Policy and Rights

This page features disability news on Policy and Rights from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.


CIP Question of the month is on the gap between policy and practice in disability rights in low and middle-income countries, and what can be done to close it. (Jun, CIP)

Face Equality is a Human Right:

“Historically, legal recognition of disfigurement has been limited to disability laws and spaces. But is facial difference always classed as a disability? While it is true that there is often an overlap between the two characteristics, many members of the facial difference community indicate that facial difference is an identity in itself.” (link to pdf, May, Face Equality International)

Open letter to the UN to protect gender parity and diversity of representation on the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. (Sightsavers and 80 other signatories)

Why tax justice is critical to the rights of persons with disabilities. Injustices that persons with disabilities face “cannot be properly tackled without dedicated public resources. ” (Apr, CESR)

Taxes, Budgets, and Human Rights: Part of a series on key concepts in human rights and the economy:

‘the use of public resources can help to tackle centuries of exclusion towards certain groups (like women, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ communities, and more) who have been systematically denied their rights. In fact, any group fighting for social justice is going to face, at some point, the question of “how to pay” to fix the problem.’ (Apr, CESR)

Report on disability legislation and how it works for people with Facial Disfigurements “While the UNCRPD provides a strong theoretical foundation for protecting the rights of people with facial disfigurements through its wide definition of disability, in reality, it has had more limited practical success, owing to the limited accountability measures in place” (link to pdf, May, Face Equality)

Unchaining Disability Law Global Considerations, Limitations and Possibilities in the Global South and East:

‘Over the past years, there have been increased legal measures to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities. Yet there has been significantly less action in relation to direct prosecution, despite mounting global pressure from disability rights advocates. The majority of persons with disabilities continue to live on the margins of, and often outside, the law, as the law offers them little or no protection because of deep stigmatization, inequality, and marginality. Institutions designed to protect persons with disabilities in countries positioned on the “global peripheries of law” are “places in the world where it is particularly difficult to realize human rights in practice.”’ (Mar, AJIL Unbound)

The proposal for a United Nations Convention on Tax aims to ensure that tax systems support realization of goals relating to equality, including the rights of persons with disabilities, and that States report on this. (Mar, Eurodad)

CRPD Committee Twenty-Sixth Session considered State reports of Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico,Switzerland and Venezuela. (Mar, OHCHR)

A paper exploring how Fiscal policy needs a focus on disability: how to make this possible? (in Spanish, Feb, Principles for Human Rights in Fiscal Policy)

Human Rights Watch World Report 2022 starts with a discussion of autocrats "on the defensive" and how democracies can "rise to the ocassion"; from there it is an update on human rights by country, including updates on disability rights. (Jan, Human Rights Watch)

A training course The Human Rights-Based Approach to Disability running in February-March (UNITAR)

The 15th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD is scheduled in New York from 14th to 16h June (UN)


Disability Inclusion in China an overview helpdesk report. "The disability movement in China has been disproportionately affected by the Charity Law and Overseas NGO Law, which have necessitated a move from advocacy towards service provision. " (link to pdf, Nov, SD Direct)

East Africa

Legislator Revives push for regional law (Mar, The New Times)


Does the future of Europe include disability? The Conference on the Future of Europe failed to address persons with disabilities. (May, Social Europe)

UN expert hails EU commitment to disability rights The Special Rapporteur's initial findings on his review of disability in Europe, celebrating efforts taken, and raising concern that some funding is still going to institutional arrangements for persons with disabilities. (Mar, OHCHR)

President of the European Parliament committed to work on improving the rights of Europeans with disabilities. (Mar, EDF)

Improving Accessibility and Access to Rights – Implementing the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030. (March, EU France 22)

Joint Briefing for United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities regarding the review of the implementation of the CRPD by the EU. "The EU has not taken enough measures to address equality and non-discrimination in its legislation and policies, and in particular to address intersectional and multiple forms of discrimination. " (Feb, EDF)


The 2021 report of the Defender of Rights shows disability as the most frequent claim of discrimination (in French, Jul, Faire Face)


Situation Analysis of the Rights of People with Disabilities Describes legislative and policy progress but "despite these changes, little has improved in the daily lives of many persons with disabilities in Georgia". (Jan, UNDP)


Learn How the Ghanaian Disability Rights Movement is Influencing National Policy. (Apr, DRF)


New Policy for disabled paves way for early intervention centres employment portal & national database (Jun, Times of India) Concerns raised that the draft was not accessible (The Hindu)

Government advisory board on disability not re-constituted since November 2020 (Jun, The Hindu)


Editorial on a government bill that allocates funding for disability inclusion: A major achievement for Israel (May, Jerusalem Post)


Mexico Bill Would Further Endanger Disability Rights “Right to Make Decisions Should Not Turn on ‘Capacity’” (Apr, Human Rights Watch)

New Zealand

Disability advocates frustrated over feedback process for accessibility legislation (Jan, Stuff)

Appointment irks disabled community Ministry for Disabled People sees major appointments of people who do not identify as disabled. (Jan, Otago Daily Times)


The House of Representatives passes a bill prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability (Jun, Nigerian Tribune)

Nigerian Disability Rights Acts: 3 years after Prospects and challenges (Jan, Pulse NG)

Lagos Govt Reiterates Commitment to People with Disabilities "with the launch of comic books aimed at promoting a friendly platform for disability inclusion." (Dec, This Day)


A short video with nice footage introducing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Jun, ILO)

Pacific Islands

Inequality, discrimination, and exclusion assessing CRPD compliance in Pacific Island legislation (Oct, UN ESCAP)


Pakistani people with disabilities “It has taken a long time for Pakistan to pass legislation to contend with some of the challenges faced by PWDs” (Jul, Tribune)

Socio-Economic inclusion of PWDs Towards an Inclusive, Accessible & Sustainable Pakistan (Dec, Pakistan Today)

South Africa

Cabinet approves Framework on Disability Rights Awareness Campaigns (May, SA News)

South African Autism community says 'government has overlooked us for long enough' (Feb, News 24)


A music video on disability rights: Did You Know - Air Jay ft Daxx Kartel (Jul, Make 12.4% Work)

United Kingdom

UK Ministry of Justice Treats People with Disabilities as an Afterthought: "Human Rights Act Consultation Exercise Fails Fully to Include People with Disabilities". (Mar, Human Rights Watch)

Bristol appoints disability equality commissioners to tackle inequality Interesting to see this at city-level. (Feb, Bristol)

High Court declares National Disability Strategy unlawful due to inadequate consultation (Jan, Bindmans)


Experts of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Ask about Braille and Sign Language in Education and Public Life and about the Situation of Women with Disabilities (Mar, OHCHR)

West Africa

ECOWAS hosts regional experts’ meeting on disability inclusion to validate a regional plan of action. (Apr, ECOWAS)