On World Down Syndrome Day 2023, the Down Syndrome International network will host the 12th World Down Syndrome Day Conference (WDSDC) at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Tuesday 21 March 2023.

At this conference, people with Down syndrome and disabilities, supporters and advocates, government and UN officials and NGO representatives will discuss Legal Capacity and Supported Decision Making.

They will be sharing knowledge, experience and good practice from countries around the world.

Join us!

You can join us in person or watch via UN Web TV.

If you would like to attend in person at the United Nations headquarters in New York, please register by completing the form below:


Speak up!

Would you like to speak at the event?

Speakers can speak in person or send a video presentation.

We are looking for presentations about the following topics:

  • Legal capacity;
  • Supported decision-making;
  • Easy to understand language.

If you are interested in presenting, please apply by completing the form below:


Legal Capacity and Supported Decision Making

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) says that people with disabilities have the right to:

“Enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life” and should have access to “the support they may require in exercising their legal capacity.”

Legal capacity means that the law recognises you as a person with rights. It means that everyone can make decisions about important things in their lives.

Legal capacity is needed for other rights, such as:

  • The right to choose where and who you live with.
  • The right to make decisions about your healthcare.
  • The right to get married and have a family.
  • The right to control your own money and own property.

But many people with Down syndrome around the world are denied legal capacity. Legal arrangements like guardianship stop people from making their own decisions. Or people don’t have proper support to make decisions for themselves.

All governments must make sure that:

  • People with Down syndrome can make decisions about their lives with appropriate support.
  • Safeguards to prevent abuse are proportional, time-limited and subject to regular review.

With Us Not For Us

This campaign forms part of our global campaign for World Down Syndrome Day 2023, 'With Us Not For Us'.

On World Down Syndrome Day 2023, we call for people and organisations around the world to be With Us Not For Us.

Read more about the global campaign:

With us not For Us

Other events you might be interested in:

World Down Syndrome Day celebrations in Geneva 2023

Find out what else is happening on World Down Syndrome Day:

World Down Syndrome Day website