"Beijing Declaration on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the New Century"

last update: 20151223

Beijing Declaration on the Rights of
People with Disabilities in the New Century

Adopted on 12 March 2000 at the World NGO Summit on Disability
1. We, the leaders of Disabled People's International, Inclusion
International, Rehabilitation
International, the World Blind Union and the World Federation of the Deaf,
as well as national
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of and for people with disabilities
from all continents have
convened in Beijing from 10 to 12 March 2000 to develop a new century
strategy for the full
participation and equality of people with disabilities,
2. We recognize, with appreciation, that the last two decades of the
twentieth century witnessed an
increased awareness of issues faced by over 600 million people with
disabilities, assisted in part
by various United Nations instruments,
3. We express deep concern that such instruments and mandates have yet to
create a significant
impact on improving the lives of people with disabilities, especially women
and girls with
disabilities, who remain the most invisible and marginalized of all
disadvantaged social groups,
4. We emphasize that the continued exclusion of people with disabilities
from the mainstream
development process is a violation of fundamental rights and an indictment
of humankind at the
inception of the new century,
5. We share the conviction that the full inclusion of people with
disabilities in society requires
our solidarity in working towards an international convention that legally
binds nations, to
reinforce the moral authority of the United Nations Standard Rules on the
Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities,
6. We believe that the inception of the new century is an opportune time for
people with diverse
disabilities and their organizations, and other civic organizations, local
and national governments,
members of the United Nations system and other inter-governmental bodies, as
well as the private
sector, to collaborate closely in an inclusive and wide consultative process
aimed at the
development and adoption of an international convention to promote and
protect the rights of people
with disabilities, and enhance equal opportunities for participation in
mainstream society,
7. We therefore urge all heads of state and government, public
administrators, local authorities,
members of the United Nations system, people with disabilities, civic
organizations that participate
in the development process, and socially responsible private sector
organizations, to immediately
initiate the process for an international convention, including by raising
it in all forthcoming
international forums, especially the Special Session of the United Nations
General Assembly on
Social Development, the NGO Millennium Forum, the United Nations Millennium
Assembly and related
preparatory meetings,
8. We further urge all participants in this process to actively facilitate
the adoption of such a
convention, which should address, inter alia, the following areas of
priority concern:
(a) Improvement of the overall quality of life of people with diverse
disabilities, and their
upliftment from deprivation, hardship and poverty;
(b) Education, training, remunerative work, and participation in
decision-making processes at all
(c) Elimination of discriminatory attitudes and practices, as well as
information, legal and
infrastructural barriers;
(d) Increased allocations of resources to ensure the equal participation of
people with
9. We hereby send out a call to action to all concerned with equality and
human dignity, to join
together in widespread efforts embracing national capitals, towns and
cities, remote villages, and
United Nations forums, to ensure the adoption of an international convention
on the rights of all
people with disabilities,
10. We commit our respective organizations to strive for a legally binding
international convention
on the rights of all people with disabilities to full participation and
equality in society.

Beijing, 12 March 2000

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