Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

UN treaty

CRPD is an international human rights treaty adopted in 2006. The UK ratified (agreed to follow) CRPD in 2009.

By ratifying CRPD, the UK agrees to protect and promote the human rights of disabled people, including:

  • eliminating disability discrimination
  • enabling disabled people to live independently in the community
  • ensuring an inclusive education system
  • ensuring disabled people are protected from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse

How the treaty is monitored

The implementation of CRPD is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Around every five years the Committee reviews how well each state is putting the rights in CRPD into practice. Find out more about the previous review cycles.

There are six stages in the treaty cycle. Civil society organisations can engage throughout this process. We have produced a guide for civil society with information on how to participate.  The UN’s website also has information on how to participate.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty cycle

The CRPD review cycle is currently at stage 1: Stakeholders report on progress.

Please note that some of the timings given below are estimates, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted the UN to cancel a number of Geneva sessions. The below will be updated when the UN publishes further information on the timetable for the UK’s review.

1. Stakeholders report on progress

  • the UK has accepted the simplified reporting procedure for the next CRPD review
  • stakeholders should plan to submit their reports 4 months before the UN draws up its List of Issues (see stage 2 below). Based on current estimates, stakeholder reports are due in April 2022
  • the UN is expected to adopt its List of Issues at a Pre-Sessional Working Group in late summer 2022
  • the UK will be expected to submit its state report within one year of the List of Issues being published, which we estimate will be in late summer 2023
  • other stakeholders who want to respond to the List of Issues should plan to submit their reports by late summer 2023
  • based on the current timetable, we estimate that the UN review will take place in late 2023 at the earliest
  • based on the current timetable, we estimate that the UN will publish its recommendations to the UK in late 2023 at the earliest
  • UN published latest recommendations to the UK (August 2017)
  • the UN’s last recommendations to the UK included a request for a follow-up report each September, until 2023, focusing on progress made on independent living, work and employment, living standards and social protection

Optional protocols

CRPD has one Optional Protocol. This is an additional treaty that allows people to complain directly to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if they believe their rights have been violated. It can only be used when all domestic channels have been exhausted. It has been ratified by the UK.

The Optional Protocol also allows the Committee to undertake its own inquiries, where reliable information is received into allegations of grave or systematic violations of treaty rights. Read about the inquiry on independent living, living standards and employment for disabled people in the UK, published in 2016.

General comments

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has issued a number of General Comments on CRPD. These provide further detail on how it should be interpreted, covering issues such as accessibility, the right to independent living and equality and non-discrimination.

Last updated on 17/08/2021