HRC 46th Session - Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

Human Rights Council: Nordic and Baltic states call for equal participation of persons with disabilities in physical activity and sports

Annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities

Intervention by the Nordic and Baltic States delivered by H.E. Amb. Andrius Krivas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva

5 March 2021


Thank you, President.

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and my own country Lithuania.

We would like to thank the panellists for their presentations and valuable insights.

Estimations indicate that persons with disabilities make up approximately 15 percent of the world’s population and yet they face multiple barriers to engaging in physical activity and sports.

The importance and benefits of physical activity for persons with disabilities are obvious – it may reduce the risk of diseases, disease-related symptoms, improve quality of life, self-esteem, social interaction and well-being in general.

The Article 30 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities explicitly recognises the right of persons with disabilities to participate in physical activity and sports on an equal basis with others and calls on States to enable their participation.

Our countries firmly believe that the human rights-based approach is key in developing inclusive and disability-specific physical activities and sports. It requires decisive actions in policies related to accessibility, awareness raising, data collection, financing and engagement with private sector.

We call on all states to live up to their obligations and commitments to protect persons with disabilities, in particular children, women and girls with disabilities, against discrimination and dismantle structural inequalities.

Could you elaborate on the possible specific actions that the states should take in countering gender-based structural exclusion of the persons with disabilities?