On December 13, 2006, history was made.

At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted. This landmark treaty recognizes and protects the human rights of people with disabilities, and it has had a profound impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.

Down Syndrome International (DSi) played a vital role in the development of the CRPD. DSi Trustees Penny Robertson and Dan Weeks represented the organization at the UN negotiations, and they worked tirelessly to ensure that the voices of people with Down syndrome were heard.

The CRPD was opened for signature on March 30, 2007, and it was met with an unprecedented response. On its opening day, the Convention was signed by 82 countries and 44 countries signed the Optional Protocol. This was the highest number of signatories in history for a UN Convention on its opening day.

The CRPD entered into force on May 3, 2008, and it has since been ratified by over 180 countries. The Convention has had a transformative impact on the lives of people with disabilities, and it has helped to create a more inclusive world for everyone.

Here are some of the key achievements of the CRPD:

  • It has helped to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities and to challenge discrimination.
  • It has led to the development of new laws and policies that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society.
  • It has helped to improve access to education, employment, healthcare, and other essential services for people with disabilities.
  • It has empowered people with disabilities to advocate for their own rights and to participate fully in society.

The CRPD is a living document, and it continues to evolve as we learn more about the needs and rights of people with disabilities. DSi remains committed to working with governments, organizations, and individuals to ensure that the CRPD is fully implemented and that all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to live full and meaningful lives.

A World Where Everyone Belongs

The CRPD is a beacon of hope for people with disabilities around the world. It is a testament to the power of international cooperation and to the belief that everyone deserves to live with dignity and respect.