The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In 2013, The Bahamas signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This means that as a nation we agree to uphold and promote international standards on how we address the issues of persons with disabilities.
The purpose of the present Convention is “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” *
Everyone in society has a duty to understand the rights of people with disabilities and to ensure these rights are protected and exercised. In the past, disabled people have been viewed as individuals who require protection and sympathy rather than respect and dignity. The UN Convention and The Bahamas’ Persons with Disabilities Act are huge steps towards changing the perception of disability and ensuring that societies recognize that all people must be provided with the opportunities to live life to their fullest potential.