Disabilities and rehabilitation

Countries across the Americas agree to the need for enhancing disability policies and programmes

The 138th session of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) approved a proposed resolution on disability during its annual session held in Washington, D.C. from 19-23 June 2006.

Among other points, the resolution calls upon Member States to:

  • Consider ratifying or acceding to the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against People with Disabilities (OAS) and raise public awareness to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities.
  • Adopt national policies, strategies, plans, and programs on disability, its prevention, and rehabilitation that respect international standards on disability such as the United Nations Standard Rules for Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Safeguard the human rights of persons with disabilities, including equal access to health care, education, housing, and employment
  • Strengthen and develop rehabilitation services for all persons, regardless of their disability, so that they can achieve and maintain an optimal level of function, autonomy, and well-being.

Through the proposed resolution the WHO Director-General is requested to consolidate and strengthen PAHO's commitment to cooperate with Member States in these efforts, to promote and protect the quality of life of persons with disabilities and the right to health and to facilitate Member States' collaboration with teaching institutions, the private sector, and nongovernmental organization, especially organizations of persons with disabilities.

The final approval will be at Directing Council in September 2006.

Related documents

Disability: Prevention and Rehabilitation in the Context of the Right to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Health of and Other Related Rights

Resolution CE138.R11:

Provisional Agenda Item 4.7 CE138/15:

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