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Defenders for Human Rights

Legal Instruments – Simplified Versions

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal. You are worth the same, and have the same rights as anyone else. You are born with the ability to think and to know right from wrong, and should act toward others in a spirit of friendliness.

Article 2

Everyone should have all the rights and freedoms in this statement, no matter what race, sex, or color he or she may be. It shouldn’t matter where you were born, what language you speak, what religion you are, what political opinions you have, or whether you’re rich or poor. Everyone should have all the rights in this statement.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to live, to be free, and to feel safe.

Article 4

No one should be held in slavery for any reason. The buying and selling of human beings should be prevented at all times.

Article 5

No one shall be put through torture, or any other treatment or punishment that is cruel, or that makes him or her feel less than human.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to be accepted everywhere as a person, according to law.

Article 7

You have the right to be treated equally by the law, and to have the same protection under the law as anyone else. Everyone should be protected from being treated in ways that go against this document, and from having anyone cause others to go against the rights in this document.

Article 8

If your rights under the law are violated, you should have the right to fair and skillful judges who will see that justice is done.

Article 9

No one shall be arrested, held in jail, or thrown and kept out of her or his own country for no good reason.

Article 10

You have the same right as anyone else to a fair and public hearing by courts that will be open-minded and free to make their own decisions if you are ever accused of breaking the law, or if you have to go to court for some other reason.

Article 11

If you are blamed for a crime, you have the right to be thought of as innocent until you are proven guilty, according to the law, in a fair and public trial in which you have the basic things you need to defend yourself. No one shall be punished for anything that was not illegal when it happened. Nor can anyone be given a greater punishment than the one that applied when the crime was committed.

Article 12

No one has the right to butt in to your privacy, home, or mail, or attack your honesty and self-respect for no good reason. Everyone has the right to have the law protect him or her against all such meddling or attacks.

Article 13

Within any country you have the right to go and live where you want. You have the right to leave any country, including your own, and return to it when you want.

Article 14

Everyone has the right to seek shelter from harassment in another country. This right does not apply when the person has done something against the law that has nothing to do with politics, or when she or he has done something that goes against the principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

You have a right to a nationality. No one shall be denied her or his nationality or the right to change her or his nationality.

Article 16

Grown men and women have the right to marry and start a family, without anyone trying to stop them or make it hard because of their race, country, or religion. Both partners have equal rights in getting married, while married, and if and when they decide to end the marriage. A marriage shall take place only with the agreement of the couple. The family is the basic part of society, and should be protected.

Article 17

Everyone has the right to have belongings that they can keep alone, or share with other people. No one has the right to take your things away from you for no good reason.

Article 18

You have the right to believe the things you want to believe, to have ideas about right and wrong, and to believe in any religion you want. This includes the right to change your religion if you want, and to practice it without anybody interfering.

Article 19

You have the right to tell people how you feel about things without being told that you have to keep quiet. You have the right to read news, and watch or listen to broadcasts or listen to the radio without someone trying to stop you, no matter where you live. Finally, you have the right to print your opinions in a newspaper or magazine, and send them anywhere without anyone stopping you.

Article 20

You have the right to gather peacefully with people, and to be with anyone you want. No one can force you to join or belong to any group.

Article 21

You have the right to be part of your government by being in it, or choosing the people who are in fair elections. Everyone has the right to serve her or his country in some way. The first job of any government is to do what its people want it to do. This means you have the right to have elections every so often, in which each person’s vote counts the same, and everyone’s vote is his or her own business.

Article 22

Every person on this planet has the right to have her or his basic needs met, and should have whatever it takes to live with pride, and become the person he or she wants to be. Every country or group of countries should do everything possible to make this happen.

Article 23

You have the right to work and to choose your job, to have fair and safe working conditions, and to be protected against not having work. You have the right to the same pay as anyone else who does the same work, without anyone playing favorites. You have the right to decent pay so that you and your family can get by with pride. That means that if you don’t get paid enough to do that, you should get other kinds of help. You have the right to form or be part of a union that will serve and protect your interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and relaxation, which includes limiting the number of hours he or she has to work, and allowing for holidays with pay once in a while.

Article 25

You have the right to have what you need to live a decent life, including food, clothes, a home, and medical care for you and your family. You have the right to help if you’re sick or unable to work, if you’re older or a widow or widower, or if you’re in any other kind of situation that keeps you from working through no fault of your own.

Article 26

Everyone has the right to an education. It should be free, and should be required for all, at least in the early years. Later education for jobs and college has to be available for anyone who wants it and is able to do it. Education should help people become the best they can be. It should teach them to respect and understand each other, and to be kind to everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from. Education should help promote the activities of the United Nations in an effort to create a peaceful world.

Article 27

You have the right to join in and be part of the world of art, music, and books. You have the right to enjoy the arts, and to share in the advantages that come from new discoveries in the sciences. You have the right to get the credit and any profit that comes from something that you have written, made, or discovered.

Article 28

All people have the right to a world in which their rights and freedoms, such as the ones in this statement, are respected and made to happen.

Article 29

You have a responsibility to the place you live and the people around you— we all do. Only by watching out for each other can we each become our individual best. In order for all people to be free, there have to be laws and limits that respect everyone’s rights, meet our sense of right and wrong, and keep the peace in a world in which everyone plays an active part. Nobody should use her or his freedom to go against what the United Nations is all about.

Article 30

Nothing in this statement that says anybody has the right to do anything that could weaken or take

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees basic rights and freedoms to everyone in Canada. It is part of the Canadian Constitution, which is the most powerful law in Canada.

The Charter protects people of Canada from governments limiting their rights and freedoms without good reason.

Governments can limit the rights and freedoms in this Charter only when they can prove in court that it is necessary in “a free and democratic society.”

Fundamental Freedoms

Everyone in Canada has these most basic freedoms:

  • Freedom to decide what is right and wrong, and to choose a religion.
  • Freedom to express their ideas and opinions in private and in public, including in the media.
  • Freedom to be at peaceful public gatherings.
  • Freedom to join groups that share and promote their ideas, as long as they do it peacefully.

Democratic Rights

Every Canadian citizen has:

  • The right to vote.
  • The right to run for – and take part in – government.

In Canada:

  • No government will be in power for more than five years without an election, except in rare cases, such as during a war.
  • Each government will work for a set period every year. This period is called a “sitting.”

Mobility Rights

Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the right to:

  • Travel in any part of Canada.
  • Work in any part of Canada.

Canadian citizens also enjoy the right to:

  • Enter, stay in, and leave Canada.

Among other legal protections, everyone has the right:

  • To life itself, and to live in freedom and safety.
  • To be protected from police searching their homes or taking their things without good reason.
  • To not be put in prison except for good reason.
  • To have a lawyer if they have to go in court.
  • To have a trial within a reasonable time after being accused of a crime.
  • To be treated like they are innocent until proven guilty.
  • To not be tortured or treated cruelly.

Equality Rights

The government – and anyone who represents the government – is not allowed to discriminate against anyone because of their:

  • Race
  • National or ethnic origin
  • Colour
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Mental or physical disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Citizenship
  • Where they are from
  • Where they live

These equality rights must not be used to prevent laws and programs – such as affirmative action – that aim to help people overcome discrimination.

Official Languages

English and French are Canada’s two official languages. They have equal status and rights in all parts of the:

  • Government of Canada.
  • Government of New Brunswick. New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province.

Everyone has the right to communicate with, and be served in either French or English by the:

  • Government of Canada.
  • Government of New Brunswick.

Minority Language Education Rights

Canadian citizens who belong to a group that speaks one official language in a place where most people speak the other language, have the right to choose in which official language their children will be educated. However, certain conditions must be met, including among others:

  • The language is their first language, or
  • The parents have been educated in that language, or
  • The child is being or has been educated in that language.
  • There are a sufficient number of students.

Enforcing the Charter

Anyone can ask the law to help them if they feel their Charter rights are violated.


The Charter does not limit the rights and freedoms - including the treaty rights - of Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

The Charter does not deny other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada.

This Charter should be used to protect Canada’s multicultural heritage.

All rights and freedoms in this Charter apply equally to males and females.

The Charter does not limit the rights of religious and separate schools that are protected by the Constitution.

The Charter does not give governments any more law-making power than they already have.

Application of the Charter

The Charter applies to the:

  • Government of Canada
  • Governments of each province and territory

In rare cases, these governments can ignore some of the rights in this Charter. They can only do this for up to five years at a time.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This simplified version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides an overview of the 46 articles of the actual UNDRIP document. It is intended to provide educators and learners with a plain language introduction to the more complex text and is for information and education purposes only. View the complete Declaration (PDF, 166 KB), including its preamble and the requirements of States who endorse the Declaration.

Article 1: Right to the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as nations and as individuals

Article 2: Right to live as equals and to live free from discrimination

Article 3: Right to self-determination

Article 4: Right to autonomy or self-government

Article 5: Right to have their own Indigenous institutions and right to participate in the life of the State

Article 6: Right to a nationality

Article 7: Right to life, mental and physical integrity, liberty and security. Right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct Indigenous peoples, safe from genocide, violence, including removal of children.

Article 8: Freedom from forced assimilation or destruction of cultures, the right to effective protection and remedies for such actions.

Article 9: Right to belong to an Indigenous community or nation, according to their traditions and customs

Article 10: No removal from lands and territories without free, prior and informed consent

Article 11: Right to practise, revitalize and protect their traditions and cultural property, and to effective mechanisms to recover cultural property taken without permission

Article 12: Right to practice and teach spiritual and religious traditions, to protect and have access to their own cultural sites and ceremonial objects, and a way to recover human remains taken from them.

Article 13: Right to recover, use and teach Indigenous languages, knowledge and oral traditions and to use these in courts and other places

Article 14: Right to their own education systems, as well as the right to education provided by the State without discrimination

Article 15: Right to have all Indigenous cultures portrayed with dignity in education and public information

Article 16: Right to their own media in their own languages, to non-Indigenous media that does not discriminate, and to fair representation of the diversity of Indigenous peoples in media

Article 17: Right to all labour protections at home and abroad, as well as special measures to protect children from harmful and dangerous work conditions

Article 18: Right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by them

Article 19: Indigenous peoples must be consulted with in good faith and to their satisfaction before states make laws or take other action that could affect them

Article 20: Right to their own institutions to freely engage in traditional and other economic activities to provide for themselves, and the right to remedies if these rights are violated

Article 21: Right to make their lives better, including improving education, employment, housing and health, with particular attention to the needs of women, children, Elders and people with disabilities

Article 22: States shall take special measures to protect the rights of women, children, Elders and persons with disabilities and to ensure women and children are protected against violence and discrimination

Article 23: Right to set their own priorities and strategies for development

Article 24: Right to their traditional medicines and health practices as well as to the highest standard of health and social services available

Article 25: Right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with traditional lands, territories and resources

Article 26: Right to their traditional lands, territories and resources, to do with these as they see fit, and to receive legal protection for their lands and resources

Article 27: Right to an impartial and culturally appropriate process to resolve any disputes regarding Indigenous land rights

Article 28: Right to remedy for land wrongly taken, occupied, used or damaged in the form of equal lands, territories and resources or other compensation

Article 29: Right to conserve and protect their lands, territories and resources, to not have hazardous materials stored or dumped there, and to measures to restore the health of people affected by environmental contamination

Article 30: No military activities shall take place on their lands or territories without a good reason, or unless freely agreed or requested by Indigenous peoples

Article 31: Right to maintain, control, protect and develop the things created from their own cultures, sciences and technologies, including seeds, medicines, sports and arts

Article 32: Others must obtain the consent of Indigenous peoples before any projects can take place on their lands, territories or resources and must provide remedy if this causes them any harm

Article 33: Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own membership according to their own customs and traditions

Article 34: Right to promote, develop and maintain their own institutions, procedures and practices, including legal practices

Article 35: Right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their own communities

Article 36: Indigenous peoples whose territory crosses borders have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation with their own members on either side of those borders

Article 37: Right to have all past and current Treaties and agreements recognized, upheld and enforced

Article 38: States are to work in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples to achieve the ends of this Declaration, including making laws

Article 39: In order to fully enjoy the rights in this Declaration, Indigenous peoples have the right to financial and technical assistance from the State or international groups

Article 40: Right to access to fair and just procedures to resolve and remedy conflicts and disputes with the State or other groups

Article 41: The United Nations is to take action to support the full realization of this Declaration and Indigenous peoples are to be full participants in this process

Article 42: The United Nations, including its Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and its specialised agencies, as well as States are to promote respect for this Declaration and monitor its application

Article 43: The rights in this Declaration are the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of all Indigenous peoples

Article 44: This Declaration applies to male and female Indigenous individuals equally

Article 45: Nothing in this Declaration can be seen to diminish current or future rights of Indigenous peoples

Article 46: The rights and freedoms of all people are to be respected, and if it is necessary to put limits on the rights and freedoms in this Declaration it must be done in a non-discriminatory way that respects international human rights laws and obligations and principles such as democracy and justice.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Article 1 – Definition of discrimination against girls and women

Discrimination against girls and women means directly or indirectly treating girls and women differently from boys and men in a way which prevents them from enjoying their rights.

Article 2 – Policy measures

Governments must not allow discrimination against girls and women. There must be laws and policies to protect them from any discrimination. All national laws and policies must be based on equality of girls and women and boys and men. There should be punishment for not following the law.

Article 3 – Guarantee of basic human rights and freedoms

Governments must take actions in all fields – political, social, economic, and cultural – to ensure girls and women can enjoy basic human rights and freedoms.

Article 4 – Special measures

Governments should take special measures or special actions to end discrimination against girls and women. The special actions that favour girls and women are not a way of discriminating against boys and men. They are meant to speed up equality between girls and women and boys and men. These specific measures should last until equality between girls and women and boys and men is achieved.

Article 5 – Roles based on stereotypes

Governments must work to change stereotypes about girls and women and boys and men, especially if these roles are based on boys and men being considered better than women and girls.

Article 6 – Trafficking and prostitution

Governments must take action, including making new laws, to end trafficking and prostitution of girls and women.

Article 7 – Political and public life

Women have the same right to vote and be elected to government positions. Girls and women have the right to take part in the decisions a government makes and the way it carries them out. They have the right to participate in non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Article 8 – Participation at the international level

Girls and women have the right to represent their country at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations (such as the United, the European Union, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, among many others.)

Article 9 – Nationality

Girls and women have the right to have a nationality, and to change it if they want. A woman’s nationality must not be changed automatically just because she got married, or because her husband changed his nationality. Women can pass on their nationality to their children, the same as men.

Article 10 – Education

Governments must end discrimination against girls and women in education. Girls and women have a right to education, just as boys and men do. Girls and women should have access to career guidance and professional training at all levels; to studies and schools; to examinations, teaching staff, school buildings, and equipment; and opportunities to get scholarships and grants, the same as boys and men. Girls and women have the right to take part in sports and physical education, and to get specific information to ensure the health and well-being of families. Governments should make sure girls do not drop out of school. They should also help girls and women who have left school early to return and complete their education.

Article 11 – Employment

Women have a right to work just like men. They should be able to join a profession of their choice. Women must have the same chances to find work, get equal pay, promotions and training and have access to healthy and safe working conditions. Women should not be discriminated against because they are married, pregnant, just had a child or are looking after children. Women should get the same assistance from the government for retirement, unemployment, sickness and old age.

Article 12 – Health

Governments must make sure that girls and women are not discriminated against in health care. Girls and women must get health care on the same terms as boys and men. In particular, women have the right to services related to family planning and pregnancy.

Article 13 – Economic and social life

Girls and women have the same rights as goys and men in all areas of economic and social life, like getting family benefits, getting bank loans and taking part in sports and cultural life.

Article 14 – Rural girls and women

Governments must do something about the problems of girls and women who live in rural areas and help them look after and contribute to their families and communities. Girls and women in rural areas must be supported to take part in and benefit from rural development, health care, loans, education and proper living conditions, just like boys and men do. Rural girls and women have a right to set up their own groups and associations.

Article 15 – Law

Girls and women and boys and men are equal before the law, including laws about freedom to go where they choose, choosing where to live, signing contracts and buying and selling properties. Women have the same ‘legal capacity’ as men.

Article 16 – Marriage and family life

Women have the same rights as men to choose whom they marry, the number of children they want to have and to care for them when they are born. Women also have the equal right to the property that they get with their husband while they are married. To end child marriage, governments must set a lowest age for marriage and make sure this is followed. All marriages must be registered (officially recorded with the government).

Articles 17-22 – Establishment and function of the CEDAW Committee

These articles set up the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the CEDAW Committee) to review what progress has been made by countries. These articles say how the Committee works.

Articles 23-30 – Implementing the Convention

These articles deal with the administration (or management) of the Convention. The articles say how the United Nations and governments should work together to make sure rights of girls and women are protected. The articles also say how disagreements between governments about girls’ and women’s rights can be settled.

[Source: CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, In Brief, For adolescents, Policy and Practice, June 2011, Unicef (PDF - 6.51 MB)]

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 1

Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in this Convention.

Article 2

The Convention applies to everyone whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, no matter what type of family they come from.

Article 3

All organizations concerned with children should work towards what is best for you.

Article 4

Governments should make these rights available to you.

Article 5

Governments should respect the rights and responsibilities of families to direct and guide their children so that, as they grow, they learn to use their rights properly.

Article 6

You have the right to life. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily.

Article 7

You have the right to a legally registered name and nationality. You also have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by your parents.

Article 8

Governments should respect children’s right to a name, a nationality and family ties.

Article 9

You should not be separated from your parents unless it is for your own good – for example, if a parent is mistreating or neglecting you. If your parents have separated, you have the right to stay in contact with both parents, unless this might harm you.

Article 10

Families who live in different countries should be allowed to move between those countries so that parents and children can stay in contact or get back together as a family.

Article 11

Governments should take steps to stop children being taken out of their own country illegally.

Article 12

You have the right to say what you think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect you, and to have your opinions taken into account.

Article 13

You have the right to get, and to share, information as long as the information is not damaging to yourself or others.

Article 14

You have the right to think and believe what you want and to practice your religion, as long as you are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide children in these matters.

Article 15

You have the right to meet with other children and young people and to join groups and organizations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.

Article 16

You have the right to privacy. The law should protect you from attacks against your way of life, your good name, your family and your home.

Article 17

You have the right to reliable information from the mass media. Television, radio, and newspapers should provide information that you can understand, and should not promote materials that could harm you.

Article 18

Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their children, and should always consider what is best for each child. Governments should help parents by providing services to support them, especially if both parents work.

Article 19

Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.

Article 20

If you cannot be looked after by your own family, you must be looked after properly, by people who respect your religion, culture and language.

Article 21

If you are adopted, the first concern must be what is best for you. The same rules should apply whether the adoption takes place in the country where you were born or if you move to another country.

Article 22

If you are a child who has come into a country as a refugee, you should have the same rights as children born in that country.

Article 23

If you have a disability, you should receive special care and support so that you can live a full and independent life.

Article 24

You have the right to good quality health care and to clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that you can stay healthy. Rich countries should help poorer countries achieve this.

Article 25

If you are looked after by your local authority rather than your parents, you should have your situation reviewed regularly.

Article 26

The government should provide extra money for the children of families in need.

Article 27

You have a right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet your physical and mental needs. The government should help families who cannot afford to provide this.

Article 28

You have a right to an education. Discipline in schools should respect children’s human dignity. Primary education should be free. Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this.

Article 29

Education should develop your personality and talents to the full. It should encourage you to respect your parents, your own and other cultures.

Article 30

You have a right to learn and use the language and customs of your family whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where you live.

Article 31

You have a right to relax, play and join in a wide range of activities.

Articles 32

The government should protect you from work that is dangerous or might harm your health or education.

Articles 33

The government should provide ways of protecting you from dangerous drugs.

Articles 34

The government should protect you from sexual abuse.

Articles 35

The government should ensure that you are not abducted or sold.

Articles 36

You should be protected from any activities that could harm your development.

Articles 37

If you break the law, you should not be treated cruelly. You should not be put in a prison with adults and you should be able to keep in contact with your family.

Articles 38

Governments should not allow children under 16 to join the army. In war zones, you should receive special protection.

Articles 39

If you have been neglected or abused, you should receive special help to restore your self-respect.

Articles 40

If you are accused of breaking the law, you should receive legal help. Prison sentences for children should only be used for the most serious offences.

Articles 41

If the laws of a particular country protect you better than the articles of the Convention, then those laws should stay.

Articles 42

The government should make the Convention known to all parents and children.

Articles 43-54

Articles 43-54 are about how adults and governments should work together to make sure all children get all their rights.

[Source: Know your rights. Use them. Get Tagd: (PDF - 430 KB)]

United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 1: Purpose

The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. People with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Article 2: Definitions

This article defines some of the key terms used in the Convention including “communication”; “language”; “discrimination on the basis of disability”; “reasonable accommodation” and “universal design”.

Article 3: General principles

The Convention is based on the principles of respect for dignity; non-discrimination; participation and inclusion; respect for difference; equality of opportunity; accessibility; equality between men and women; and respect for children.

Article 4: General obligations

Countries must take a range of measures, with the active involvement of people with disabilities, to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind.

Article 5: Equality and non-discrimination

Everyone is equal before and under the law. Everyone is entitled to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination.

Article 6: Women with disabilities

Women and girls with disabilities experience multiple discrimination. Countries must take all appropriate measures to ensure that women with disabilities are able to fully enjoy the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention.

Article 7: Children with disabilities

Children with disabilities have the same human rights as all other children. The best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children with disabilities. Children with disabilities have the right to express their views on all matters affecting them

Article 8: Awareness-raising

Countries must raise awareness of the rights, capabilities and contributions of people with disabilities. Countries must challenge stereotypes and prejudices relating to people with disabilities through campaigning, education, media and awareness-raising programs.

Article 9: Accessibility

People with disabilities have the right to access all aspects of society on an equal basis with others including the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, and other facilities and services provided to the public.

Article 10: Right to life

People with disabilities have the right to life. Countries must take all necessary measures to ensure that people with disabilities are able to effectively enjoy this right on an equal basis with others.

Article 11: Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies

Countries must take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of all persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.

Article 12: Equal recognition before the law

People with disabilities have the right to recognition as persons before the law. People with disabilities have legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life. Countries must take appropriate measures to provide support to people with disabilities so that they can effectively exercise their legal capacity.

Article 13: Access to justice

People with disabilities have the right to effective access to justice on an equal basis with others, including through the provision of appropriate accommodations.

Article 14: Liberty and security of person

People with disabilities have the right to liberty and security of person on an equal basis with others. Existence of disability alone cannot be used to justify deprivation of liberty.

Article 15: Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

People with disabilities have the right to be free from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No one shall be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without his or her free consent.

Article 16: Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse

People with disabilities have the right to be protected from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender based aspects, within and outside the home.

Article 17: Protecting the integrity of the person

Every person with disabilities has a right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity on an equal basis with others.

Article 18: Liberty of movement and nationality

People with disabilities have the right to a nationality. Children with disabilities have the right to a name and to know and be cared for by their parents.

Article 19: Living independently and being included in the community

People with disabilities have the right to live independently in the community. Countries must ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to choose where they live and with whom they live, and that they are provided with the support necessary to do this.

Article 20: Personal mobility

Countries must take effective and appropriate measures to ensure personal mobility for people with disabilities in the manner and time of their choice, and at affordable cost. People with disabilities also have the right to access quality mobility aids, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries.

Article 21: Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information

People with disabilities have the right to express themselves, including the freedom to give and receive information and ideas through all forms of communication, including through accessible formats and technologies, sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, mass media and all other accessible means of communication.

Article 22: Respect for privacy

People with disabilities have the right to privacy. Information about people with disabilities including personal information and information about their health should be protected.

Article 23: Respect for home and the family

People with disabilities have the right to marry and to found a family. Countries must provide effective and appropriate support to people with disabilities in bringing up children, and provide alternative care to children with disabilities where the immediate family is unable to care for them.

Article 24: Education

People with disabilities have a right to education without discrimination. Countries must ensure that people with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary and secondary education in their own community. Countries must also provide reasonable accommodation and individualized support to maximize academic and social development.

Article 25: Health

People with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination. Countries must take all appropriate measures, including measures that are gender-sensitive, to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same range, quality and standard of health care that is available to everyone else, and which are close to people’s own communities.

Article 26: Habilitation and rehabilitation

Countries must take effective and appropriate measures to enable people with disabilities to develop, attain and maintain maximum ability, independence and participation through the provision of habilitation and rehabilitation services and programs.

Article 27: Work and employment

People with disabilities have the right to work, including the right to work in an environment that is open, inclusive and accessible. Countries must take appropriate steps to promote employment opportunities and career advancement for people with disabilities.

Article 28: Adequate standard of living and social protection

People with disabilities have the right to an adequate standard of living including food, water, clothing and housing, and to effective social protection including poverty reduction and public housing programs.

Article 29: Participation in political and public life

People with disabilities have the right to participate in politics and in public affairs, as well as to vote and to be elected.

Article 30: Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport

People with disabilities have the right to take part in cultural life on an equal basis with others, including access to cultural materials, performances and services, and to recreational, leisure and sporting activities.

Article 31: Statistics and data collection

Countries must collect information about people with disabilities, with the active involvement of people with disabilities, so that they can better understand the barriers they experience and make the Convention rights real.

Articles 32-50

Articles 32-50 explain how countries which are bound by the Convention must give it full effect. They also explain the responsibility of countries to report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on how they are putting the Convention into effect.

[Source: Disability Action, Centre on Human Rights and Disability, Belfast.]