Do persons with disabilities have the same rights as others to marry, have children and raise those children?
If the answer is either ‘No’ or ‘Yes – with Qualifications’, please describe the exceptions, particularly the most egregious, for example, persons with disabilities can be sterilized against their will or without any transparency. Or, for example, a marriage can be prohibited for ‘health reasons’.

Relates to Convention Article:

  • No.23, Respect for home and the family

In detail

Brief explanation of the question

Article 23 prescribes that “States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships, on an equal basis with others”. They have the right to enter into marriage and to start a family. It must be ensured that they may freely and responsibly decide the number of children they will have, and that they have access to information and education on matters of reproduction and family planning. Persons with disabilities have the right to retain their fertility on an equal basis with others.

The question looks only at restrictions to these rights, and does not address the obligation set forth in the Convention to strengthen these rights through various means. The questionnaire contains the remark that restrictions, in violation of human rights, may consist of persons with disabilities being sterilised against their will, or in marriage being prohibited for “health reasons”.

Summary of results

A quite interesting and positive result yielded by the survey is the encouraging positive picture clearly seen by a significant number of green traffic lights given to this question regarding matters related to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships.

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