Report on RI=USCID Seminar on Implementation of Draft UN CRPD

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, Reports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Today, the international disability rights treaty, more commonly known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is on the verge of entering into force this May 3, 2008. But a mere year ago, in March 2007, the CRPD had only just been opened for countries to sign and ratify. And in August 2006, negotiations for the CRPD had just come to a conclusion.

Before the ink had dried on the latest agreed-upon text, Rehabilitation International and the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) convened a Seminar on Implementation of the Draft UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A 20-page report from the seminar (PDF format, 144 Kb) summarizes the views presented there by government officials and members of civil society and academia on how to develop programs and policies that incorporate the CRPD. It identifies key goals, discusses best practice, and discusses how to ratify and implement the CRPD. Participants called upon people with disabilities to hold, not only individual governments, but also international organizations such as the World Bank accountable for being more inclusive.

The report presents a series of recommendations for how the United Nations, country governments, civil society organizations (especially disabled people organizations), and others can raise awareness for the CRPD, advocate for its ratification and implementation, and otherwise ensure that people with disabilities are able to enjoy their human rights in their daily lives.

The CRPD, as the first international, legally binding human rights instrument to protect the rights of people with disabilities, will help protect a wide range of rights such as access to education and health services; the right of people with disabilities to live in the community (not institutions); equal access to justice; the right to vote; and more. Learn more about the CRPD and how it is meant to help people with disabilities around the world by taking a few minutes to read the RatifyNow FAQ.

Download the full report in PDF format (144 Kb) at:

http://www.riglobal.org/meetings/Report_ImplementationSeminar_TxtOnly.pdf



We Can Do learned about the RI-USCID Seminar report by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development.

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Bangkok Event Marks Entry into Force of Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

United Nations in Bangkok to Mark Entry into Force of Treaty on Disability Rights
Special Event to be Held on Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Bangkok (United Nations Information Services) – A ground-breaking new international treaty, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will enter into force on 3 May 2008 – one month after it was ratified by the twentieth country.

In Asia and the Pacific, which is home to about 400 million persons with disabilities, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines are the three countries which have already ratified the Convention. Thailand is expected to do so soon.

The Convention is the first ever international treaty on the human rights of persons with disabilities. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2006, and it aims to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.

To celebrate the Convention’s entry into force, three UN bodies in Bangkok will organize a special event on Wednesday, 30 April 2008, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., at the United Nations Conference Centre.

It is being jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP’s Executive Secretary, will address the event, which will feature a keynote speech by Senator Monthian Buntan of Thailand – who is blind – on the impact of the entry into force of the Convention and the importance of its ratification for countries in the region. Ms. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, a member of the
Government of India’s Planning Commission, will also speak.

A related photo exhibition, entitled “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities,” will be on display featuring various prize-winning photographs. The special event will also include a live musical performance by a group from Thailand, “The Network of Music and Arts of Persons with Disabilities.”

About ten per cent of the world’s total population – around 650 million people – are estimated to be living with various forms of disabilities. The percentage is even higher among the world’s poorest people, around 20 per cent of them having some kind of disability. People with disabilities are mostly marginalized and among the poorest of the poor, with limited access to education, employment, housing, transportation and health services. They represent a significant, but generally overlooked, development challenge.

Ensuring equality of rights and access for all persons with disabilities would have a beneficial impact on the social and economic conditions of each country, by enhancing their participation in education, employment, cultural, social and political activities and increasing their consumer power.

The new Convention marks a significant step in this direction. It encourages States to stop viewing persons with disabilities as passive recipients of charity, medical treatment and social protection. Instead, it casts persons with disabilities as active members of society and “subjects” who have rights and are capable of claiming those rights, being also able to make key decisions based on their free and informed consent.

NOTE TO THE MEDIA: Media representatives are cordially invited to attend this special event on Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. at the Reception Hall, Ground Floor, United Nations Conference Centre, at ESCAP’s headquarters in Bangkok.

***

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Aiko Akiyama
Population and Social Integration Section
Emerging Social Issues Division
ESCAP
Bangkok
Tel: 662-2882315
Mobile: 66-81-8309176
Fax: 662-2881030 or 2881009

or

Mr. Ari Gaitanis
United Nations Information Services
ESCAP
Bangkok
Tel: 662-2881862
Fax: 662-288-1052
Email: unisbkk.unescap@un.org

Aiko Akiyama
Social Affairs Officer
Emerging Social Issues Division (ESID)
UNESCAP
RAJDAMNERN NOK AVENUE,
BANGKOK 10200
THAILAND
Tel: 66-2-288-2315
Fax: 66-2-288-1030
Cellular: 66-81-830-9176
Email akiyama@un.org
http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/index.asp



This announcement was recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv.

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RESOURCE: Disability Rights Advocacy Workbook

Posted on 24 April 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How can disability advocates explain to others the difference between the “charity,” “medical,” “social,” and “rights” model of disability? How can communities and allies educate themselves about the challenges faced by people with disabilities in their countries? How can people with disabilities learn about laws in their country that affect their lives? How can advocates teach other people about human rights for people with disabilities and the importance of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)?

People seeking answers to these questions can turn to the Disability Rights Advocacy Workbook (PDF format, 421 Kb), published by Survivors Corps (formerly known as Landmine Survivors Network).

Section 1, entitled “Advocacy for People with Disabilities,” explains why the charity and medical models of disability are often disempowering and how the social and rights model can help. It shares advice on prioritizing among the many challenges experienced by people with disabilities and how to choose the most effective strategies for advocating for long-lasting change. The section also encourages strong collaboration among like-minded organizations and offers ideas for locating useful information and statistics. A set of exercises can guide advocates and allies through brainstorming exercises to help them examine the advocacy work they are already doing and how they can improve.

Section two, entitled “How Does Human Rights Advocacy Work?”, explains what human rights are and how various human rights documents helps protect them. The exercises makes recommendations for the kind of information that advocates should know about and how advocates can locate this information.

Section three, entitled “How Do You Use International Human Rights Treaties for Advocacy?”, discusses how existing human rights instruments can help people with disabilities–including, but not limited to, the new international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It offers advice on how people can advocate for their country to ratify and then implement the CRPD.

Download the full 30 page workbook in PDF format (421 Kb) at:

http://www.handicap-international.fr/kit-pedagogique/documents/ressourcesdocumentaires/apadoption/DisabilityRightsAdvocacyWorkbook2007.pdf

Find more resources related to the CRPD at:

https://wecando.wordpress.com/resources-toolkits-and-funding/#CRPD resources

And at the RatifyNow web site:

http://www.RatifyNow.org



We Can Do learned about the Disability Rights Advocacy Handbook (PDF format, 421 Kb) by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development.

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NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: News, Human Rights, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, South Asian Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani has asked that people circulate the following press release.

COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ FORUM

Press Release

A New Voice Shouts to the Commonwealth –
Nothing About us Without Us.

Disabled youth and adult people from 16 Commonwealth countries came together from 15-17 March, 2008 in London to launch a unique Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (1), the purposes of which will be to provide a link between disabled people’s organisations in all Commonwealth countries and all the political structures of the Commonwealth.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2007 the civil society challenge to CHOGM was to mainstream disability in sustainable development, to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and to adopt disability inclusive policies. This cannot be achieved without a strong, democratic forum of disabled youth and adults to ensure implementation.

We had a vibrant and dynamic series of meetings to consolidate the vision, constitution and activities of the Forum (2). The youth met separately to devise their own creative methods of self representation and organisation. We came together in a final agreement of how to go forward together. It is essential that the voice of young disabled people is heard clearly in the work of the CDPF. They are the future leaders and builders of our shared vision of a Commonwealth built on equality, human rights and respect for diversity.

The major focus of our work in the next two years, including a major conference before CHOGM in 2009, will be to ensure that Commonwealth countries sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. As Rachel Kachaje said at the Launch of the CDPF, hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation at Marlborough House,
‘Disabled people see that hope springs out of the convention – hope for a new, inclusive world where disabled people can be seen as fully human’

We, All Sanghar Handicaps’ Association Pakistan are very proud to have part of this exciting new beginning and look forward to working with our disabled colleagues to ensure our full inclusion in all the nations of our shared Commonwealth.

For further information contact:
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
South Asia /South East Asia Regional Representative
Bakhoro Road Sanghar-68100, Pakistan. (3)
Ph # +92-333-2916281
Email: ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com (4)

(1) This meeting was funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ADD.
(2) Officers elected were: Chair: James Mwanda (Uganda), Vice Chair: George Daniel (Tinidad & Tobago), Secretary: Javed Abidi (India), Treasurer: Richard Rieser (UK), Women’s Representative: Rachel Kachaje, (Malawi) Youth Representatives: Laura Kanusu (Uganda)
George Kasara (Kenya), Regional Representatives: Ghulam Nabi Nizaamani (Pakistan), Lesley Emmanuel (Antigua), Setareki Macanawai (Fiji), Steve Estey (Canada) Thomas Ongolo (South Africa).
(3) The registered office of the CDPF will be in India and there will be a liaison office in the UK to work directly with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Foundation.
(4) This email address can be changed after website of CDPF.



In addition to the above press release, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani also made the following note in mid March:

The following countries from South Asia and South East Asia are member countries of Commonwealth. These Countries are invited to submit application for Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (CDPF) Country Focal Point.
Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

The Organization must be National Level Organization in respective country if in any country there will be no National Organization we will support to encourage to estabilish National organization in that country. Please also send establishment date of Organization, Network in the Country, Some credible work done in past. Please send information by mail or email before the first week of April 2008.

Cheers!
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

Note: We have no contact from Brunei Darussalam please help us for finding National organization there.



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for sharing the above press release. Any inquiries should please be emailed to him directly at ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com.

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NEWS: 20th Nation Ratifies International Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 4 April 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

RatifyNow has reported that Ecuador became the 20th nation to ratify the international disability rights treaty, known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), earlier today on April 3, 2008. It also became the 13th nation to ratify the accompanying Optional Protocol. Accordingly, both the CRPD and the Optional Protocol will enter into force 30 days from now. This means that countries ratifying the CRPD will now be obligated to obey it, as will countries ratifying the Optional Protocols.

RatifyNow has a story about the newest ratification; why this is a historic milestone for the international disability community; how countries and people with disabilities will be affected; how ordinary citizens like YOU can help push for more countries to ratify the CRPD and then implement it fully; and how you can become involved in the ratification movement at:

http://ratifynow.org/2008/04/03/ecuador-the-20th-country-ratifies-the-crpd-…-now-what/

Also, the United Nationas, the International Disability Alliance, and RatifyNow are all planning events to celebrate the CRPD entering into force in both New York City and Washington DC on May 12. 2008. Return to the RatifyNow.org web site for further details.

Also, read the official United Nations (UN) story, including a quote from the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, at:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=26199&Cr=disab&Cr1=convention




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Read the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 on the International Disability Rights Treaty!

Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, Psychiatric Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

From Australia … from the USA … from India … from New Zealand … from Fiji … from the Philippines …

Writers and bloggers from around the world joined together to help celebrate and promote the first legally binding international human rights instrument to protect the rights of people with disabilities — the international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

They celebrated by writing blog posts for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, which can now be read at
http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

What did they write about? Some of the topics include …

… The story of one advocate who watched the birth of the CRPD among grassroots advocates with disabilities and others in the 1990s …
… How the CRPD could deliver new hope for people in India with mental disabilities …
… How the CRPD represents an evolution from the charity/medical model of disability to the social or human rights-based model …
… How the CRPD could make travel go a little more smoothly for tourists with disabilities …
… Why the CRPD matters for people who use personal assistance services or who are seeking the freedom to explore their own sexual expression …
… An allegorical tale about farmers, spoons, and plows: Why the CRPD is well worth celebrating and why our work isn’t done just because the CRPD is about to take full legal force …
… And more …

All at the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, and all available by following the link to:

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

Celebrate and learn about the CRPD through the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008.

Then invite other people to do the same. Please circulate this notice or post it at your blog or web site — with, of course, a link to the blog swarm at

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

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RESOURCE: Learning about the International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)

Posted on 18 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you have been watching this space then you know that the organization RatifyNow will be celebrating the first anniversary of the international disability rights treaty (CRPD) on March 30 with the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008. That means bloggers and writers from around the world are being invited to write blog posts about the treaty, which is called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). RatifyNow will help readers find all the blog posts on March 30, 2008, by gathering all the links in one location at its web site.

But some writers may be hesitant to participate because they aren’t sure that they know enough about the CRPD to write about it. Others may simply want to learn more about the CRPD for their own personal knowledge. Mainstream international development professionals may want to better understand how the CRPD will affect their own work in helping all people–with or without disabilities–fight poverty in developing countries. Or, disability advocates may wish to learn how they can use the CRPD to help disabled people in their country achieve their human rights.

RatifyNow has assembled a list of resources that can help people learn more about the CRPD–whether you have only five minutes to spare or more than 30. Follow the link to:

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/17/researching-the-crpd-on-line/



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CALL FOR BLOG POSTS: Write About the International Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 12 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This announcement is taken from the RatifyNow.org web site:

GET READY TO SWARM!
Join the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008!

Calling all bloggers, vloggers, and other writers!

  • Do you regularly blog (or vlog) about human rights? Or disability? Or both?
  • Are you someone who cares about the international disability rights treaty (called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD), its success, and its broad adoption?

If so, please participate in the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, scheduled for March 30, 2008!

What’s a blog swarm?
A blog swarm is when many bloggers and vloggers agree to write blog posts, or make blog videos, on the same theme at about the same time. Writers who don’t have a blog can ask someone who does to publish their post for them. A blog swarm can increase public awareness of an issue and can sometimes stimulate media interest in the topic.

Why Does the CRPD Matter?
If you have a disability or know people who do, then you know that the human rights of people with disabilities around the world are violated every day. In many countries with no disability rights laws, 90% of disabled children receive no education. People with disabilities may encounter doctors who simply assume they’d rather be dead than disabled—and make medical choices accordingly. Disabled people are more vulnerable to abuse and violence. And some have been sterilized against their will, or institutionalized without their consent.

The international disability community has been working with the human rights community and the United Nations for more than 30 years to change that. Together, they have created the first comprehensive, international treaty to protect a broad range of human rights of people with disabilities: the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Celebrate the CRPD Anniversary With a Blog Swarm!
At last, these efforts are about to bear fruit. The CRPD was first opened for countries to sign on March 30, 2007, last year. So far, 17 countries have ratified it.

After the 20th country ratifies the CRPD, it will enter full legal force. Odds are good this will happen sometime soon after March 30, 2008—the first anniversary of the CRPD.

In honor of that anniversary, the grassroots organization RatifyNow.org will be hosting a blog swarm on March 30, 2008, called the “RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008”. Please help make the blog swarm a success!

As the “host” for UN CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, RatifyNow.org will collect all the links to all the blog posts submitted for the blog swarm and make them available in one location.

Great! How Can I Show Support?
Have a blog? At any time between now and March 27, 2008, write a short blog post to share your thoughts about the CRPD and its first anniversary. Post it. Then send the link (with your screen name and the name of your blog) to RatifyNow@gmail.com. Links to video clips are also welcome (spoken or signed). If you provide video, however, please make an effort to include a transcript.

Even if you don’t want to write or vlog about the CRPD, you can still help by recruiting other bloggers and writers. Copy and paste this announcement into your blog or web site and encourage people to participate. Consider offering to host other people’s blog posts.

Read more detail about the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 at RatifyNow.org. This web site is also a great one-stop shop to learn more about the CRPD or about disability rights before you start writing.

Email us and let us know you’ll be participating. Then send your submissions by March 27, 2008 to RatifyNow@gmail.com. Please include the phrase BLOG SWARM at the start of your subject line.

Then, of course, come back to RatifyNow.org to read what other participants say about the CRPD—and encourage your readers to do the same! The Swarm officially opens March 30, 2008 in New Zealand time, meaning it will still be March 29 in most other parts of the world.



This announcement is taken from the RatifyNow web site at http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/11/join-crpd-swarm-2008/.

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NEWS: San Marino to Ratify Intl Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 23 February 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The RatifyNow web site reports that the small, Southern European country of San Marino may be ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as early as today, February 22, 2008. This means that the CRPD would now require only three more countries before it can go into full legal force. Watch the RatifyNow web site for official confirmation of San Marino’s ratification. Read the RatifyNow FAQ to learn more about the process for ratifying the CRPD and what the CRPD means for disabled people around the world.

San Marino, with its population of 29,000 people, is in a small enclave within Italy.

RatifyNow is an organization working to maximize the number of countries that sign, ratify, and implement the CRPD.



Most of the text in this post is taken from RatifyNow.org with permission of author.

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



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.



This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and RatifyNow.org. If you are reading this anywhere else, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people.

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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.



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NEWS: United Nations Launches Disability Newsletter

Posted on 2 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD) has launched the Enable Newsletter. The newsletter is meant to keep readers informed about the work being done on disability issues within the United Nations system.

The first issue, for January 2008, leads with a feature story on the CRPD, the international disability rights treaty. It reports briefly on several recent events within the United Nations system including a meeting on “Making it work – Civil Society Participation in the Implementation of the Convention,” in Madrid, Spain, held in November 2007; events associated with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities held on December 3 and Human Rights Day on December 10; the first meeting of the Inter-Agency Support Group (IASG) on the CRPD; and others.

The January Enable Newsletter also reports on disability-related activities by various United Nations agencies around the world. These include a seminar that was held on freedom from torture; UNICEF’s efforts to develop a child-friendly version of the CRPD; the work that the World Health Organization (WHO) has been doing in developing reports and guidelines on disability and rehabilitation; and others.

Toward the end of the newsletter is a list of links to various helpful publications, such as a digest on the rights of children with disabilities; a report on the sexual and reproductive rights of people with disabilities; a report on people with disabilities in India; a report on measuring disability prevalence; and a report on making World Bank projects more disability-inclusive; and others. It also lists a few up-coming events being held within the United Nations system.

Learn more about the UN’s new Enable Newsletter at

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?PID=312

Read the first issue (January 2008) at:

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=313

People may also receive future issues of the newsletter via email for free by subscribing
at:

http://esa.un.org/dspdEsa/absolutefp/newsletter.htm



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NEWS: Azerbaijan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic sign CRPD

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/yr26xf]

The countries of Azerbaijan and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic recently signed the international disability rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Azerbaijan also signed the accompanying Optional Protocol for the CRPD. This brings the total number of signatories for the CRPD to 123 countries. Among these 123 countries, 69 have also signed the Optional Protocol.

The CRPD declares that all people with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies the ways in which human rights apply to people with disabilities and it identifies areas in which adaptations must be made so that people with disabilities can effectively exercise those rights. Some examples of human rights covered by the CRPD includes: right to life, liberty, and security; freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse; right to live in the community; freedom of expression and opinion; respect for privacy; right to education; right to health; right to work; and others.

If a disabled person feels their human rights under the CRPD have been violated, they can pursue justice within the usual channels within their own country. However, if all of these channels fail to bring redress, then people living in countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol can then bring complaints to the international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Signing the CRPD and the Optional Protocol is the first step a country must take toward fully ratifying these treaties. Signing an international treaty, such as the CRPD, commits a country to avoid doing anything that would actively violate that treaty. However, merely signing a treaty does not, by itself, legally bind a country to obeying that treaty. Before a country can be legally obligated to follow a treaty, it must fully ratify it. Also, a treaty cannot take full legal force until and unless enough countries fully ratify (not just sign) the treaty. Twenty countries need to ratify the CRPD before it can take full legal force; 10 countries need to ratify the Optional Protocol before it, too, can take full legal force.

So far, 14 countries have ratified the CRPD and 8 countries have ratified the Optional Protocol. Countries ratifying the CRPD include: Bangladesh, Croatia, Cuba, El Salvador, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, South Africa, and Spain. Countries ratifying the Optional Protocol include: Croatia, El Salvador, Hungary, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, South Africa, and Spain.

More information about the CRPD and the optional protocol is available at the UN Enable web site and at the RatifyNow web site. The RatifyNow web site also has resources that advocates can use to help persuade their country governments to both sign and also ratify the CRPD and Optional Protocol.



We Can Do learned about Azerbaijan and the Laos People’s Democratic Republic from the UN Enable web site. Information relating to the background of the CRPD and Optional protocol was also gathered from their web site, as well as the RatifyNow web site.

This article has been cross-posted, with slight modifications, both here and at the RatifyNow web site, with permission of author.



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