Over the course of the last decade, persons with disabilities have gained more visibility as a direct effect of the approval in 2006 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In Latin America and the Caribbean, the CRPD has already been ratified by 28 countries and has generated an unprecedented dynamic of social and public policy transformations. In this context, together with national governments, non-government organizations and other UN Agencies, UNFPA has embarked on a series of efforts to further advance and consolidate the rights of persons with disabilities, in particular their sexual and reproductive rights, bring more attention to their situation and prevent and address the situation of inequality and discrimination they live. This document includes a series of general guidelines to orient technical assistance and regional cooperation actions based on the social model of disability proposed by the CRPD, in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the follow-up on the Cairo Programme of Action and the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, as well as lessons learned by UNFPA and its technical teams during the work with this and other excluded and discriminated populations. A global report released by the World Bank and the World Health Organization estimated that, in 2009, approximately 50 million persons with disabilities lived in Latin America and the Caribbean (WHO-World Bank, 2011). While data for Latin America is available, it is scarce and incomplete. However, it has been estimated that 12.0% of the population has at least one disability, which accounts for approximately 66 million persons (ECLAC, 2013). All international reports highlight the significant gaps in access to education, health and development opportunities that characterize the living conditions of this population (United Nations, 2016).

Author UNFPA