The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first United Nations human rights treaty of the 21st century. It does not create new rights for disabled people. Instead, it builds on conventional understandings of what is required to implement existing human rights as they relate to disabled people.
New Zealand acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on 5 October 2016.
The Optional Protocol enables individuals or groups, who claim to have had their rights breached under the Convention, to make a complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
New Zealand submitted its first report on implementing the UN Convention in March 2011. A draft report was circulated for public discussion during November-December 2010. The Office for Disability Issues and the Ministry of Social Development lead the report's development.