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France: Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

(Jan. 22, 2010) On December 31, 2009, the French Parliament adopted Law 2009-1791 of December 31, 2009, ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention was signed on March 30, 2007, and entered into force on May 3, 2008. (Loi 2009-1791 du 31 Décembre 2009 autorisant la ratification de la convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées, http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr (File: les autres textes législatifs et réglementaires) (last visited Jan. 19, 2010).)

The Convention aims at the full and effective participation and inclusion in the society of persons with disabilities. State Parties are required to “ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.” (U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations website, http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=259 (last visited Jan. 19, 2010) ).

The Convention does not create any new rights, but reaffirms that persons with disabilities must enjoy all the rights already recognized under international law, including the right to life, access to justice, the right to liberty and security, liberty of movement, and the right to work. (U.N. Convention, art 4, id.) It also requires State Parties “to take all appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided.” (U.N. Convention, art 5.3, id.)

Most of these obligations and guaranties already exist under French internal law. On February 11, 2005, Parliament adopted Law 2005-102 on Promoting Equal Rights and Opportunities, Participation and Citizenship for Disabled Persons, one of the top priorities set by Jacques Chirac who was President of the Republic at the time. (Loi 2005-102 du 11 février 2005 pour l'égalite des droits et des chances, la participation et la citoyennete des personnes handicapées, http://www.legifrance.gouv.f
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(File: les autres textes législatifs et réglementaires) (last visited Jan. 19, 2010).)