Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons
Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 3447 (XXX) of 9 December 1975
The General Assembly ,
Mindful of the pledge made by Member States, under the Charter of the United Nations to take joint
and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote higher standards of living, full
employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development,
Reaffirming its faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms and in the principles of peace, of the
dignity and worth of the human person and of social justice proclaimed in the Charter,
Recalling the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on
Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally
Retarded Persons, as well as the standards already set for social progress in the constitutions,
conventions, recommendations and resolutions of the International Labour Organisation, the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization, the United
Nations Children’s Fund and other organizations concerned,
Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolution 1921 (LVIII) of 6 May 1975 on the prevention of
disability and the rehabilitation of disabled persons,
Emphasizing that the Declaration on Social Progress and Development has proclaimed the necessity of
protecting the rights and assuring the welfare and rehabilitation of the physically and mentally
Bearing in mind the necessity of preventing physical and mental disabilities and of assisting disabled
persons to develop their abilities in the most varied fields of activities and of promoting their
integration as far as possible in normal life,
Aware that certain countries, at their present stage of development, can devote only limited efforts to
Proclaims this Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons and calls for national and international
action to ensure that it will be used as a common basis and frame of reference for the protection of
1. The term “disabled person” means any person unable to ensure by himself or herself, wholly or
partly, the necessities of a normal individual and/or social life, as a result of deficiency, either
congenital or not, in his or her physical or mental capabilities.
2. Disabled persons shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. These rights shall be granted
to all disabled persons without any exception whatsoever and without distinction or discrimination on
the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin,
state of wealth, birth or any other situation applying either to the disabled person himself or herself or
to his or her family.
3. Disabled persons have the inherent right to respect for their human dignity. Disabled persons,
whatever the origin, nature and seriousness of their handicaps and disabilities, have the same
fundamental rights as their fellow-citizens of the same age, which implies first and foremost the right
to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible.
4. Disabled persons have the same civil and political rights as other human beings; paragraph 7 of the
Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons applies to any possible limitation or
suppression of those rights for mentally disabled persons.
5. Disabled persons are entitled to the measures designed to enable them to become as self-reliant as
6. Disabled persons have the right to medical, psychological and functional treatment, including
prosthetic and orthetic appliances, to medical and social rehabilitation, education, vocational training
and rehabilitation, aid, counselling, placement services and other services which will enable them to
develop their capabilities and skills to the maximum and will hasten the processes of their social
integration or reintegration.
7. Disabled persons have the right to economic and social security and to a decent level of living. They
have the right, according to their capabilities, to secure and retain employment or to engage in a
useful, productive and remunerative occupation and to join trade unions.
8. Disabled persons are entitled to have their special needs taken into consideration at all stages of
economic and social planning.
9. Disabled persons have the right to live with their families or with foster parents and to participate in
all social, creative or recreational activities. No disabled person shall be subjected, as far as his or her
residence is concerned, to differential treatment other than that required by his or her condition or by
the improvement which he or she may derive therefrom. If the stay of a disabled person in a
specialized establishment is indispensable, the environment and living conditions therein shall be as
close as possible to those of the normal life of a person of his or her age.
10. Disabled persons shall be protected against all exploitation, all regulations and all treatment of a
discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature.
11. Disabled persons shall be able to avail themselves of qualified legal aid when such aid proves
indispensable for the protection of their persons and property. If judicial proceedings are instituted
against them, the legal procedure applied shall take their physical and mental condition fully into
12. Organizations of disabled persons may be usefully consulted in all matters regarding the rights of
13. Disabled persons, their families and communities shall be fully informed, by all appropriate means,
of the rights contained in this Declaration.