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Joint Statement: Local governments and persons with disabilities in relation to Covid-19

May 05, 2020

1.With the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities accessibility became a human rights principle, adopting a specific norm that obliges States Parties to take pertinent measures to ensure access to persons with disabilities, on equal terms with others, to the physical environment, transport, information and communications, including information and communication systems and technologies, and other services and facilities open to the public or for public use, both in urban and rural areas, so that persons with disabilities can live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life.

2.Universal accessibility is undoubtedly the most mainstreamed legal structure in human rights for the 21st century1. It is based on "universal design", which is the design of products, environments, programs and services that can be used by all persons, as much as possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. 

3.The 2030 Agenda establishes as a Sustainable Development Goal to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,h ighlighting the goals related to accessible transport, green areas and accessible public spaces, to “not leave anybody behind ”(goal 11.2 and goal 11.7, respectively).

4.The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionately negative effects on persons with disabilities and older persons have also highlighted persistent deficiencies in accessibility in cities and rural settings.​ Read full statement​