Link between the Sustainable Development Goals and the CRPD

CRPD infographic

What links disability, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2006 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) came into force.  The CRPD is one of nine core international human rights treaties and it includes 33 core articles covering all areas of life.

In February 2016, 161 out of 193 United Nations Member States or over 80% of countries have ratified the CRPD.  Once a country ratifies this means that the country is legally bound to implement the core 33 articles and must report on their progress in writing to the United Nations on a periodic basis.

According to the 2011 World Report on Disability by the World Health Organisation/World Bank, there are an estimated 1 billion persons with disabilities worldwide.  The same report states that 1 in 5 of the world’s poorest people have disabilities.  Disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty, yet international policy-makers and stakeholders have not historically recognised or prioritised this issue within international development efforts.

After three years of intense intergovernmental negotiations United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda has 17 goals for sustainable development and 169 targets.  There are 11 explicit references to persons with disabilities in the 2030 Agenda, and disaggregation of data by disability is a core principle.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will influence the direction of global and national policies relating to sustainable development for the next 15 years. If the 2030 Agenda is going to be successful all of the UN Member States – 193 countries – must include persons with disabilities in their national plans for implementation and monitoring.

While the infographic aims at illustrating how the 17 goals of the SDGs and the 33 articles of the CRPD are linked to each other, it is important to stress that both the SDGs and the CRPD must be implemented as a whole; This means that countries should not ‘cherry pick’ single goals or articles, as all of them form part of a complex and interconnected equation.

How does this infographic work?

The text of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be interpreted through the lens of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the following ways:

  • All references to ‘equal’ must be underpinned by CRPD article 5, which promotes equality of opportunity and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities.
  • References ‘for all’ include all persons with disabilities – people with different types of impairments and support requirements; women with disabilities (CRPD article 6) and children with disabilities (CRPD article 7).
  • All references to ‘access’ or ‘inclusion’ can be fulfilled by article 9 of the CRPD on accessibility which requires governments to take action to ensure persons with disabilities the right to independent living and participate in all aspects of life.
  • All references to ‘those in vulnerable situations’ include the right of protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies (CRPD article 11).
  • All progress made by the SDGs must be monitored through disability disaggregated data (CRPD article 31).
  • All References to ‘development and/or least developed countries’ relate to international cooperation and partnerships (CRPD article 32).

The link between the Sustainable Development Goals and the CRPD


End poverty in all its forms everywhere: this goal is underpinned by the right to life (CRPD article 10), control over one’s own resources by guaranteeing equal recognition before the law (CRPD article 12) and an adequate standard of living and social protection (article 28), as well as articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 31 and 32.


End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture:  The right to adequate food, including food security, safeguards, and an adequate standard of living (CRPD article 28), control over land, property and inheritance can be guaranteed by equal recognition before the law (CRPD article 12), as well as articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 31 and 32.


Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages: This is underpinned by the right to life (CRPD article 10); access to sexual and reproductive health services is recognized by the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability (CRPD article 25), family planning, information and education is ensured by respect for home and the family (CRPD article 23), as well as articles 6, 7, 9, 11, 31 and 32.


Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all: Article 24 of the CRPD promotes an inclusive education system at all levels on the basis of equal opportunity and freedom from exclusion; persons with disabilities must have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programmes, placement services and vocational and continuing training as outlined in  article 27 of the CRPD; safe, non-violent learning environments can be enabled by protection from exploitation, violence and abuse outside the home in article 16  of the CRPD, in addition articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 31 and 32 apply.


Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls: Article 6 of the CRPD recognizes that women and girls with disabilities are subjected to multiple discrimination; the elimination of harmful practices requires effective women- and child-focused legislation and policies as outlined in article 16 of the CRPD; the provision of social protection policies is covered by article 28 of the CRPD; the right to participation in political and public life relates to article 29 of the CRPD; the right to the same range and quality and standard of free or affordable sexual and reproductive health is recognized in article 25 of the CRPD; the right to reproductive and family planning is ensured through respect for home and family (CRPD article 23); women’s right to ownership over land, property and inheritance is acknowledged in CRPD article 12’s right to equal recognition before the law; and the right to accessible information and communications for women and girls is outlined in article 21 of the CRPD; the promotion of gender equality for women and girls with disabilities is recognised in article 8 of the CRPD on awareness-raising, in addition articles 5, 7, 9 and 31 are applicable.


Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all: Article 28 of the CRPD recognises the right to the continuous improvement of living conditions, access to clean water and the promotion of the right to an adequate standard of living for persons with disabilities; articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 31 and 32 also apply.


Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all: Universal access, especially in developing countries and the requirement to measure progress on this goal in relation to persons with disabilities are covered by articles 9, 31 and 32.


Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all: The recognition of the right of persons with disabilities to work on an equal basis with others and to gain a living by work freely chosen, and to receive equal remuneration for work of equal value and to have safe working conditions is covered by article 27 of the CRPD; equal access to banking, insurance and financial services can be enabled by upholding the right to equal recognition before the law (CRPD article 12); freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse such as forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking are rights upheld by article 16 of the CRPD. Articles 5, 6, 9 and 31 also apply.


Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation: Access to financial services including affordable credit is ensured by equal recognition before the law (CRPD article 12); ensuring personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities can be guaranteed by implementing article 20 of the CRPD; freedom to access information on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communication is part of article 21 of the CRPD; promoting opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the development of cooperatives and starting one’s own business are recognised rights under article 27 pf the CR{D; articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 31 and 32 are also applicable.


Reduce inequality within and among countries: Ensuring enhanced representation and voice of persons with disabilities in decision-making is covered by article 4 of the CRPD; promoting the positive perceptions and greater social awareness towards persons with disabilities to foster inclusion is part of article 8 of the CRPD; facilitating safe migration and mobility can protect persons with disabilities from exploitation (CRPD article 16); ensuring access to social protection and poverty reduction programmes is contained in article 28 of the CRPD; in addition, articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 31 and 32 are applicable.


Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable: the right of persons to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their family, including adequate housing must be realised (CRPD article 28);  persons with disabilities must be afforded personal mobility in the manner and at the time of their choice and at affordable cost (CRPD article 20); safe cities and settlements must ensure protection from violence (CRPD article 16); the environment and public transport must be accessible on an equal basis with others in urban and rural areas (CRPD article 9); participatory planning and management must be respected (CRPD article 4); Articles 5, 6, 7, 11, 31 and 32 also apply.


Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts: persons with disabilities who are subject to the occurrence of natural disasters and other situations of risk must be included in all protection and safety mechanisms (CRPD article 11); climate-related planning and management must be inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities (CRPD article 32); articles 5, 6, 7, 9 and 31 also apply.


Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels:  death rates must be reduced by effective enjoyment of the right to life (CRPD article 10); freedom from violence, exploitation and abuse must be upheld (CRPD article 16); as must freedom from torture cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CRPD article 15); access to justice on an equal basis with others, including through the provision of procedural and age-appropriate accommodations must be in place (CRPD article 13); inclusive decision-making that closely consults with and actively involves persons with disabilities through their representative organisations (CRPD article 4); supported decision-making regimes should be available (CRPD article 12); the right to a legal identity is covered by CRPD article 18; persons with disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms (CRPD article 1) and are not deprived of their liberty unlawfully (CRPD article 14); in addition, the following articles also apply: 5, 6, 7, 9, 31 and 32.


Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development: enhancing the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communication technology can be achieved for persons with disabilities by implementing article 21 of the CRPD to ensure accessibility; collection of high quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by disability relates directly to article 31 of the CRPD on statistics and data collection; articles 9 and 32 of the CRPD especially in regard to partnerships with organisations of persons with disabilities and facilitating access to technology transfer, are also applicable.