Until recently Belarus was among the few European states which did not sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It finally signed it in autumn 2015, and ratified it only a year later, on 3 October 2016. Its ratification will contribute to the increase in awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities. It also imposes on the state an obligation to adapt and implement regulations which will ensure the protection of this part of Belarusian society.
Poland has endorsed the signature and ratification of the convention by Belarus, among others with help of the Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights, which conducts projects supporting Belarus within a Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme for 2012-2015. The improvement of social integration of people at risk of social exclusion is one of the goals of Polish development cooperation in favour of Belarus in the 2016-2020 framework.
The convention ratification opens up new prospects for cooperation of Polish and Belarussian bodies whose aim is to ensure the full realization of the rights of persons with disabilities. Polish institutions and organizations have a lot of experience in the transformation which took place after Poland’s ratification of the convention on 6 September 2012.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 December 2006. It is the first international legal act which relates to disabled persons’ rights in a comprehensive way. The aim of the convention is to protect and ensure full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with other citizens.