Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building Vibrant, Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible Communities!



Baha'i International Community Statement on Human Rights and Disability

Statement to the fortieth session of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. Agenda item 7: human rights and disability

GENEVA—6 August 1988

Until recently, the disabled have constituted a minority in obscurity. Unlike certain other groups that fall victim to discrimination, the disabled do not comprise a self-contained, close-knit social community. Instead, they populate every social sector, every class, every age group, every ethnic and religious community. And at every level, society has tended to ignore them, believing them incapable of participating in the community, or avoiding them as unpleasant reminders of the fragility of our existence.

Fortunately, this situation is beginning to change. Nations and localities are devoting steadily more attention to improving the plight of the disabled. Mr. Despouy's excellent interim report demonstrates the seriousness with which the international community too is finally addressing this important issue. The Baha'i­ International Community welcomes the Special Rapporteur's study and would like to take a few minutes to comment on his report and on some of the issues it raises.

The plight of the disabled is a mirror reflecting the shortcomings of society. This fundamental observation holds true with respect to three major topics that the Special Rapporteur plans to treat at length in his final report: first, the causes of disability; second, prejudice and discrimination directed towards the disabled; and third, measures to ensure the equal enjoyment of human rights for the disabled.


Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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