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International Day of Persons with Disabilities-Equality, Dignity and Equal Opportunities

Strasbourg 29/11/2017
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International Day of Persons with Disabilities-Equality, Dignity and Equal Opportunities

December 3rd marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. At least 15% of the European population, or 80 million people, live with one or more disabilities. They face significant challenges in everyday lives. When we see someone using a wheelchair, a guide dog or a prosthetic limb, we focus on the differences and disability rather than our shared social identity, political status, our abilities, aspirations and our dreams.

The power of shifting the focus from disability to ability for inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities is at the heart of the Council of Europe Strategy 2017-2023 - “Human Rights: A Reality for All”. The Strategy aims at supporting and complementing the member States' efforts to build a barrier free Europe where all persons, of all abilities, should have access to and enjoy the full range of human rights.

It provides political decision-makers with a roadmap, guidelines and other useful tools to put in place and implement innovative disability legislation, policies and measures. The Strategy also contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The Strategy has five rights based priority areas, each linked to the corresponding articles of the UNCRPD.

In order to guide and help member States in implementing the Strategy, the Council of Europe has prepared five studies on the priority areas that highlight and expand information, evidence, data and good practices on equality and non-discrimination; awareness raising; accessibility; equal recognition before the law and freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse.


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

Seminar on awareness raising for persons with disabilities

The Council of Europe and the Danish Ministry for Children and Social Affairs are organising a seminar in Copenhagen, on 13-14 December 2017 to discuss awareness raising for persons with disabilities. Held in the framework of the Danish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (November 2017 – May 2018), the seminar contributes towards the  implementation of the Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities “Human Rights - a reality for all". The seminar will bring together government authorities, persons with disabilities and their representatives, service providers, non-governmental organisations and independent experts and private sector and media representatives. 

Draft programme

Concept note