Human rights

In April 2016, members of Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) formally adopted a Rights Based Approach to dementia advocacy in support of the ongoing efforts of partners Dementia Alliance International (DAI) to guarantee the rights of people living with dementia globally.

This page includes information on the human rights of people living with dementia, and the attainment of these rights led by DAI and member associations of ADI around the world. In 2016 and 2017, this has been led by advocacy for equal access to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015).

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Dementia affects 47 million people worldwide and is the leading case of disability and dependence among the elderly. Access to the CRPD is an essential right for people living with dementia, a severe mental and physical disability that affects daily life and results in the eventual loss of independence. Despite this, recognition of the rights of people living with dementia by national and regional policies on dementia contain little or no reference to these rights guaranteed by the CRPD.

In August 2016, ADI and DAI hosted a joint side event to the 16th Session of the CRPD Committee and 10th Anniversary of the Convention to call for greater protection of the rights of people living with dementia. The meeting included the launch of a joint position paper, 'Access to the CRPD and SDGs by persons with dementia' that set out those rights applicable to people living with dementia, that re included in the Convention.

In August 2017, this was followed by the publication of a joint ADI-DAI Brief for Alzheimer associations on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Global examples

Member states must submit regular reports to the CRPD Committee on how all the rights and obligations reflected in the 33 core articles of the Convention are being implemented.

Civil society organizations such as ADI, national Alzheimer’s and related dementia societies, as well as organizations of persons with disabilities such as DAI have an opportunity to feed into this process. below are examples of reports submitted to the CRPD in relation to dementia:  

Canada

In March 2017, the Canadian Civil Society Parallel Report Group submitted a parallel report to the Committee, supported by 16 disability groups including Alzheimer Society Canada, DAI and the Ontario Dementia Advisory Group.

National Strategy

Alzheimer Society Canada was actively involved in the development of Bill C-233 for the development of a national plan on dementia, that includes provisions for the greater rights of people living with dementia. In June 2017, the bill was adopted by the Canadian Parliament, starting the process of developing a plan by mid-2018.

Read their proposed framework for the strategy by the Alzheimer's Society of Canada here.

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