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Opening Statement by Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Director Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division, at the Annual Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
March 15,2017   By:UN
Opening Statement by Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Director Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division, at the Annual Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
 
Human Rights Council 34th Session
 
3 March 2017
 
Mr. President,
 
Excellencies,
 
Colleagues and Friends,
 
I am delighted to welcome you to the ninth interactive debate the Human Rights Council is holding on the rights of persons with disabilities. This year’s debate will be devoted to the standards set in article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on equality and non-discrimination and the policies and practices developed under its guidance.
 
Colleagues,
 
It is undeniable that we have come a long way since the adoption of the Convention.  In the international human rights framework, persons with disabilities are - formally recognised as right-holders on an equal basis with others.  Substantive Equality goes hand in hand with the principle of non-discrimination which underlies all human rights treaties and seeks to prevent any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference that nullifies or impairs the equal recognition and exercise of rights on different grounds, including on the grounds of disability.
 
While the human rights standards are clear in this respect, in practice, persons with disabilities continue to be subject to discrimination in the form of exclusion, isolation, segregation and violence.  Deprivation of legal capacity, forced institutionalisation, pervasive stereotypes and prejudices, exclusion from general education, and lack of access to employment, housing and social protection prevent persons with disabilities from fully enjoying their rights.  In particular, women and girls with disabilities face compounded barriers to the exercise and enjoyment of their rights across all spheres in comparison with men and boys with disabilities as well as other women and girls.
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