Promoting and protecting human rights of persons with disabilities is central to the Council of Europe work and action to protect and promote the human rights of all citizens.

What we do

Promoting and protecting human rights of persons with disabilities is central to the Council of Europe work and action to protect and promote the human rights of all citizens.

Based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the European Convention on Human Rights and other legal standards, the Council of Europe endeavours to enhance equal opportunities, improve the quality of life and independence of people with disabilities, guarantee their freedom of choice, full citizenship and active participation in the life of the community.

Focus

Human rights: a reality for all

The Council of Europe adopted its new Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2017-2023 on 30 November 2016.

Under the title Human rights: a reality for all, the Strategy aims to achieving equality, dignity and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. This requires ensuring independence, freedom of choice, full and active participation in all areas of life and society.

The Strategy has five rights based priority areas anchored in the European Convention on Human Rights and other Council of Europe standards promoting and protecting human rights. Each of them is also connected to corresponding Articles of the United Nation as Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

  1. Equality and non-discrimination
  2. Awareness raising
  3. Accessibility
  4. Equal Recognition before the law
  5. Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse

 

The Strategy also identifies five cross-cutting issues:

  • Participation, co-operation and coordination
  • Universal Design and reasonable accommodation
  • Gender equality perspective
  • Multiple discrimination
  • Education and training

     

    Building upon the achievements and the recommendations on the implementation of the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015, the Strategy aims at guiding and supporting the work and activities to protect and promote the human rights of persons with disabilities both at the level of the Council of Europe and its member States.  Its implementation will adopt a “twin-track” approach:

  • Specific projects, campaigns, trainings, activities etc. organised at the national and local levels by national stakeholders in the member States.
  • Mainstreaming disability related issues in all the work and activities of the Council of Europe.

 

The beneficiaries of the Strategy are persons with disabilities living in the 47 Council of Europe member States and society as a whole.

The Ad hoc Committee of Experts on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is responsible for supporting and monitoring the implementation of the Strategy in the Council of Europe member States. It will present biennial reports to the Committee of Ministers assessing progress achieved.