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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WHO Disability and Rehabilitation Newsletter July 2008 Issue

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Text-only version of the WHO/DAR Newsletter
July 2008 Issue

The World Health Organization (WHO) disability and rehabilitation newsletter is produced three times a year and distributed via e-mail. Subscription/unsubscription requests should be sent to WHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) at the following e-mail address: pedersenr@who.int

IN THIS ISSUE

Features
* WHO Task Force on Disability
* WRDR Regional Consultations
* RI World Congress
* Wheelchair Guidelines
* CBR Congress
* New faces at DAR

Editorial
This month sees the halfway stage of development of the World Report, a moment to celebrate and take stock of how far we have come and how much more there is to do before we launch the document in eighteen months time. Another milestone has been the first meeting of the WHO Task Force on Disability, part of the Organizations’ response to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These are exciting times for WHO’s work in disability and rehabilitation, and we have an expanded and enthusiastic team of staff working to deliver change. We are particularly grateful to all our collaborators and funders who have worked with us to help us achieve our ambitions to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Alana Officer,
Coordinator
Disability and Rehabilitation

Task Force on Disability
WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, has set up a Task Force on Disability, chaired by Assistant Director-General Dr Ala Alwan, with representation from each regional office and from each cluster within HQ. This exciting initiative comes in the wake of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and will work to raise the profile of disability at WHO. Key tasks will include: conducting audits of WHO premises and making access improvements; reviewing websites and printed information to improve their accessibility; promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and providing disability equality training for staff.

The Task Force will also work with the Technical Programmes of WHO to assist them to make their programs inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities. For example, what about the needs of people with disabilities in disaster and emergencies? What about the needs of women with disabilities during pregnancy and childbirth?

Task Force focus: Information
So, what is WHO doing to ensure better access to all the information it produces? Ian Coltart of WHO Press, responsible for publishing guidelines and standards across WHO, writes…

“With a global audience and a mission to disseminate WHO’s information as widely as possible, WHO needs to ensure that it’s published information is accessible in appropriate formats for different audiences, including partially sighted and blind people, as well as people with learning difficulties.

WHO Press has developed and published a large print version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The book is produced in A4 size with a clear page layout designed for partially sighted people. The book is available from the WHO online bookshop, at: http://bookorders.who.int/bookorders/anglais/detart1.jsp?sesslan=1&codlan=1&codcol=15&codcch=4088. WHO Press also plans to develop a Braille version of ICF for the blind.

WHO Press is working with WHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) to develop publishing guidelines for WHO staff on producing specific formats such as large print and Braille, but also to improve the general design and layout of WHO’s mainstream printed products to accommodate partially sighted audiences.

World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation Regional Consultations
In May and June 2008, regional consultations on the preliminary draft of the World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation were held in San José, Costa Rica for the Americas Region; Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania for the African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions; Rome, Italy for the European Region; and Manila, the Philippines for the South-east Asian and Western Pacific Regions. Each consultation brought together a diverse group of experts with complementary knowledge and experience, including people with disabilities. Participants included editors of the Report, chapter authors, academics, service providers, policymakers, government officials, NGO representatives, and disability advocates.

Claudia Sánchez, a Columbian architect and participant in the consultation in San José, felt that the process was vital because “it brings into the report experiences from around the world that come from the real people”, i.e. those who have direct knowledge of the issues. While it was most helpful to gather constructive criticisms of the preliminary draft, it was also encouraging to witness how many participants were excited by the potential of the Report to advance work in disability and rehabilitation. As Kudakwashe Dube, CEO of the Secretariat of the Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities remarked at the Dar-Es-Salaam event, “the report challenges countries to take serious steps to mainstream disability and capacitate all actors in order to achieve an improvement in the quality of life of persons with disabilities”.

The participants’ feedback, cultural perspectives on the draft and the sources of regional information they identified, will help ensure that the final document is relevant in diverse global contexts. They also proposed recommendations for action and generated ideas for regional dissemination of the Report and related events. The comments and suggestions from the four consultations will be collated and reviewed by the Editorial Committee. Lead authors will then use the input to help guide development of the next draft.

Wheelchair Guidelines
The wheelchair is one of the most commonly used assistive devices for enhancing personal mobility. For many people, an appropriate, well-designed and well-fitted wheelchair can be the first step towards inclusion and participation in society.

The United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and World Health Assembly Resolution WHA58.23 all point to the importance of wheelchairs and other assistive devices for the developing world, where few of those who need wheelchairs have them, insufficient production facilities exist, and all too often wheelchairs are donated without the necessary related services.

When the need is not met, people with disabilities are isolated and do not have access to the same opportunities as others within their own communities. Providing wheelchairs with related services not only enhances mobility but begins a process of opening up a world of education, work and social life. The development of national policies and increased training opportunities in the design, production and supply of wheelchairs are essential next steps.

In the light of the realities of the developing world and the immediate need to develop functioning systems of wheelchair provision in less-resourced parts of the world, the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) and Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), in partnership with the Centre for International Rehabilitation, the Motivation Charitable Trust and Whirlwind Wheelchair International, have developed the Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less-resourced settings. These will assist WHO Member States to develop a local wheelchair provision system and thereby implement Articles 4, 20 and 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Update from the WHO Ghana Country Office
As part of measures to strengthen the capacity of the Rehabilitation Services in Ghana, a joint WHO and International Society of Prosthesis and Orthotics (ISPO) mission was carried out. Details of the mission were provided in the fourth Newsletter (http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/newsletter/en/index.html). In response to the mission’s recommendations, the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the WHO Ghana Country office selected two candidates for certificate level training in prosthetics and two candidates for certificate level training in orthotics. The training will be carried out in the WHO collaborating Centre: Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologies (TATCOT), Moshi, Tanzania. The certificate courses, each of one year duration, comprise theoretical, laboratory and clinical practice to prescribe and deliver the appropriate lower limb prosthesis or orthotic in consultation with the intended user. This is an important step towards developing prosthetics and orthotics service provision in Ghana. The training has been made possible through support from ISPO and full scholarships from the Leahy War Victim Fund of USAID .

RI World Congress
Rehabilitation International (RI), a partner of WHO, is a global organization bringing together expertise from all sectors in the disability field advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is organizing its 21st World Congress in Quebec City from 25 -28 August 2008, attended by more than 1000 participants, including people with disabilities and their organizations, human rights activists, experts, rehabilitation professionals, government representatives, service providers and leaders of civil society. The vision statement of the Congress is “Disability Rights and Social Participation: Ensuring a Society for all” and the key areas of discussion are: Human Rights, Independent Living and Social Participation and Implementation of the UN Convention.

WHO will be launching the new Wheelchair Guidelines during the plenary session of the first day of the Congress. Additionally, WHO is hosting three sessions during the event and will be supporting the ICF conference, a dedicated two-day track, within the RI conference:

1. CBR Guidelines — 25 August (Block 63 – 2:10 pm) with Barbara Murray (ILO), Karen H. Motsch (CBM), Venus Ilagan (RI), Tomas Lagerwall (RI), Alana Officer (WHO) and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO).

2. World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation — 25 August (Bloc 62 – 4:20 pm) with Anne Hawker (RI); Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo (World Bank); Sebenzile Matsebula (RI); Kicki Nordstrom (WBU) and Alana Officer (WHO).

3. 3. Wheelchair Guidelines — 27 August
(Bloc 72 – 10:30 am) with David Constantine (Motivation); Dan Blocka (ISPO); Rob Horvath (USAID); Anna Lindstrom (Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology – SIAT); Venus Ilagan (RI) and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO).

4. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) — August 26 and 27.
The 14th annual North American Collaborating Center (NACC) Conference on the ICF will be hosted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Statistics Canada and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in collaboration with Rehabilitation International. The theme is Evaluating Social Participation: Applications of the ICF and ICF-CY.

Conference website: www.riquebec2008.org/

1st CBR Asia-Pacific Congress
This event, taking place on 9-11 December 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand, will be the first meeting of CBR practitioners from countries in Asia and the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, promoted by ESCAP, has given an impetus for Governments and NGOs to create an inclusive, barrier free and rights-based society. A regional policy guideline, the Biwako Millennium Framework (BMF) for Action and its supplement, the BMF +5, promoted a paradigm shift from charity to a rights-based approach to disability. Meanwhile, the CRPD heralds a new era of state recognition of the human rights of people with disabilities.

The Congress will bring together key stakeholders to share resources and to be updated on CBR as an effective multi-sectoral strategy for rehabilitation, equalization of opportunity, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities. It will promote research and evidence based practice related to CBR, and facilitate the development of an alliance and resource base for the Asia-Pacific region – comprising UN, Governments, NGOs, DPOs and others.

Satellite workshops pre- and post-conference will be held on CBR and mental health; CBR, human rights and the CPRD; CBR and Leprosy for up to 45 participants each.

The Congress is jointly organized by WHO, UNESCAP and the Government of Thailand and supported by ILO, UNESCO, JICA, CBM, HI, AIFO, NAD, ILEP and others.

Conference Website: www.cbr-asiapacific.org/
E-mail: secretariat@cbr-asiapacific.org

New faces at DAR

Three short term staff have brought their wit and wisdom to bear on WHO’s projects on disability and rehabilitation. Bliss Temple is a trainee physician from North Carolina, USA, and she has been supporting the development of the World Report. Tom Shakespeare is a disability studies academic from Newcastle, UK, and has been working for the Task Force on Disability. Veronica Umeasiegbu is a physical therapist from Nigeria, currently studying Rehabilitation Counselling at the University of Pittsburgh, USA and has been working on CBR. As well as their solid academic and professional credentials, as people with disabilities they bring personal experience of the issues.



We Can Do discovered this newsletter when it was forwarded to the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group and the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group, both of which can be subscribed to for free.

If you wish to receive future issues of the WHO Rehabilitation Newsletter directly via email, then please inquire with pedersenr@who.int. You may also download past issues of the newsletter in PDF format at http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/newsletter/en/index.html

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NEWS: Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Distinguished Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

(New York, New York, US, July 14, 2008)

Rehabilitation International
(RI) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Secretary General, Venus Ilagan of the Philippines. As a woman with a disability from the South, Venus has worked tirelessly to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly during the negotiations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Venus is expected to commence this important new role in September 2008, subject to resolution of visa and contractual arrangements, and Venus will be based at the RI headquarters in New York City, New York.

Venus is a well-known advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities for years. As a leader in the National Organization of Disabled Peoples’ of the Philippines (KAMPI) and the Differently-Abled Women’s Network (DAWN) of the Philippines, as well as holding various positions, including Chairperson, of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), Venus has promoted disability rights at the national, regional and international levels. Her vast experience with UN agencies and other international organizations includes her consultancy work with the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization.

As a representative of DPI, Venus has strong links within the International Disability Alliance (IDA), a coalition of 10 international and regional organizations of persons with disabilities, and served as IDA Chair from May 2004 -May 2005. She is well regarded within IDA and the newly created IDA CRPD Forum, of which RI serves as the Secretariat.

RI President Michael Fox remarked, “We are extremely pleased that Venus will be joining the RI team. She will be leading the RI Secretariat at a critical time in our growth, with the focus on implementation of the UN Convention and growth of the RI Foundation. We very much look forward to working with her and sharing her insights and experience.”

RI will formally welcome Venus as our new Secretary General during the RI World Congress, to be held in August 2008 in Quebec City, Canada. For more information about this event, please visit www.riquebec2008.org

RI also takes this opportunity to show our great appreciation to the current Secretary General, Tomas Lagerwall of Sweden. Since joining the RI Secretariat in 2001, Tomas has further developed excellent relations with RI membership in many countries, and has provided key support to the development of IDA. Tomas played an important role during the successful negotiations and coming into force of the CRPD. Tomas has demonstrated an enormous dedication to RI, and the RI Executive Committee and members most sincerely thank Tomas for his seven years of service to RI. 

About RI
Founded in 1922, RI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities, government agencies, service providers, researchers and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of about 1,000 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website: http://www.riglobal.org.



The above announcement was circulated by Rehabilitation International. I retrieved it from the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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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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PUBLICATION: Promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Posted on 26 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, Policy & Legislation, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Rehabilitation International’s publication, International Rehabilitation Review, has published a special edition focused on promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). People with disabilities, advocates, disability experts, and human rights experts, all contributed 20 articles to the December 2007, 48-page edition.

The CRPD is the first comprehensive international legislation to focus on protecting the human rights of people with disabilities. It needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it will take full legal force; it has now been ratified by 17 countries.

Several of these articles celebrate the heavy involvement of the disability community and various disability and human rights organizations in promoting the CRPD. Other articles discuss the relevance of the CRPD to themes such as promoting inclusive education; including people with disabilities in programs to prevent HIV/AIDS; the importance of habilitation and rehabilitation to empowerment; and how the CRPD may help countries bring more people with disabilities into the work force.

Some more examples of articles included in the December 2007 issue of the International Rehabilitation Review include the following:

An article entitled “A Unified Disability Community: The Key to Effective Implementation of the Convention” by Maria Veronica Reina and Stefan Tromel highlights the importance of people with disabilities themselves being actively involved in ensuring that the CRPD actively protects the human rights of disabled people around the world.

Author Ann M. Veneman discusses the importance of children with disabilities in the CRPD in her article, “The UN Disability Rights Convention: Moving Children with Disabilities Center Stage.”

Of particular relevance to We Can Do readers in the international development field is the article “Toward Inclusive Development: The Implementation Challenge,” by Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo. This article calls for country governments and development organizations to incorporate the principles of the CRPD into their plans, programs, and policies, including those that fight poverty.

Anne Hawker and Sebenzile Matsebula discuss the importance of mobilizing women with disabilities to successfully implementing the CRPD in “Women with Disabilities: A Call to Action.”

In some countries, people with certain disabilities are denied the right to open their own bank account, or to say “no” to medical treatment that they don’t want. Article 12 of the CRPD can help, says Tina Minkowitz in her article, “Legal Capacity: Fundamental to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

Once the CRPD takes legal force, then what? Governments will need people with disabilities themselves to monitor how well the CRPD is implemented in their countries. The article “Interational Monitoring: The Right to Inclusion, The Obligation to Participate” by Kirsten Young and Shantha Rau, discusses how.

This special issue of Rehabiliation International’s International Rehabilitation Review can be downloaded in PDF format (1.8 Mb) at
http://www.riglobal.org/publications/RI_Review_2007_Dec_web.pdf

Or you can downlaod it in Word format (233 Kb) at
http://www.riglobal.org/publications/RI_Review_2007_Dec_WORDversion.doc



We Can Do learned about this special issue through RatifyNow.org‘s email discussion list. This article is cross-posted at the RatifyNow.org web site with permission of author. See the RatifyNow website for more information on the CRPD and the global movement to ratify and implement it.

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 www.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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JOB POST: Secretary General, Rehabilitation International

Posted on 20 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, Jobs & Internships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Michael Fox, president of Rehabilitation International, has been circulating the following announcement; note that the application deadline is March 28, 2008:

As advised at the RI 2007 Assembly in Djerba, Tunisia – our Secretary General Tomas Lagerwall has decided to leave RI later this year – and return to Sweden after a seven year term with RI.

Accordingly, and on behalf of the RI Selection Committee, I am pleased to invite submissions from applicants worldwide for this important role of RI Secretary General – as following details and information.

Regards

Michael Fox
RI President
www.riglobal.org
Sydney phone 612 6552 9333

4 February 2008

RI Secretary General – New York

RI was established in 1922, and is a well recognised and respected international disability and rehabilitation advocacy organisation. RI is a global cross-disability and cross-disciplinary NGO providing a unique meeting ground for participants in a field that has disciplinary and ideological opinions and differences. RI has well-established partnerships with the UN and its agencies as well as other international and regional organisations in the field of disability. Further information on RI and our UN and global networks are available at www.riglobal.org.

RI is a democratic organisation governed by an Assembly – representing RI member organisations in almost 100 countries. The RI Annual Assembly is a global forum to discuss developments in disability issues and general policies and programs of the organisation. The RI Executive Committee provides strategic direction, formulates and considers policies and oversees the budget of the organisation. The RI EC consists of 22 members composed of the RI President, President-elect or Past President, Treasurer and representatives of RI Regions and expert Commissions.

RI is a matrix organisation, with regional leadership in Africa, the Arab Region, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America as well as thematic Commissions in particular fields of expertise, to assist in developing and expanding program activities in accordance with RI strategic goals. The RI Foundation was established in 2006 and provides the basis for significant growth and development of the RI agenda worldwide.

RI and its members are involved in a range of advocacy projects and activities to promote the RI goal of advancing and achieving the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities worldwide. The next RI World Congress is scheduled in Quebec City, Canada during August 2008. RI also works toward increasing international collaboration and advocates for policies and legislation recognising the rights of people with disabilities and their families, including the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

RI Secretary General
RI is managed by a full time Secretariat in our New York City head office. The Secretary General is the CEO of the organisation and our current incumbent has successfully managed this role since 2001.

We now require the services of a resourceful, experienced and dynamic candidate for the role of RI Secretary General. There will be a suitable and agreed transition period for the successful candidate.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS Friday 28 March 2008

DUTY STATION New York, United States of America

ACCESSIBILITY RI New York offices are ADA accessible

Responsibilities and Competencies of Secretary General
The responsibilities and competencies of the successful applicant will include

* Implementation of RI policies, strategies and programs as determined by the RI General Assembly and RI EC – and as agreed with, and in close consultation with, the President, Executive Committee and RI Foundation Board

* Effective management and implementation of the RI Strategic Plan – with balanced commitment to RI Global activities and development of the RI Foundation

* Demonstrate professionalism, judgement, technical awareness and leadership

* Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to operate effectively across organisational boundaries – with ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds

* Solicit input by genuinely valuing other peoples ideas and expertise – and willing to learn from others

* Ability to operate in a changing environment with innovation and professionalism

* Take the lead with respect to the preparation and implementation of the work program, ensuring that resources are utilised effectively and prudently to implement activities in accordance with the RI Mission, budget and available human and financial resources

* Monitor and review the work program and budget by conducting regular analysis to assess progress of actual work versus the program

* Define requirements and work with system units with respect to improving budget reporting systems and cost effective utilisation of program resources

* Supervise and provide guidance on financial administration and management information issues and practices to Board members, in conjunction with the Finance Committee

* Support, manage, travel and organise RI events as required

* Supervise staff at RI New York and other locations as required

* Provide guidance and leadership to RI staff

* Promote RI membership growth in conjunction with the Membership Committee

* Oversee work related to billing and receipt of income from various services, monitoring and evaluation of individual contractors for services

* Represent RI at international, regional and national meetings related to disability rights and related issues – including IDA, the International Disability Alliance

* Collaborate with relevant organisations including United Nations, World Bank, DPOs, foundations, the private sector, NGOs and civil society at large

* Participate in inter-agency consultations, meetings, and conferences related to disability rights and services issues

* Organise and participate in expert group meetings, workshops and seminars on disability rights and services as required

* Provide advisory services to and collaborate with UN agencies, governments, DPOs, NGOs, regional groups, private sector groups and other stakeholders on disability rights, services and related issues

Qualifications

Education – A minimum of first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience.

Work Experience – A minimum of 5 years progressively responsible experience in change management, human resources and financial / budget operations, with relevant professional experience in international, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The RI Secretary General role calls for very good administrative, diplomacy and management skills. First hand disability related experience is preferred.

Languages – Fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency and / or working knowledge of other languages is desirable.

Other Skills – Ability to use relevant computer technology and software.

Remuneration
A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered – subject to professional experience, family situation and other criteria as may be applicable. Immigration procedures can be negotiated as required.

Selection Process
Applicants will be short listed on the basis of academic credentials, experience, availability and other relevant factors. Additional information may be requested from candidates.

Short listed applicants will be invited to come to New York or elsewhere as appropriate, for an interview with representatives of the RI Selection Committee. Candidates will be interviewed on various criteria including related knowledge, skills, abilities, personality and availability.

The intention is for the new RI Secretary General to be appointed by June 2008.

How To Apply
Interested persons from any nationality worldwide are invited to apply for this important position. This invitation to apply for the role of RI Secretary General is open to everyone.

Detailed responses including Resumes / CVs, and a minimum of two written references, are to be submitted by Friday 28 March 2008. Submissions can be sent by email, post of fax to

Marca Bristo, RI North America Vice President

c/o Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 USA

Email mbristo@aol.com or
Fax 1 312 640 2140

All applications will be confidential to the Selection Committee and RI Executive Committee, until the successful candidate is announced.

We look forward to your application

Regards

Michael Fox AM
RI President
Sydney Australia



We Can Do retrieved this announcement from the email discussion list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Individuals may join their mailing list for free. Please note that interested parties should contact Rehabilitation International directly, not We Can Do.



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RESOURCE: Training Manual on HIV/AIDS Awareness and Disability Rights

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Young people with disabilities in Africa can now use a free training manual to learn how to become leaders in preventing HIV/AIDS in their country.

The manual, entitled “HIV/AIDS Awareness and Disability Rights Training Manual” (Word format, 800 Kb), is targeted at: people in the disability community; government officials involved in disability and HIV; community leaders; and people working for HIV organizations. The manual is written in simple language to meet the needs of people who have little or no basic literacy skills.

The first chapter clarifies the definition of disability; explains some of the barriers people with disabilities experience in gaining access to information that could save their life; and offers guidance on meeting the communication needs of disabled people.

The second chapter explains what “HIV” and “AIDS” are and clarifies some common, incorrect beliefs about HIV/AIDS. It explains the common ways in which HIV/AIDS is transmitted (how people are infected) and why disabled people are at high risk for getting or spreading HIV. The chapter also provides information about the importance of being tested for HIV/AIDS; suggests how to deal with being HIV-positive; and how to prevent HIV/AIDS.

The third chapter discusses the stigma and discrimination that people with disabilities experience and the causes and effects of stigma. It suggests possible strategies and solutions for addressing stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities living with HIV/AIDS.

The fourth chapter provides an overview of important international disability rights laws, including the new international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It advises new leaders on how they can take steps to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities living with HIV/AIDS.

The fifth chapter discusses how emerging leaders can continue to strengthen their leadership skills and learn the principles of good governance.

The manual, “HIV/AIDS Awareness and Disability Rights Training Manual” (Word format, 800 Kb), was prepared by Rehabilitation International (RI), Disabled Organization for Legal Affairs and Social Economic Development (DOLASED), and Miracles in Mozambique, with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

It is available in two versions: one version is targeted at trainers whoplan to use the manual for leading activities to train others. The other version is targeted at people who plan to participate in training activities.

The manual for training participants can be downloaded at:

http://riglobal.org/advocacy/projects/RI_HIV-AIDS_PARTICIPANTS-MANUAL_10Dec07_FINAL.doc (Word, 700 Kb)

The manual targeted at trainers can be downloaded at:

http://riglobal.org/advocacy/projects/RI_HIV-AIDS_TRAINING-MANUAL_10Dec07_FINAL.doc (Word, 800 Kb)



We Can Do learned about these manuals by browsing the Rehabilitation International 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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CONFERENCE: Implementing the Disability Rights Convention in Latin America

Posted on 31 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Texto español más abajo]

RI, in collaboration with RI members in Mexico, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, and the National System for the Integral Development of the Family

April 15-16, 2008
Mexico City, Mexico

Implementing the UN Disability Rights Convention in Latin America: Partnerships, Strategies and Action

For more information, contact:
Andrés Balcázar at: abalcazar@abc-discapacidad.com

VISIT: WWW.RIGLOBAL.ORG
EMAIL: RI@RIGLOBAL.ORG

About the Conference

This Latin American Regional Conference, co-organized by Rehabilitation International (RI), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS) and the National System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), aims to promote comprehensive and effective implementation of the Convention by strengthening dialogue and partnerships among the disability community, policymakers, lawyers and judges and by providing a forum for exchanging good practices and networking. The majority of the conference will be devoted to 90-minute discussions with small panels, to allow for the most interaction among more than 150 expected participants.

This Conference is part of RI’s Global Advocacy Campaign, which focuses on raising awareness and building capacity to promote the Convention, and also fits in the activities being prepared by the Mexican Government to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In an innovative approach to mainstreaming disability rights, RI is partnering with the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and local law firms in the region to conduct an analysis of existing national laws in Mexico, Ecuador and Costa Rica vis-à-vis the UN Convention and develop recommendations for legal reform in each country. The research is being carried out in collaboration with disability experts and relevant actors in these countries and will be presented at the Conference as a resource for NGOs, government officials, parliamentarians and legal professionals in Latin America.

In addition to the legal issues related to implementation, the participants will discuss the implementation gap in order to ensure that the UN Convention is translated into good policies and programs reaching all persons with disabilities; strategies for inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision-making bodies; and concrete measures for addressing the disability-poverty cycle.

Simultaneous translation into Spanish and English will be provided. In addition, written materials will be available in accessible formats.

A limited number of scholarships are available to support travel expenses for participants at the Conference. For more information, please contact Andrés Balcázar at: abalcazar@abc-discapacidad.com, Shantha Rau at: shantha@riglobal.org, or Lauren Goldy at: lauren@riglobal.org.

Venue: Conference Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Plaza Juárez 20, Colonia Centro, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F.

This conference was made possible because of generous support from Irish Aid, Open Society Institute and an anonymous donor.



RI (Rehabilitación Internacional)

En Colaboración con los Miembros de RI en México, la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, el Consejo Nacional para las Personas con Discapacidad, y el Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia

Abril 15-16, 2008
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, MEXICO

Implementando la Convención de la ONU sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad en Latinoamérica: Asociaciones, Estrategias y Acción

PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN CONTACTE A ANDRÉS BALCÁZAR EN: ABALCAZAR@ABC-DISCAPACIDAD.COM

VISITE: WWW.RIGLOBAL.ORG
EMAIL: RI@RIGLOBAL.ORG
Sobre la Conferencia

La conferencia regional latinoamericana, coorganizada por Rehabilitación Internacional (RI) y sus miembros en México, la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), el Consejo Nacional para las Personas con Discapacidad (CONADIS) y el Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), busca promover una implementación integral y eficaz de la Convención de la ONU, sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, fortaleciendo el diálogo y asociaciones entre la comunidad con discapacidad, funcionarios encargados de la elaboración de políticas públicas, abogados y jueces; proporcionando también un foro para el intercambio de buenas prácticas y el establecimiento de redes de cooperación. La mayor parte de la conferencia estará conformada por sesiones de 90 minutos con paneles pequeños, para permitir la mayor interacción entre los más de 150 participantes esperados.

Esta conferencia es parte de la Campaña de Activismo Mundial de RI, la cual se enfoca en concienciar y generar capacidad para promover la Convención y también se enmarca dentro de las actividades que el Gobierno de México ha preparado para conmemorar el 60° aniversario de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos.

Como una forma innovadora de abordar los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, Rehabilitación Internacional se ha asociado con la firma legal internacional Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP y firmas legales locales en la región, para realizar un análisis de las leyes existentes en México, Ecuador y Costa Rica y su relación con la Convención, elaborando recomendaciones para reformas legales en cada país.

El análisis se está desarrollando en colaboración con expertos en discapacidad y otros actores relevantes y será presentado en la Conferencia como un recurso para ONGs, funcionarios gubernamentales, parlamentarios y profesionales legales en Latinoamérica. Además de los temas legales relacionados con la implementación, los participantes discutirán el intervalo de dicha implementación, para asegurar que la Convención de la ONU se traduzca en buenas políticas y programas que lleguen a todas las personas con discapacidad, en estrategias para su inclusión en los cuerpos de toma de decisiones y en medidas concretas para abordar el ciclo de discapacidad-pobreza.

Se proporcionará interpretación simultánea Inglés - Español. También habrá material impreso en formatos accesibles.

Existe un número limitado de becas disponibles para apoyar los gastos de viajes de los participantes a la Conferencia. Para más información contacte por favor a Andrés Balcázar en abalcazar@abc-discapacidad.com, a Shantha Rau en: shantha@riglobal.org, o Lauren Goldy en: lauren@riglobal.org.

Sede: Salones de Conferencias de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), Plaza Juárez 20, Colonia Centro, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F.

Esta conferencia ha sido posible gracias al generoso apoyo de Irish Aid, Open Society Institute y un donante anónimo.



We Can Do learned about this conference through the AdHoc International Disability Caucus mailing list, which can be joined for free.

This post is also cross-posted at the RatifyNow website, which has information, toolkits, and resources related to ratifying and implementing the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (www.RatifyNow.org).



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NEWS: El Salvador, Mexico Ratify Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 21 December 2007. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release from Rehabilitation International (RI)
Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua Ratify the UN Disability Rights Convention
RI Calls on Governments to Recognize the Human Rights of All by Ratifying the CRPD

(United Nations, New York, USA, 17 December 2007): RI congratulates the Governments of Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), bringing the number to 14 States Parties. Mexico also ratified the Optional Protocol. RI calls on all governments which have not yet ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol to do so as a matter of priority and without reservations and declarations. Furthermore, RI urges all States Parties to begin the process of implementation by developing laws, programs and policies to ensure that ALL persons with disabilities, regardless of the type of disability, enjoy all of the rights in the Convention.

Libre Acceso President Federico Fleischmann said, “We recognize the great efforts of the Government of Mexico for being a leader in promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities, as embodied in the Convention. RI and its member in Mexico, Libre Acceso, are committed to working within its broad network to ensure that Mexican laws are strengthened to comply with the high standards set by the Convention.”

As part of its Global Advocacy Campaign, RI partnered with Libre Acceso, representatives of the Mexican government, the Mexican law firm Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, S.C., the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and local disability experts to develop recommendations on how Mexico’s National Disability Law can comply with the Convention. These recommendations, presented to the Mexican Government on October 18, 2007, were formally adopted by Partido Accion Nacional (PAN), the political party of the Mexican President, as the official proposed amendments to this national law. The Senate and Chamber of Deputies will now discuss the amendments, which may be adopted as early as next year. This RI project has been made possible because of the generous support of an anonymous donor and Irish Aid.

“We are very happy today to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Setting up the legal framework is only the first step. The real challenge is to build a culture where the human rights of every person are fully respected,” said Senator Guillermo Tamborrel, President of the Commission on Vulnerable

Groups and a member of PAN. Senator Tamborrel, together with Senator Maria los Angeles Moreno Uriegas of Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI), were present when Mexico deposited its ratification instrument today.

The CRPD, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, represents an essential legal instrument prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, and includes specific provisions related to rehabilitation, habilitation, education, employment, health and access to information, public facilities and services, among others. The Optional Protocol concerns how individuals or groups can seek redress for violations of the CRPD once national remedies are exhausted. The Convention will become international law after 20 ratifications.

For more information, also consult the recent We Can Do post entitled “12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty. Background information on the CRPD, a list of signatories, and a visual map of ratifying countries, can also be found at the United Nations Enable web site. Resources and ideas for how to become involved with the global campaign to ratify the treaty can be found at the RatifyNow organization web site.

# # #

For more information on the UN Convention and contact details of experts within the RI membership, please contact Tomas Lagerwall (sg@riglobal.org), RI Secretary General, or Shantha Rau (shantha@riglobal.org), Senior Program Officer, at +1-212-420-1500.

About RI
Founded in 1922, RI is a global and diverse organization bringing together expertise from different sectors in the disability field, to advance and implement the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of over 700 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

RI works closely with other disability organizations, actively participating in the International Disability Alliance (IDA) – a network of eight global, democratic organizations of persons with disabilities – and was an active member of the International Disability Caucus (IDC) – a coalition of disability organizations and NGOs that participated in the negotiations toward the Convention. RI also maintains official relations with the United Nations and its agencies and institutions as well as with other international organizations, NGOs and universities.

For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website: http://www.riglobal.org



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CONFERENCE: 21st World Congress of Rehabilitation International

Posted on 6 October 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Rehabilitation International (RI) will be holding its 21st World Congress next year, August 25 to 28, 2008, in Quebec City, Canada.  More details are available in English, French, or Spanish at the conference web site.  Conference organizers are accepting submissions of abstracts through October 31, 2007.

The following text is taken from RI’s conference web site:

Disability Rights and Social Participation: Ensuring a Society for All

The international community is facing a unique opportunity to drastically improve the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people with disabilities by implementing the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty provides the framework for the development of good policies, actions and projects which can have a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities all over the world. People with disability, their family and friends, human rights advocates, experts, government representatives, service providers and civil society leaders from all over the world will gather in Quebec City, Canada from August 25-28, 2008, for the 21st RI World Congress to discuss key disability issues and build partnerships. The event will take place at the Quebec City Convention Center.

The theme of the Congress “Disability Rights and Social Participation: Ensuring a Society for All” is in accordance with RI priorities as well as Canadian and Québec social policy objectives in the field of disability.

The reality of disability is not only the problem of a social minority since disability affects almost every person in society at some point in their lives.

Goals

The aim of the RI World Congress is to share concrete good practices at the local, regional, national and international levels. Such achievements are founded on partnerships that encompass specific responsibilities assumed by public authorities and society in making significant progress in disability-related areas.

The purpose of the RI World Congress is also to act as a catalyst for concretely implementing human rights for people with disabilities by creating a society that is accessible for all.
http://www.riquebec2008.org/



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Gabon and India Ratify, Cambodia Signs UN CRPD

Posted on 2 October 2007. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This press release was put out yesterday by Rehabilitation International (RI); We Can Do has made some modifications to RI’s text.

Gabon and India Ratify, Cambodia Signs the UN Disability Rights Convention:

Rehabilitation International (RI) Urges Governments to Continue Momentum Toward first 20 Ratifications

(New York , United States , October 1, 2007): RI applauds the Governments of Gabon and India for ratifying, and Cambodia for signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as part of the UN Treaty Event that began last week. In addition, Cambodia also signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

“The ratifications by Gabon and India further build momentum toward the 20 ratifications required for the treaty to become international law. It is estimated that in India alone there are over 100 million people with disabilities — the fact that India has ratified has an enormous impact on the world’s disability community,” said RI President Michael Fox.

After receiving this press release, We Can Do received word that Japan was to have signed the CRPD; however, I have not yet seen a press release (in a language I can read) or any other official confirmation. I will make an announcement here when I know more.

As part of its Global Advocacy Campaign, RI continues to urge all countries to ratify the CRPD and its Optional Protocol as soon as possible and without reservations, understandings or declarations.

“I am very pleased that there has been so much interest in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol during the UN Treaty Event. Several countries have come forward to sign the treaty, and I am especially pleased that two States — Gabon and India — deposited their instruments of ratification today. I very much look forward to the rapid entry into force of both the Convention and its Optional Protocol,” said Mr. Nicolas Michel, UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs.

Shantha Rau, RI Senior Program Officer, said, “RI recognizes the hard work of NGOs at the national level, who continue to work tirelessly to promote the equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities. In fact, RI is set to launch a new initiative to implement the Convention in India , together with Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre. This project seeks to empower women with disabilities in eastern India through training in disability rights and assistance with micro-credit enterprises.”

The CRPD was open for signature on March 30, 2007 and to date, 117 countries have signed the Convention, 66 have signed the Optional Protocol, seven states have ratified the treaty and three states has ratified the Protocol. CRPD signatories form the majority of the 192 United Nations member countries. The CRPD is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century and prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, and includes specific provisions related to rehabilitation, habilitation, education, employment, health and access to information, public facilities and services. The Optional Protocol concerns how individuals or groups can seek redress for violations of the CRPD once national remedies are exhausted.

You can read the original text of the convention in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, or Chinese at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/convtexte.htm. A “plain language” version of the convention is availabe at We Can Do at http://tinyurl.com/36ofsl. The plain language version rewrites the official version of the convention into easier English for use with people who have difficulty understanding legal language, or for people who wish to use it as a resource in translating the convention to other languages. You can find out if your country is among the signatories at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/convbycountry.htm.

If you wish to become involved in encouraging your country to sign, ratify, and implement the CRPD then you may find it helpful to consult the ratification and implementation toolkits developed by DPI) at http://www.icrpd.net. Both toolkits are available in English, Spanish, and French and can either be read on-line or downloaded in Word document format. The ratification toolkit explains why it is important for countries to not only sign but also fully ratify the CRPD. It guides advocates through the process of persuading their governments to both sign and ratify the CRPD. After your country has ratified the CRPD, the implementation toolkit guides advocates through the process of helping your governments put the CRPD into real-life practice.

About RI

Founded in 1922, RI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities, government agencies, service providers, researchers and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of over 700 members and affiliated organizations in 96 nations, in all regions of the world.

RI works closely with other disability organizations, actively participating in the International Disability Alliance (IDA) – a network of eight global, democratic organizations of persons with disabilities – and the International Disability Caucus (IDC) – a coalition of disability organizations and NGOs that participated in the negotiations toward the Convention. RI also maintains official relations with the United Nations and its agencies and institutions as well as with other international organizations, NGOs and universities.



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Finding Local Disability Organizations

Posted on 28 July 2007. Filed under: Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Many mainstream development organizations would like to include more disabled people in their programs. They may agree, wholeheartedly, with disability advocates who say that entrepreneurs with disabilities, too, deserve access to microfinance services. Or that young disabled adults deserve access to information they can use to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. Or that disabled children have the right to go to school.

Unfortunately, this inclusion does not happen nearly as often as it should. There are a great many different reasons why–too many for me to address them all in one blog post. But one common reason that program directors give is simply this: “We want to include disabled people, but we don’t know how to find them.”

This challenge may be easier to tackle than you think. You can often find disability-oriented organizations even in some of the poorest countries. In many cases, these may even include organizations run by people with disabilities themselves. These can be invaluable resources for mainstream development organizations that wish to be more inclusive. First, they can help you answer the question, “How do we find them?” by helping you with recruitment efforts. Second, they can help advise you on how to make your project activities more accessible to participants with disabilities.

I will probably post some links to a great many smaller, or more specialized, or more local disability-oriented organizations in the months to come. But for now, here are a few international, cross-disability organizations that have many contacts with local disability communities in developing countries around the world:

http://www.miusa.org
Mobility International USA: This is the organization I frequently turn to when I am looking for contacts with disabled people in developing countries. They have extensive listings of local resources helpful to disabled people in developing countries and to organizations seeking to help them. They also can offer consultation and training to international development organizations that are striving to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in their programs.

In particular, see their International Development page. Also consult their extensive database of international, national, and local disability-oriented and disability run organizations at http://www.miusa.org/orgsearch.

MIUSA is also a good place to start in finding general advice and checklists on how to make your organization more inclusive of people with disabilities. Some of the people who work at MIUSA are fluent in Spanish.

http://www.dpi.org
Disabled People International: DPI’s web site is available in English, French, or Spanish. DPI is a network of national organizations or assemblies of disabled people committed to human rights and the social and economic integration of disabled people. In the left-hand navigation bar, check links to “locations” including headquarters, regional offices, and national assemblies. Many of these organizations, in turn, may be able to help you in finding more local or specialized organizations.

http://www.handicap-international.org
Handicap International: Handicap International, which has headquarters in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA, has programs in more than 60 countries around the world. It works with people with disabilities to support them in their efforts to become more self-reliant.

http://www.riglobal.org
Rehabilitation International: This global organization brings together people with disabilities, NGOs (non-government organizations), government agencies, service providers, and advocates to advance the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities around the world. Their membership directory is available in Word Document format at http://riglobal.org/membership/documents/RI_Directory2007_Feb07_003.doc (the 2007 version is 576 KB. It took only a few seconds for me to download it with my high-speed connection. But if you have a slow modem, it will take longer. Estimate about 5 minutes on a 28k modem.)



NOTE: This entry has been revised since it was first posted. On November 16, 2007, I edited the MIUSA listing to add a direct link to their database of DPOs. On Dec 17 ’07, I updated Rehabilitation International’s web site address. On June 19 ’08, I updated the link to MIUSA’s international development page.



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