB)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
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  37. Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education of the Federal States in the Federal Republic of Germany: [ Principles for promoting schoolchildren with particular difficulties in reading and spelling or arithmetic ]. December 4, 2003
  38. Christine Langenfeld : Help for young adults with dyslexia / dyscalculia . In: Bundesverband dyslexia and dyscalculia e. V .: Creating equal opportunities - avoiding discrimination . 2006
  39. Martina Ziegler: Participation in working life: Inclusive vocational training - challenges and opportunities . In: Learning Promote (Ed .: Federal Association for the Promotion of People with Learning Disabilities). Issue 1/2016, p. 11 (3)
  40. Administrative Court of Hanover: Integration assistance according to youth welfare law; Entitlement to reimbursement of costs for dyslexia therapy. Decision of February 10, 2012
  41. ^ DGB Cologne – Bonn: Training of young people with disabilities. First regional inventory and suggestions for discussion . June 2012. p. 7
  42. Peter Masuch: What did the UN-CRPD bring for better participation in working life? Speech given at the Werkstättentag in Chemnitz on September 21, 2016 . P. 6
  43. ^ Uwe Becker: Exclusions in the age of inclusion. On the dynamic of exclusion in internal social spaces . Inclusion magazine . Edition 1/2017. April 14, 2017
  44. ^ Institute for Human Rights: Subject area right to work . 2013
  45. Peter Trenk-Hinterberger: The meaning of Art. 27 BRK for the right to participate in working life . German Association for Rehabilitation / Discussion forum on rehabilitation and participation law. 2012, p. 1
  46. ^ German trade union federation: Training of disabled young people - too seldom in the company . November 5, 2013. p. 1
  47. Peter Masuch: What did the UN-CRPD bring for better participation in working life? Speech given at the Werkstättentag in Chemnitz on September 21, 2016 . P. 15f.
  48. Ruth Enggruber / Joachim Gerd Ulrich: What does “inclusive vocational training” mean? Results of a survey of vocational training specialists . Working Group Vocational Training Research Network (AGBFN) of the Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB). 2016
  49. Peter Masuch : What did the UN-CRPD bring for better participation in working life? Speech given at the Werkstättentag in Chemnitz on September 21, 2016 . P. 7 f.
  50. Review of Horst Biermann / Bernhard Bonz (ed.): Inclusive vocational training . 2011
  51. Wolfgang Rhein: Work and Disability . Konrad Adenauer Foundation . 2013, p. 338
  52. Germany finally needs an inclusive right to vote ''. In: '' aktuell, German Institute for Human Rights ''. August 2012 edition (PDF; 72 kB) Retrieved October 10, 2013 (70.30 kB)
  53. ^ Matthias Kamann: All dementia patients should have the right to vote. . In: The world . September 11, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  54. ^ Memorandum on the convention, Bundestag printed paper 16/10808, pp. 45, 63 f.
  55. ↑ Exclusions from the right to vote for those in custody in all matters and offenders placed on the grounds of incapacity are unconstitutional. In: Press release of the Federal Constitutional Court. February 21, 2019, accessed May 19, 2019 .
  56. Federal Constitutional Court - Supervised persons can participate in European elections. In: . April 15, 2019, accessed May 19, 2019 .
  57. Circular by the State Returning Officer Schleswig-Holstein on the preparation and implementation of the election to the 18th German Bundestag 14.2 Voting with an assistant p. 16 (PDF; 287 kB) June 13, 2013. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved on October 10 2013. (279.83 kB)
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  62. (PDF, 355 kB), May 22, 2019
  63. 3rd edition of the shadow translation published. Retrieved May 22, 2019 .
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  65. homepage CPRD Committee
  66. Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( Memento from March 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (
  67. ^ Report from Geneva 1 Newsletter from Theresia Degener Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities ( Memento from July 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (; PDF; 241 kB)
  68. Guidelines for the contract-specific document to be submitted by the contracting states in accordance with Article 35 paragraph 1 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PDF file; 297 kB)
  69. ^ Members . Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  70. Handbook for the individual complaint (analogous)
  71. ^ Statistics of the committee . Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  72. UN decision database
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  87. ^ Ernst-Wilhelm Luthe : The Disability Rights Convention - slightly overused! . In: juris - the monthly magazine , May 2015 edition, p. 190 ff.
  88. ^ First state report of Austria on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs ( Memento of October 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), Vienna, October 2010
  89. Action plan was decided in the Council of Ministers
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  94. Archived copy ( Memento from January 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive )