NEWS: Manila Declaration, Asia Pacific Conference on Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 1 June 2009. Filed under: East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

IDA – Asia Pacific Regional Conference on the CRPD Implementation and Monitoring

MANILA DECLARATION

February 11-12th, 2009

We, the delegates from The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Samoa, Fiji, and Republic of Korea being members of Disabled Peoples’ International, Inclusion International, International Federation of Hard of Hearing People, Rehabilitation International, World Blind Union, World Federation of the Deaf, World Federation of the DeafBlind, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, and Asia Pacific Disability Forum, all of which are members of International Disability Alliance (IDA) and participated in Asia Pacific Regional Conference on the CRPD Implementation and Monitoring, held at Manila, The Philippines on February 11-12, 2009,

We acknowledge the support of the Government of The Philippines, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and Katipunan ng Maykapansanan sa Pilipinas, Inc (KAMPI) for this Conference.

After due deliberation and having reached consensus on the implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) we make the following Declaration which shall be hereby referred to as the Manila Declaration 2009

GOVERNMENT
• We urge National Governments in the Asia and Pacific Region, to set the machinery in motion to ensure the signing, ratification without reservation, implementation and monitoring of the UN CRPD and the Optional Protocol;
• We further demand that the governments enact new legislation or amend existing legislation for Persons with Disabilities and related statutes to be in conformity with UN CRPD;

• We urge Public Authorities to change from a charity-based to a rights–based approach and from medical model to social model on disability as required by the UN CRPD;

• We ask all governments to initiate disability sensitization programs and to mainstream disability issues in all national agendas for the empowerment of persons with disabilities ;

• We recognize the vulnerability of all persons with disabilities with HIV/AIDS and we therefore request National Governments to address this urgent issue;

• We urge the Governments to include Children, Women and Youth with disabilities in all education and training programmes;

• We demand that Persons with Disabilities be represented through their representative organizations in law and policy making at all levels as required by Article 4 of UN CRPD;

• We recognize the positive role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the lives of Persons with Disabilities. We therefore urge the Governments to facilitate the acquisition of ICT equipments;

• We appeal for the enactment of Disability Anti Discrimination Acts in our respective Countries;

• We seek the full participation of Persons with Disabilities in the Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) in order to promote the accession, implementation and monitoring of UN CRPD;

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
We urge National Human Rights Institutions to include CRPD in their Plans and Strategies and constitute a Committee or Focal point to address Disability issues.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES
We urge International Development Funding Agencies to include Disability Dimension in all their policies and programs;

We urge International Development Funding Agencies to modify the requirements in the Agreements so as to enable DPOs to access the technical and financial support;

MASS MEDIA
We urge Mass Media to promote positive images of Rights and Concerns of Persons with Disabilities.

NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US



We Can Do received this declaration via several different sources; among them was the mailing list for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development.

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Global Forum for Inclusion 2008: Transforming Rights into Action, Nov 17-26, 2008

Posted on 26 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Families, Human Rights, Inclusion, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following open letter of invitation comes from Diane Richler, President of Inclusion International.

GLOBAL FORUM FOR INCLUSION 2008: Transforming Rights into Action. 17-26 Nov 2008.

The Forum for Inclusion 2008: Transforming Rights into Action is Co-Hosted by Inclusion International and the Canadian Association for Community Living

To be held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Canada in November 2008, this Forum will engage self-advocates, families, activists, professionals and partners from around the world. Focused on the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Forum will look at how to transform rights into actions that lead to full inclusion and citizenship for people with intellectual disabilities.

Several events will take place in Ottawa: International Gathering of Families (November 17-18); International Gathering of Self-Advocates (November 17-18); International Conference: Putting the UN Convention into Action for People with Intellectual Disabilities (November 18-19); and Inclusion in Focus: Spotlight on Canada, at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Canadian Association for Community Living (November 19-21). These events will be followed by study tours in Canada and the United States.

For information on these events, registration, accommodation and more please visit:
WWW.INCLUSION2008.COM Conference information is available in English, French, or Spanish.

If you need letters of invitation or have questions concerning your attendance, please contact
Raquel González R.Gonzalez@uel.ac.uk

We hope to see you there!

Diane Richler
President of Inclusion International



Thank you to Inclusion International for sending this announcement to be posted here. Interested parties should please contact them directly to inquire about the conference, NOT We Can Do.

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Successful Projects–What Makes Them Work?

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Case Studies, Cognitive Impairments, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ideas are easy. Any 10 disability advocates will have 100 ideas for projects to fight poverty or otherwise improve the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries. But knowing how to implement projects that actually do what advocates and funders hope they will do is much harder. So, what makes successful projects work? Why do they work? What lessons can other project leaders learn from them?

Inclusion International has released a 66-page study entitled “Successful Projects–What Makes Them Work?” (PDF format, 3.5 Mb). As it happens, their analysis focuses on projects for people with intellectual disabilities in India, Romania, Kenya, and South Africa. But its conclusions are broad enough that this guide may be useful across disability groups and regions.

Successful Projects by Anders Gustavsson and Johans Sandvin and Annika and Lennart Nilsson examines 13 different projects. Each project was chosen because it was interesting, successful, or outstanding in improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Chapters 1 and 2 describe the research process and the national reports used. Chapters 3 to 7 provide a cross national analysis of the 13 projects, and chapter 8 presents conclusions and implications. The study aimed to answer the following questions (taken from page 8 of the report):

  • Which projects resulting in sustainable improvements of life conditions for adults and children with intellectual disabilities can be found in the four countries?
  • What are the most strategic change agents, internationally, nationally and locally?
  • Which methods are most effective at initiating and maintaining the processes of change?
  • What other factors, deliberate project interventions as well as contextual factors, are important to achieve a positive change?

Experienced leaders, advocates, and professionals may agree with some of Inclusion International’s conclusions but may disagree with others. The study’s conclusion suggests, for example, that any criteria used to measure improvement in the quality of life must be specific to the local culture. The rationale is that different cultures define “quality of life” very differently. This seems a valid point.

But then the study goes further to baldly assert, “the idea of developing a model of best practice to be applied across cultural contexts would never work” (p. 57). This seems too overgeneralized a conclusion from my view.

If by “a model of best practice” you mean “a rigidly prescribed, one-size-fits all project plan,” then I have no hesitation in agreeing. Projects that are too strict in emulating their original model adapt poorly to the unique needs of the people they serve. I also agree wholeheartedly with the study’s assertion that projects work best when they are generated by local people themselves, in response to their own ideas and passions. Projects imposed by outsiders rarely work as well, either because they are not responsive to actual local problems or because local leaders don’t support them as strongly.

But it is a dangerously false assumption to believe that projects originated in other cultural contexts can never offer lessons for leaders elsewhere. As one example (though not disability specific): some years ago, Mexico and Brazil each launched what is now called “conditional cash transfer” programs. Governments give the very poorest families cash. In exchange, parents must do certain things such as sending their children to school or bringing them to health clinics.

The original conditional cash transfer idea has now proliferated not only within Latin America but also to countries as culturally disparate as Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia, and even New York City in the United States. They help improve school attendance, child health, and family nutrition as well as helping families cope with poverty. Yes, each project does need to be carefully tailored for the local culture and conditions. But the broad concept of this program has survived the transition across cultures very well.

Surely there must be broad strategies for certain types of projects targeted at people with disabilities that could similarly survive the transition from one culture to another, even if the details must be dramatically altered.

I should hasten to point out I may be over-reacting to an admittedly superficial glance at the study’s conclusions and accompanying powerpoint programs. The flaw may well be in my reading rather than in the study.

These caveats aside, project leaders, disability advocates, and international development professionals all may find it interesting to read the common “story line” of how successful projects tend to get started. And, as mentioned further above, some of its conclusions do strike me as valid and interesting.

The 66-page report can be downloaded for free in PDF format (3.5 Mb) at:

http://www.inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/Inclusion%20International%20Study%20-%20A%20Cross-National%20Analysis%20-%20Final.pdf

An accompanying powerpoint program, and more detailed reports on individual countries, can be found at the Inclusion International web site at:

http://inclusion-international.org/en/projects/10.html



I first found this study by browsing the Inclusion International web site.

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RESOURCE: Brochure on People with Intellectual Disabilities and Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 22 April 2008. Filed under: Cognitive Impairments, Education, Families, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with intellectual disabilities around the world face enormous challenges in realizing basic human rights such as access to education; legal capacity (the right to make their own decisions); the right to live with their families; and the right to live in the community–not an institution. The new disability rights treaty–the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)–is designed in part to help with these challenges. The CRPD, which has now been ratified by 24 countries, will enter into force on May 3, 2008 simultaneously with the Optional Protocol, which has been ratified by 14 countries.

But how can people with intellectual disabilities and their families use the CRPD to achieve their human rights? And how can people who create and implement policy support their efforts? A new brochure from Inclusion International (PDF format, 585 Kb) provides guidance. The eight-page brochure summarizes how people with intellectual disabilities and their families around the world helped to create the CRPD; how the CRPD helps address some of their key human rights concerns; and the important role of families in guiding, developing, and implementing policies.

The English version of the brochure can be downloaded in PDF format (585 Kb) at:

http://inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/HearOurVoices-Priority%20Web.08.pdf

The Arabic version of the brochure (without pictures) can be downloaded in Word format (515 Kb) at:

http://inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/CRPD%20arab.doc



We Can Do learned of this brochure through the Disabled People International (DPI) e-newsletter.

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RESOURCE: Listening to Poor People with Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Inclusion, Poverty, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In Their Own Words
A report from Inclusion International can help people better understand poverty among people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries.

Nobody knows more than a poor person what it means to live with poverty or what the biggest barriers are to escaping it. And nobody knows more than a person who is excluded how devastating it can be to be constantly pushed to the margins of society. And it is poor, excluded people who see most clearly exactly what needs to change to bring them out of poverty and into the mainstream.

It is the obligation of anyone who wants to improve the living conditions of the poor and the excluded to listen to their stories–and their proposed solutions–in their own words. If we fail to listen, we will inevitably fail to help.

Documented Information = A Tool for Advocates
For some We Can Do readers, listening to the poor and marginalized in developing countries can be as easy as stepping out their front door and talking to the people in their local communities. But even the most knowledgeable advocates may struggle to communicate what they know to non-disabled people in their country in a way that others will both understand and believe. In particular, they may need a way to strengthen their voices when educating funding agencies that have the power to support or turn away their organization. Advocates can use published research or reports to help others understand that poverty and exclusion among people with disabilities are not just “isolated cases” or “too few in number” to be worth targeted efforts.

A report entitled “Hear Our Voices: A Global Report: People with an Intellectual Disabilities and their Families Speak Out on Poverty and Exclusion,” published by Inclusion International in November 2006, helps share insights into how intellectual disability can lead to poverty and exclusion. “Hear Our Voices” also makes recommendations for action. The report was made possible with the partnership and financial support of the Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, NFU, and the Atlas Alliance of Norway.

How “Hear Our Voices” Was Made
Inclusion International (II) is a global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. It spoke with people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and supporters in more than 80 countries about the experience of intellectual disability and poverty. “Hear Our Voices” combines personal with secondary research sources to analyze how well each of the eight Millennium Development Goals for fighting poverty are being met for people with intellectual disabilities. The report makes recommendations for how civil society organizations, governments and donor and international agencies can each play a role in ending poverty and exclusion among people with intellectual disabilities.

In the acknowledgments page of their report, Inclusion International points out that people with intellectual disabilities “are too often invisible,” which means that “their stories are not influencing decisions that affect their lives.” Inclusion International explains, “We wanted to bring about change on a global scale – by convincing governments, multi-lateral institutions, and communities of the current injustice of exclusion. Where before our members’ voices were not being heard because they were isolated, we wanted to bring them together into a loud chorus. We wanted to link those local voices to bring about global change.” (p. viii)

What Next?
Here, Inclusion International’s focus is on people with intellectual disabilities. But people who are deaf, blind, have mobility impairments, autism, psycho-social disabilities, or other disabilities are also “invisible” in society—whether or not they are poor. And all poor people also are invisible–whether or not they have disabilities. Disabled poor people, their stories, and their ideas for how to solve their own problems, are too rarely heard when people with power make choices that affect their lives.

Perhaps Inclusion International’s report could inspire other global organizations to do the research for more reports like it. Advocates could then use these reports to help amplify the voices (and signs) of disabled (and deaf/Deaf) people living in poverty around the world.

Read the Report, Watch the Video
The full 79 page report can be downloaded for free in English in PDF format (500 Kb) at

http://www.inclusion-international.org/report/Hear_Our_Voices_English.pdf

The report is also available in a 10-minute DVD (video). This video is not captioned. There are many pictures and only an occasional line of text on the screen that is used to highlight key statistics or other information. I’m guessing there is also some kind of narration–but this is not accessible to deaf viewers. I’m not in a position to evaluate whether this DVD would be accessible or usable to hearing people with vision impairments. If you are, please do comment below.

The DVD can be viewed at:

http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j194/raqueldejuan/?action=view&current=PhotoStory8.flv

The report and DVD are also available in Spanish at:

http://www.inclusion-international.org/sp/report/index.html



We Can Do learned about the “Hear Our Voices” report by browsing Inclusion International’s web site. The information for this blog post was gathered from their web site and particularly from the report itself.

Find more information about disabled poor people around the world by click on “reports” or “resources” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar on this page. Or consult the recent Retrospective post under “Finding sources of information.”



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