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Seminar Series

Understanding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Seminar Overview

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty designed to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. According to the World Health Organization and the World Bank, over one billion people - more than 10% of the world’s population - live with some form of disability. The CRPD provides the foundation to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to realize their rights for full participation in employment, civic activities, transportation, recreation and other areas of human activity.

This virtual seminar provides a vehicle for IDPP staff and students, NGO/DPO leaders, and other interested participants from around the world to discuss various aspects of the CRPD, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century. The seminar will focus on deepening participants’ understanding of the CRPD, as well as domestic, regional, and international disability policies. It will also explore strategies for engaging in CRPD monitoring and implementation. The seminar is intended to encourage participants to share lessons learned in their advocacy efforts with each other. While the scope of this seminar will be applicable at the global level, it will focus primarily on the countries in Southeast Asia as represented by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and will cover the history, development and structure of the CRPD, including:

  • The 50 articles of the CRPD and information regarding the negotiating and drafting of the Convention
  • CRPD implementation, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms at the state level
  • How domestic disability policies influence the implementation of the Convention
  • Related regional initiatives, such as the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's New Decade to “Make the Right Real” Campaign and related Incheon Strategy, and various national level implementation strategies
  • Strengths, barriers and the future of CRPD signing, ratification and implementation

Participants and Structure

This free virtual seminar is open to interested participants from around the world. There is no academic credit associated with the seminar, and it will not include any certificate of participation.

Dates and Times

Exact dates and times for the next seminar will be announced when available.

Real time sessions are held via Blackboard Collaborate, a leading commercial webconferencing tool. Participants may join the seminar via laptop or mobile device (iOS or Android). Each session is recorded, and participants who attend all sessions gain access to these recordings at the end of the seminar.

Topics and Schedule

Week 1: Overview of the CRPD
Week 2: Substantive Policy Issues in the CRPD
Week 3: National Implementation, Monitoring and Enforcement of the CRPD
Week 4: Regional Implementation, Monitoring and Enforcement of the CRPD
Week 5: Successes and Barriers to the CRPD and the Future of the Convention


Ambassador Luis Gallegos: Chair, UN Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention to Promote and Protect the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities; Senior Fellow, United Nations Institute for Training and Research; Chairman, G3ICT.
Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn: Executive Director, Institute on Disability and Public Policy; Associate Professor, American University - School of International Service.