Table 1:  Disability and non-discrimination

Examples of Human Rights Violations 

  • Persons with disabilities are disproportionately underrepresented in the labor market.
  • Persons with disabilities are not provided an accommodation to ensure access to health care services or places of work.
  • Children with disabilities are discriminated against in the classroom because teachers misunderstand the disability or consider the child ‘handicapped’.
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
CRPD 5 (1) States Parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law.

(2) States Parties shall prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all grounds.

(3) In order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, States Parties shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided.

(4) Specific measures which are necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of the present Convention.


CRPD: recommending that Argentina “incorporate the concept of reasonable accommodation into its anti-discrimination legislation and to ensure that the relevant laws and regulations define the denial of reasonable accommodation as a form of discrimination on grounds of disability. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to simplify existing judicial and administrative remedies in order to enable persons with disabilities to report acts of discrimination to which they have been subjected. The Committee also recommends that the State party devote special attention to the development of policies and programmes for persons with disabilities who belong to indigenous peoples and for deaf-blind persons with a view to putting an end to the many forms of discrimination to which these persons may be subjected.” CRPD/C/ARG/CO/1 (CRPD, 2012).

CRPD: reiterating to Spain that the denial of reasonable accommodation constitutes discrimination and that the duty to provide reasonable accommodation is immediately applicable and not subject to progressive realization. CRPD/C/ESP/CO/1 (2011).

CRPD: “[t]he Committee urges Spain to expand the protection of discrimination on the grounds of disability to explicitly cover multiple disability, perceived disability and association with a person with a disability, and to ensure the protection from denial of reasonable accommodation, as a form of discrimination, regardless of the level of disability. Moreover, guidance, awareness-raising and training should be given to ensure a better comprehension by all stakeholders, including persons with disabilities, of the concept of reasonable accommodation and prevention of discrimination. CRPD/C/ESP/CO/1 (2011).

CRPD: calling upon Hungary to adopt effective and specific measures to ensure equality and prevent multiple forms of discrimination of women and girls with disabilities in its policies, and to mainstream a gender perspective in its disability-related legislation and policies. CRPD/C/HUN/CO/1 (2012).

CRPD: calling upon Hungary, Spain, Tunisia and China to take steps to ensure that its legislation explicitly prescribes that failure to provide reasonable accommodation constitutes a prohibited act of discrimination. CRPD/C/HUN/CO/1 (2012), CRPD/C/ESP/CO/1 (2011), CRPD/C/TUN/CO/1(2011), CRPD/C/CHN/CO/1 (2012).

CRPD:  urging China to take measures to fight the widespread stigma in relation to boys and girls with disabilities and revise their strict family planning policy so as to combat the root causes for the abandonment of boys and girls with disabilities. CRPD/C/CHN/CO/1 (2012).

CRPD:  recommending that Peru place emphasis on the development of policies and programmes on indigenous and minority persons with disabilities—in particular women and children with disabilities that live in rural areas, as well as persons of African descent—in order to address the multiple forms of discrimination that these persons may suffer.  CRPD/C/PER/CO/1 (2012).

CRPD:  urging that Peru accelerate its efforts to eradicate and prevent discrimination against women and girls with disabilities by incorporating gender and disability perspectives in all programmes, as well as by ensuring their full and equal participation in decision-making. The Committee also urged Peru to amend its legislative framework to provide special protection to women and girls with disabilities, as well as to adopt effective measures to prevent and redress violence against women and girls with disabilities. CRPD/C/PER/CO/1 (2012).

CRPD:  recommending that Tunisia act with urgency to include an explicit prohibition of disability-based discrimination in an anti-discrimination law, as well as ensure that disability-wbased discrimination is prohibited in all laws, particularly those governing elections, labor, education, and health, among others. CRPD/C/TUN/CO/1(2011).

CRC 3 (1) States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community …  CRC Committee: recommending that Azerbaijan “undertake awareness-raising campaigns on eliminating discrimination against children with disabilities, and consider enacting legislation explicitly prohibiting such discrimination.” CRC/C/AZE/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012).

CRC Committee: recommending that Australia and Azerbaijan “establish a clear legislative definition of disability, including for learning, cognitive and mental disabilities, with the aim of accurately identifying children with disabilities to effectively address their needs in a non-discriminatory manner.”  CRC/C/AUS/CO/4 (CRC, 2012); CRC/C/AZE/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012).

CRC Committee: recommending that Andorra “Increase budget allocations to provide children with disabilities with equal access to adequate social and health services, including psychological support , counselling services, parental guidance for families of children with disabilities, and tailored services for children with learning difficulties and behavioural disorders, and raise awareness about all services available.” CRC/C/AND/CO/2 (CRC, 2012).

CRC Committee: recommending that Namibia “Ensure that all legislation on children, including the proposed Child Care and Protection Bill, include a specific prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability, and develop holistic and coordinated programmes across ministries on the rights of children with disabilities.” CRC/C/NAM/CO/2-3 (CRC, 2012).