Articles of general application (Articles 3-9)


The articles in this section address important principles and concepts that are relevant to the understanding, interpretation and implementation of all the other articles in the Convention. The interpretation and implementation of the CRPD should always be consistent with the principles
and obligations discussed in Articles 3-9.

Article 3 (General principles)

sets forth eight important principles that should be applied in the interpretation and implementation of all the other articles. They are:

(a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;

(b) Non-discrimination;

(c) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

(d) Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;

(e) Equality of opportunity;

(f) Accessibility;

(g) Equality between men and women;

(h) Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

Article 4 (General obligations)

describes the range of actions States Parties must take “to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for
all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.” These actions include (amongst others) changing
legislation, addressing disability in all policies and programmes, undertaking research, and promoting training. In addition, States Parties must
“closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative
organizations.” The Article notes that economic, social and cultural rights are subject to progressive realization, though that does not prevent the
immediate implementation of any economic, social and cultural rights, where possible.

Article 5(Equality and non-discrimination)

recognizes that all persons are equal before the law; requires States Parties to prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability; and guarantees
to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all grounds. States Parties must provide reasonable
accommodation in order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination. Specific measures “necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of
persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination” under the Convention.

Article 6 (Women with disabilities)

recognizes multiple discrimination women and girls with disabilities face and obligates States Parties to take measures to ensure the full and equal
enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by women and girls with disabilities. States Parties must also ensure “the full development,
advancement and empowerment of women,” so that women may exercise and enjoy the human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Convention.

Article 7(Children with disabilities)

obligates States Parties to take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by children with
disabilities on an equal basis with others. It requires that the “best interests of the child” be the “primary consideration” in “all actions
concerning children with disabilities.” States Parties must also ensure that children with disabilities have the “right to express their views freely
on all matters affecting them,” that they receive assistance to realize this right, and that their views be given due weight.

Article 8(Awareness-raising)

obligates States Parties to take a variety of measures to raise awareness throughout society regarding persons with disabilities, and to “foster
respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.” States Parties must also “combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices,” and
promote awareness of the “capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities.”

Article 9(Accessibility)

obligates States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure access to persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to the physical
environment, transportation, information and communications, and “other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in
rural areas.” The Article then lists some of the places, amongst others, where barriers to access should be identified and eliminated (e.g. schools,
communications services), and provides for a variety of measures that should be taken to accomplish this (e.g. providing training on accessibility
issues to stakeholders, and providing signage in Braille and easy to read and understand forms).