For immediate publication
Toronto - December 3rd marks the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day to promote a better understanding of disability-related issues, the rights of persons with disabilities, and their integration in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.
Earlier this year, many Canadians were excited to witness visions of what an inclusive society could look like as we cheered our athletes and artists in the Olympic and Paralympic games. These talented young people with their differing abilities showed us many expressions of excellence in sport, art and culture.
Later in the year, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Much more than “just another treaty”, the Convention is Canada’s promise to protect, promote and advance the rights of people with disabilities.
Barbara Hall is Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA), an organization comprised of federal and all provincial and territorial human rights agencies across the country.
Commenting on the need for change, Ms. Hall stated, “Of particular import is the Convention’s article 33 which requires Canada to put in place formal mechanisms to implement and monitor it. CASHRA and its member agencies are committed to working with federal, provincial, territorial agencies and disability advocate groups to make Canada’s promise a reality.”