Chronology of events leading to the development of an international convention on the human rights of people with disabilities

1948 – adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly, claiming that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration, without distinction of any kind

1971 – Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons

1975 – Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons

1981 – UN General Assembly proclaims 1981 the International Year of Disabled Persons

1982, Dec. 3 – UN General Assembly adapts the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons in Resolution 37/52

1983 – 159 ILO Convention on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons)

1983-1992 – Decade for Disabled People

1987 – Global Meeting of experts to Review the Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons at the mid-point of the UN Decade of Disabled Persons, recommended that the UN General Assembly convene a special conference to draft an international convention on the rights of disabled persons

Italy prepared a draft outline which was submitted to the General Assembly

1987, Oct. – 42nd session of the General Assembly discusses the desirability of an international treaty, but no formal agreement to proceed

1991 – Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the Improvement of Mental Health Care

1993, Dec. 20 – UN General Assembly adopts the UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

1998, Dec. 8-12 – UN convenes an Interregional Seminar and Symposium on International Norms and Standards relating to Disability, in cooperation with Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley and the World Institute on Disability, at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley.

1999, Sept. – Rehabilitation International General Assembly calls on UN Member States to support the drafting of a treaty on the rights of disabled people

1999, Dec. 13-17 – Interregional Seminar and Symposium on International Norms and Standards Relating to Disability in Hong Kong, cosponsored by the UN, Center for Comparative and Public Law of the University of Hong Kong and the Equal Opportunity Commission of Hong Kong, calls for an international human rights treaty for people with disabilities

2000, Feb. – Final report to the Commission for Social Development – Special Rapporteur Report

2000, Mar. 12 – World NGO Summit on Disability calls for an international treaty on the rights of people with disabilities

2000, Apr. – UN Human Rights Commission Session, Special Rapporteur discusses treaty

2000, Aug. – XIX World Congress of Rehabilitation International calls for an international treaty on the rights of people with disabilities in Resolution 48/96

2001, Sept. – World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance recommended that the UN General Assembly consider drafting an international treaty on the rights of people with disabilities

2001, Dec. 19 – UN General Assembly adopts Resolution 56/168, calling for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to consider proposals for an international human rights treaty for people with disabilities

2002, April 8 – The US National Council on Disability (NCD) hosted a "Summit on Human Rights and Disability," bringing together members of both the human rights and disability rights communities

2002, June 11-14 – In cooperation with the UN, the Government of Mexico hosted an inter-regional expert meeting to discuss the treaty

2002, June 12 – The US National Council on Disability (NCD) and the U.S. International Council on Disability hosted "A Call for Worldwide Recognition of the Human Rights of People with Disabilities: A Forum of U.S. Grassroots Disability Organizations on their Role in the Development of an International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities"

2002, July 29-Aug. 9 – The first meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 56/168 will take place at the UN in New York

2002, Oct. 15-18 – DPI 6th World Assembly will take place in Japan, also marking the end of the Asia-Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities