Minister Rehula: Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an important step forward

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 12.5.2016 16.44
News item

Finland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the accompanying Optional Protocol on 11 May. The Convention and the Protocol will enter into force in Finland on 10 June 2016.

Finland has taken an important step forward in defending and respecting the rights of persons with disabilities, says Juha Rehula, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. The ratification of the Convention helps persons with disabilities to have a say in decision-making on matters affecting them. I believe that the Convention helps us to raise general awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities, says Minister Rehula.

The aim of this Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their human dignity. The optional protocol establishes a system that allows persons to complain if their rights have been offended.  

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first legally binding international document on the rights of persons with disabilities. The Convention does not establish any new rights but strengthens those existing rights of persons with disabilities that have earlier been guaranteed by other international human rights conventions. The Convention emphasises that persons with disabilities should be involved in all decision-making affecting them.

The ratification of the Convention required amendments to the Finnish legislation on persons with disabilities. The last obstacle to ratification in Finland was removed when Parliament adopted the Act on Amending the Act on Special Care for Mentally Handicapped Persons.

Inquiries:

Director Eveliina Pöyhönen, tel.02951 63303, [email protected]