Author(s) Filipe Venade de Sousa
Advisor(s) Andreia Sofia Pinto Oliveira
Year 2011

Synopsis A topic that is currently of great importance is the fact that the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities was ratified in Portugal and emphasizes the importance of developing human rights issues in this particular area. The Rights of Deaf People are indeed a matter of human rights, as those people are treated as human rights holders, of all rights recognized and guaranteed by that same Convention. Deaf People can also be considered as members of a linguistic minority with its own characteristics. The Rights of Deaf People have two dimensions of protection, one complementing the other: they can be perceived as Minority Rights or Rights of People with Disabilities according to the UN Convention, the stepping stone for this research. The concepts of minority and disabled person are not incompatible; on the contrary, they are interconnected and interdependent. It a new perspective in the Human Rights area related specifically to Deaf People. Finally, the Convention is the first international treaty, which mentions the rights of Deaf People, their specific duties, particularly related to the fact that they have their own language and a cultural and linguistic identity. In Portugal, our Constitution recognizes, through Article 74, paragraph 2, h), the Portuguese Sign Language as an official language, as well as a cultural expression of the Deaf Community, where Deaf operate and are constituted as a linguistic minority.

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