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Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO) is committed to the rights of all persons to participate fully in the civil, cultural, economic, political and social life of their communities.

Human Rights Issues

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

On March 11, 2010, Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 
The United Nations (UN) has developed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Canadian representatives played a leadership role in developing the Convention.  Now that Canada has ratified it, we will be expected to live up it.

What does the Convention do for us?

Until now, people with disabilities have not been mentioned in other core human rights conventions, such as those setting out the rights of women, children and others.  Until now, people with disabilities were "invisible" when it came to declarations of human rights.  Now we are finally named and recognized.
The Convention does not grant us new rights but it explains how people with disabilities need to be treated in order to exercise the same human rights granted to other people.  This is to be done with respect to the following principles set out in Article 3 of the Convention:
  1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;

  2. Non-discrimination;

  3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

  4. Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;

  5. Equality of opportunity;

  6. Accessibility;

  7. Equality between men and women;

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

News Releases
Information on the UN Convention
Alternate Formats


Humane Treatment

  • Mental Disability Rights International Report, Torture not Treatment: Electric Shock and Long-Term Restraint in the United States on Children and Adults with Disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center -
    Urgent Appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (Word format | PDF format)

Disability Rights Declaration

The ODSP Action Coalition is asking individuals and groups to endorse their Disability Declaration. The Declaration sets out some of the rights that people with disabilities have according to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and then states what changes the Ontario government needs to make to ODSP to fulfill those rights. Although Canada has not yet ratified the Convention, the Coalition believes it is important for people with disabilities and organizations that work with them to use it in articulating how and why their needs must be met.

To endorse the Disability Declaration, please send a message indicating your support to the Coalition co-chairs, Nancy Vander Plaats and Kyle Vose; by email:, or by snail mail c/o Scarborough Community Legal Services; 695 Markahm Rd; Suite 9, Scarborough, ON M1H 2A5. Please include your full name, address and organization (if any) on your message. If you have any questions contact Kyle at 647 885-9272, or Nancy at 416 438-7206.



UN Disability Rights Bulletin (October 2009)

The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s 2008/09 Annual Report:


DPI Disability Convention Daily Update - September 2, 2009 Second Conference of States Parties of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Click here to read what happened at the Conference.

The International Disability Alliance now has a new website, designed to be fully accessible for users with screen readers and related software. As a related effort, they will be also starting work on a new IDA Facebook page.

Last updated September 6, 2010