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Michael Ashley Stein, The Paradigm Shift from Welfare to Rights, (Wm. & Mary Law Sch. Rsch. Paper No. 09-26, 2010).

Abstract: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the first international human rights instrument that is both applicable to, and legally enforceable by, individuals on the basis of their disability status. Its adoption by the General Assembly culminates a dramatic paradigm shift over the past thirty years regarding the equal place of persons with disabilities in global society, and also advances those principles. Disability rights advocates and their representative organizations have successfully transformed the theoretical underpinnings of international law relating to disabled persons from a medical model to a social model perspective. The CRPD’s adoption cements into place the precepts of the social model of disability, while also advancing a holistic human rights framework. This latter scheme combines civil and political rights as provided by the social model, with social, economic, and cultural rights typically contained in equality measures and development schemes. By providing both types of these interdependent rights, the CRPD endeavors to ensure the equality of persons with disabilities. This chapter briefly recounts the overall shift from notions of welfare towards that of human rights for persons with disabilities in international legal instruments, and discusses some implications of that extraordinary sea change. Further to publisher request only an abstract is furnished.