Skip Navigation LinksHome > News > WBU Statement for Human Rights Day, December 2017

WBU Statement for Human Rights Day, December 2017

On International Human Rights Day, December 10, the World Blind Union takes the opportunity to celebrate fundamental human rights instruments that affirm the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. 

Despite progress achieved towards the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities, a significant number of the 253 million blind and visually impaired people worldwide continue to experience discrimination and a wide range of human rights violations especially in the areas of employment, health, and education. To end these pervasive human rights violations, the World Blind Union is calling on governments to adopt the following inclusive strategies: 
  1. To raise awareness about the abilities of blind and visually impaired people and counteract social stigma.
  2. To ensure community services are accessible. 
  3. To adopt and implement policies and laws that incorporate international human rights standards, such as the Marrakesh Treaty which promotes access to printed materials.
  4. To ensure development processes include and protect the human rights of blind and partially sighted people. 
"For true change to occur, a collective effort is required. We will continue to work alongside governments, civil societies and other stakeholders to advance the human rights of blind and visually impaired people worldwide", says Jose María Viera, Human Rights Policy Advisor for the World Blind Union.

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization that represents the estimated 253 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations of blind people advocating on their own behalf and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. Visit our website at

For further information, please contact:

Terry Mutuku
Communications Officer, World Blind Union

For more information about the Human Rights Day, visit UN website: ​