ARTICLE: Emergent Disability and the Limits of Equality: A Critical Reading of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2011 Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal 
Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal

ARTICLE: Emergent Disability and the Limits of Equality: A Critical Reading of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

2011

Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal

14 Yale H.R. & Dev. L.J. 155

Author

Beth Ribet+

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter "the Convention") opened for state signatories on March of 2007, following adoption by the General Assembly in December of 2006. 1 The Office of the Joint Secretariat, which administered the implementation of the Convention, notes that transnational support, at least as indicated by the number of signatories on its opening day, exceeded that of any previous UN convention. 2 In July of 2009, President Obama initially committed the United States as a signatory, although formal implementation still awaits Congressional ratification. 3 Although there has been no equivalent document in the history of global disability rights, the Convention was not entirely lacking precedent in international legal conceptualization of disability. Namely, the United Nations designated the year 1982 as the "International Year of Disabled Persons," ultimately leading to the formulation of the "World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons." 4

The World Programme is indicative of the type of international legal document that international legal theorists generally characterize as "soft" law, in the sense that its provisions are not binding on states or organizations outside of the UN's own internal bodies. However, as the first major international legal document posing a comprehensive platform that conceptualizes disability as a political, medical, and social phenomenon, it would be an error to dismiss it as lacking any wider practical import. The World Programme remains particularly relevant to this analysis, as it anticipated the underlying philosophy of the ...
 
 
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