The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto, adopted on 13 December 2006 at the Headquarters of the United Nations, undoubtedly constituted a major landmark for persons with disabilities and has contributed to the mainstreaming of disability into the region’s political and social agenda.The Convention adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with any type of disability must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It has been ratified by 152 Member States of the United Nations. In the region, only Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago have yet to ratify the Convention (source: United Nations Enable).
The Social Development Division has been designated the ECLAC focal point for following up on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and coordinating initiatives and activities carried out under the work programme in this area.
The Division also supports the task force set up by the Statistical Conference of the Americas in preparing a regional report and in communicating with the member countries of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics. This collaboration has resulted in the Regional report on measuring disability: Overview of the disability measurement procedures in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Division continues to support the task force and to analyse disability statistics with a view to deepening understanding of the topic.
It also promotes meetings and dialogues on the situation of persons with disabilities —always with the involvement of persons with disabilities— and supports technical assistance activities in the region.