Article 12 - Equal recognition before the law - Article 12

Convention Text

 1.1 States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law. (R1)

1.2 States Parties shall recognise that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.

1.3 States Parties shall take appropriate measures to provide access by persons with disabilities to the support they may require in exercising their legal capacity.

1.4 States Parties shall ensure that all measures that relate to the exercise of legal capacity provide for appropriate and effective safeguards to prevent abuse in accordance with international human rights law. Such safeguards shall ensure that measures relating to the exercise of legal capacity respect the rights, will and preferences of the person, are free of conflict of interest and undue influence, are proportional and tailored to the person's circumstances, apply for the shortest time possible and are subject to regular review by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body. The safeguards shall be proportional to the degree to which such measures affect the person's rights and interests.

1.5 Subject to the provisions of this article, States Parties shall take all appropriate and effective measures to ensure the equal right of persons with disabilities to own or inherit property, to control their own financial affairs and to have equal access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit, and shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not arbitrarily deprived of their property.

Declaration of Needs and Characteristics

2.1 Blind and partially-sighted people are able to handle their own financial affairs and look after their property interests providing that:

 They have, either as a result of education or rehabilitation programmes, acquired the skills they need to access, store and retrieve information;
 are able to communicate in writing with third parties;
 can sign their own name.

2.2 Blind and partially-sighted people need equipment at an affordable price, such as Braille writing machines, low vision aids and computer systems adapted with access technology.

2.3 Blind and partially-sighted people may also need assistance from readers who are capable of reading financial data or legal documents if such information is not made available in accessible formats and presented in a way that enables it to be understood via reading aids or access technology. Readers must be trustworthy and, whenever feasible, selected by the blind and partially sighted person who requires this service.

2.4 Blind and partially-sighted people can effectively use automatic machines and systems that verify identity, financial status and provide financial services, if the principles of universal design have been rigorously applied to the equipment's or systems' design, thereby providing relevant audible, tactile and/or clear print information that is capable of being accurately and efficiently read by blind and partially sighted people.

2.5 Assuming that blind and partially-sighted people are able to acquire these skills and resources, and that equipment and systems are appropriately designed, it should be understood that individuals accept full responsibility for understanding the contents of any documents that they sign and for personally authorising automatic or electronic transactions.

2.6 If financial and other documents that have a legal status, such as personal tax returns, are not available in accessible formats, blind and partially-sighted people may fail to meet their legal obligations.

Important Aspects of Convention Text

3.1 Convention text - R1 States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law.

3.2 Requirement - The signature of a blind or partially-sighted person on a document that has legal status must be legally accepted.

3.3 Convention text - R2 Subject to the provisions of this article, States Parties shall take all appropriate and effective measures to ensure the equal right of persons with disabilities to own or inherit property, to control their own financial affairs and to have equal access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit, and shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not arbitrarily deprived of their property.

3.4 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted people have the same rights of ownership, access and control of all their financial, material, property or other assets as other citizens.

3.5 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted people have the same rights and abilities to enter into contracts or other forms of legal and financial agreements and share the same responsibilities and conditions arising from such contracts and agreements as other citizens.

3.6 Requirement - Legal and financial entities have a responsibility to ensure that all public information provided on their products, services, facilities, rules and regulations is available on request to blind and partially-sighted people in a wide range of accessible formats.

3.7 Requirement - Legal and financial entities must provide timely information to blind and partially-sighted customers on their assets, legal and financial transactions and other personal correspondence in accessible formats.

3.8 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted people must have equal access to the same range of services, products and facilities provided by legal and financial entities as all other citizens.

3.9 Requirement - Automatic telling machines and electronically based services provided by financial entities for public use must be capable of accurate, efficient and independent use by blind and partially-sighted people.

3.10 Requirement - The provision of accessible personal, legal and financial information for blind and partially-sighted people must be equally as secure as that provided to other people.

3.11 Requirement - Bank notes, coins and all other transferable representations of money must be designed to be capable of rapid and accurate recognition by blind and partially-sighted people.

3.12 Requirement - The procedures adopted by financial institutions to enable customers to access their assets must be designed, managed and implemented to ensure independent access by blind and partially-sighted customers.

3.13 Requirement - When providing legal or financial complaints or arbitration services for the general public, entities must ensure that current information in the public domain about their services and responsibilities is provided in formats that are accessible to blind and partially-sighted people.

3.14 Requirement - Systems introduced to prevent or reduce fraudulent or other illegal transactions must be designed and managed to ensure that blind and partially-sighted persons' transactions are equally secure and do not create transactional barriers.