People with disabilities make an enormous contribution to European society, but often face barriers that prevent them from participating in society on an equal basis with others. Realising the core EU values of dignity, autonomy, equality and inclusion means removing the obstacles that hinder the full and effective participation of the 80 million people with disabilities living in the EU.

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability and recognises the right of people with disabilities to benefit from measures to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community. The rights of persons with disabilities in the EU are also protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In 2010, the EU accepted the CRPD, the first time the EU itself has accepted an international human rights treaty.

FRA’s work on the rights of persons with disabilities is framed by the principles of self-determination, participation and inclusion set out in the CRPD. FRA examines where legal and social barriers exist, and identifies practices EU Member States have introduced to empower people with disabilities. FRA also develops human rights indicators to show how Member States are meeting their obligations under the CRPD.

As part of the EU Framework to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the CRPD, FRA helps to ensure that the convention is implemented effectively and efficiently by the EU in its area of competence.