NEWS: New Delhi, India, Aims to Improve Accessibility

Posted on 19 February 2008. Filed under: Inclusion, Mobility Impariments, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with mobility impairments who live in, or plan to visit, New Delhi, India, are hoping the capital city will soon be easier for them to navigate.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the Samarthya National Centre for Promotion of Barrier Free Environment for Disabled Persons are collaborating with the aim of making Delhi more accessible for everyone. They have identified 20 sites and services, including 225 Delhi Transport Corporation bus queue shelters and the New Delhi railway station, that they plan to make “barrier free.” Their target is to make all of these sites accessible within two years.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation works in areas that were of deep concern to Rajiv Gandhi by promoting “effective, practical and sustainable programmes in areas of national development.” One of its several areas of focus includes helping people with disabilities become more self-reliant, including gaining equal opportunities for employment or self-employment. Their web site is at http://www.rgfindia.com

The mission of the Samarthya National Centre is to promote an “inclusive environment and universal design in the built environment and transportation,” including a focus on barrier-free tourism. Their web site is at http://www.samarthyam.org

A newspaper article about the New Delhi accessibility project was published in The Hindu last month; read the full story at:

http://www.hindu.com/2008/01/26/stories/2008012656540400.htm

More information about the New Delhi project can be found at the following web pages:

http://www.samarthyam.org/node/19
http://www.samarthyam.org/node/27

You can also download a PDF file about the project (232 Kb) at

http://www.samarthyam.org/files/Current%20projects%20of%20Samarthya.pdf

Please note that only the third page is in English. I was unable to read the other three pages on my screen. I am assuming that the rest of this document may be in Hindi, which I guess my computer isn’t able to handle in PDF. If someone can confirm or verify this, please post a comment in the comments area below. This would be helpful information for others to have. Thank you.



Thank you to Sanjeev Sachdeva at Samarthya for circulating the news article through which I learned of this project. We Can Do found additional information about the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Samarthya through their web sites.

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PUBLICATION: Human Rights Africa Newsletter

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Media & Journalism, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Readers interested in human rights issues affecting Africans with disabilities can catch up with past issues of the newsletter Human Rights Africa. Issues are available in both English and French, and in both Word format and PDF format. This publication from the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities was published four times in 2006 and two times in 2007.

All past issues may be worth browsing for people with a special interest in disabled Africans. But readers may particularly want to note the following (this is NOT a comprehensive list of articles):

The first issue of 2006 has an article that lists five challenges and seven opportunities for the Secretariat of the African Decade on Persons with Disabilities.

The second issue of 2006 focuses on HIV/AIDS among people with disabilties. This includes a story about how genocide helped spread HIV in Rwanda, and a story about efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS among women in Ethiopia. There is also a story about a new African Network of Women with Disabilities that is meant to help regional and national organizations share experiences in improving the lives of disabled women. Also see the article on how you can help influence development projects in your area so they will better include poor people with disabilities.

The third issue of 2006 has an article that lists practical tips for how you can approach journalists and persuade them to cover issues that matter to the disability community in your country. Another article discusses how sports can be used to help meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The fourth issue of 2006 has many articles about war and conflict in Africa with a focus on disability issues. Also see the article on how you can become involved in helping your country develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) that is inclusive of people with disabilties.

The first issue of 2007 provides more information about the campaign against HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities in Africa and an article about violence against women.

The second issue of 2007 contains articles on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; a new African Federation of the Deafblind; and
lessons learned from lobbying in Uganda.

You can download copies of Human Rights Africa for free at:

http://www.africandecade.org/humanrightsafrica



We Can Do first learned about this newsletter after reading the Disabled People International (DPI) newsletter and exploring the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities.

A modified version of this article has now been posted at RatifyNow with permission of author.



Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

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NEWS: The Law Has Been Instrument of Our Oppression, Says Disability Advocate

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, Psychiatric Disabilities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with psychosocial disabilities have been quick to embrace the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). One of them is David Stolper, a South African advocate for the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities.

Stolper, says, “The whole world looks at our constitution in South Africa and sees it as the most progressive one for the rights of all people, but we in mental health have been totally marginalized.” Stolper, who has been institutionalized in both the United Kingdom and also in South Africa, terms himself a “psychiatric survivor.”

Of the CRPD, he says, “I think it gives us a legal framework and something on paper that will be binding that is a dramatic shift from what we have had before. There has always seemed to be some kind of barbaric tool to control us. The law has been an instrument of our oppression. The convention says that it is time that the government and people around us drop this notion that we cannot think for ourselves.”

We Can Do readers can read a full-length interview with David Stolper about his perspectives on the CRPD at the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities:

http://www.africandecade.org/reads/articles/legalcapacityarticle/view

The interview also was published in the newsletter Human Rights Africa, 2007, Issue 2 (PDF format, 1.8 Mb). Human Rights Africa focuses on issues relevant to human rights for persons with disabilities in Africa.

Past issues of Human Rights Africa are available in both English and French in both PDF and Word format at:

http://www.africandecade.org/humanrightsafrica



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



Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

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NEWS: Guinea Ratifies CRPD and Optional Protocol; Benin and UAE Sign

Posted on 11 February 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The disability communities in three countries have reason to celebrate: Guinea, Benin, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Guinea has now ratified both the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the accompanying Optional Protocol. This brings the total number of countries ratifying the CRPD to 16 and the total number of countries ratifying the Optional Protocol to 10. The CRPD needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it and the Optional Protocol can take full legal force.

In addition, Benin has signed both the CRPD and the Optional Protocol. United Arab Emirates also signed the CRPD, but not the Optional Protocol. Guinea, Benin, and UAE all ratified or signed these international treaties on February 8, 2008. These newest signatures brings the total number of signatories for the CRPD to 125 countries, and the total number of signatories for the Optional Protocol to 70 countries.

The CRPD is an international disability rights treaty. A few of the rights it is meant to protect include the right to education; health; work; respect for privacy; freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse; and the right to an adequate standard of living. The Optional Protocol gives disabled people in ratifying countries another option for pursuing redress if they feel their rights under the CRPD have been violated. Specifically, it allows disabled people to bring their case to an international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The CRPD was first opened for countries to sign or ratify on March 30, 2007. A full list of the countries that have ratified the CRPD or the treaty is at the United Nations disabilities web site at http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=257.

Signing an international treaty, such as the CRPD and the Optional Protocol, is an intermediary step toward ratification. Merely signing a treaty does not legally obligate a country to follow the treaty. It does, however, indicate interest in ratifying the treaty in the future. It also commits the country to avoid doing anything that would directly violate the spirit of the treaty. For example, a country that signs the CRPD should not pass any further new laws that actively discriminate against people with disabilities.

More background information on the CRPD and the Optional Protocol, and the global movement to ratify and implement both, is available at www.RatifyNow.org.



This article is posted at both We Can Do and RatifyNow.org with permission of author.

We Can Do learned about these newest signatures and ratification at the United Nations “Enable” web site.



Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

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