REPORT: Disability in 28 Asian-Pacific Countries

Posted on 28 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Policy & Legislation, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) was meant to promote a rights-based approach toward disability in the Asian-Pacific Region, in place of the older welfare-based approach. The “Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF)” was meant to provide countries in the Asian region with a set of principles to help them make the shift. How well has it succeeded?

In 2004, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a part of the United Nations system, conducted a survey to find out. The result is an 87-page publication entitled “Disability At a Glance: Profile of 28 Countries in Asia and the Pacific” (PDF format, 780 Kb), released in 2006. It is meant to provide disability-related data and policy information so that readers can compare definitions of disability; statistics; the implementation of the Biwako framework; and government commitments to disability issues across the Asian-Pacific region. The countries and regions covered in the publication include: China; Hong Kong; Japan; Mongolia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia; Indonesia; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Timor Leste; Vietnam; Afghanistan; Bangaldesh; Bhutan; India; Maldives; Nepal; Pakistan; Kazakhstan; Pacific Australia; Cook Islands; Fiji; Kiribati; and Solomon Islands.

Each country is represented with a one- or two-page table filled in with relevant statistics and one-paragraph summaries of disability-related legislation and policies in the country. This publication is not the place to seek out in-depth information about the complexities and nuances of daily life for people with disabilities in the Asian-Pacific region. But then, it is not meant to be. It’s strength is that it allows quick and easy comparison of certain specific types of information across many countries within the region. Or, people who wish to gain a broad sense of disability demographics, policies, and inclusion in the Asian-Pacific region as a whole will wish to read the section sub-headed “Key Findings,” starting near the bottom of page 9.

Download the full report (PDF format, 780 Kb) at http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/publications/glance/disability%20at%20a%20glance.pdf.

People interested in reading reports about disability in the Asian-Pacific region will also want to browse the Social Policy Papers on disability listed on the ESCAP web page at http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/publications/index.asp. Two examples of additional reports and publications include Focus on Ability, Celebrate Diversity: Highlights of the Asian and Pacific Decade published in 2003, following the 1993 to 2002 decade; and Hidden Sisters: Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Asian-Pacific Region, 1995.

People also may wish to read the original Biwako framework on-line, or read the 2007 “Biwako Plus Five” update on progress since the Biwako framework was written.



I learned about this publication through the AsiaPacificDisability listserver, which people can subscribe to for free.

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JOB POST: Consultant, Vocational Education and Training for Vulnerable Groups in Eastern Europe, Bulgarian Roma

Posted on 4 December 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Employment, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Subject: [Bulgarian Roma] Job: Consultant, Vocational Education and Training for Vulnerable Groups in Eastern Europe

A Washington D.C based government contractor is looking for a consultant to compose a report for USAID regarding vocational education and training in Eastern Europe for vulnerable groups, specifically people with disabilities.

The report, work on which would start in immediately, will include two major sections, one addressing training for people with disabilities and the second, training for institutionalized adolescents who will graduate from institutions. Both of these sections of the report should contain a review of best practices and lessons learned from vocational and job skills training programs for persons in the group. As much as possible, this review should rely on information from programs that have been evaluated and on information from programs that have been implemented in the E&E region (although these do not need to have been implemented by USAID). The report should also include a very concrete guide and set of recommendations for Missions who wish to program in this area. These recommendations should include practical, “how-to” advice including a discussion of the conditions that are necessary for these types of programs to be successful, descriptions of types of programs that seem to work best, links and other references to strong model programs so that readers can easily access more information, etc.

Previous experience with writing reports for USAID while certainly and advantage, is not necessarily a must, as long as the candidate has a proven record of producing reports for other governmental agencies, international organizations, and NGOs. The key qualities would be expertise in vocational education and training for people with disabilities in Eastern Europe, the ability to gather and analyze cross-county data from the region, and good writing skills.

Please email rtsanov@jbsinternational.com



This notice was recently circulated, among other places, on the Intl-Dev mailing list, which people may subscribe to for free.

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4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress Report Available Online

Posted on 14 May 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Reports, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In low-income countries, the overwhelming majority people who need wheelchairs don’t have one. This has a profound impact on their ability to lead independent lives–or even leave their own homes. Participants in a recent conference in Africa exchanged ideas and knowledge on how to address this challenge.

The 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress Report (PDF format, 446 Kb) can now be downloaded for free on-line. The report summarizes a series of remarks, panel discussions, and other conference sessions on how to promote appropriate wheelchair services across the African continent. The report also presents a list of resolutions made on the last day of the Congress. The 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress was held in September 2007 in Tanzania.

The Pan Africa Wheelchair Builders Association (PAWBA) and the Tanzanian Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) facilitated the congress. Co-funders included the World Health Organisation, ABILIS, Motivation Africa, Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM), and SINTEF. The 116 participating members came from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, UK, Norway and USA.

The previous three All Africa Wheelchair Congresses were held in Zambia (2003); Kenya (1998); and Zimbabwe (1995). Each congress was a landmark in developing appropriate and affordable wheelchair products and services in Africa in allowing participants to exchange knowledge across the continent. PAWBA was formed at the 2003 Congress.

You can download the full, 47-page 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress report in PDF format (446 Kb) at:

http://www.independentliving.org/docs7/pawba-tatcot200709.pdf



We Can Do learned about this report by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development. I gathered further detail by skimming the report itself.

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REPORT: Violence Against Disabled Children

Posted on 8 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Reports, Resources, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UNICEF has released a summary report entitled, “Violence Against Disabled Children” (PDF format 245 Kb), with the subtitle “UN Secretary Generals Report on Violence against Children, Thematic Group on Violence against Disabled Children, Findings and Recommendations.”

The first half of this report, released in July 2005, summarizes what is known about violence toward children with disabilities at home, in schools, in institutions, in the criminal justice system, within the broader community, and at work (in child labor situations). Children with disabilities are known to be at higher risk for abuse, partly because they may be perceived as “easy victims.” Also, abuse toward disabled children is less likely to be investigated or persecuted, which means abusers know it is easier to escape consequences even if the abuse is discovered.

Many children, with or without disabilities, may face adults who fail to listen or to believe them when they try to report abuse. But children with disabilities face additional barriers. As one example, some adults may mistakenly assume that a child with intellectual disabilities or psycho-social disabilities must surely be “confused,” or unable to tell right from wrong, or unable to make their own decisions about what is done to their bodies.

Disabled children may also be targeted for child murder, either because parents perceive them as bringing shame to the family or because adults may be convinced they will be “better off” dead than disabled. In countries where many men share the belief that sex with a virgin will “cleanse” them of HIV/AIDS, girls, boys, and adults with disabilities may be targeted for rape on the assumption that they do not have sex. Children with disabilities also may be forcibly sterilized, sometimes as early as the age of 8 or 9.

The report makes a series of 13 recommendations for families, communities, policy makers, governments, advocates, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Civil Society Organizations, United Nations agencies, and other stakeholders with an interest in preventing violence toward disabled children. These recommendations include, as a few examples: increasing public awareness; reforming legislation so that the laws can better protect children with disabilities; advocating change to improve inclusion of disabled people throughout society; improving reporting mechanisms so that people who become aware of abuse have a way to report it; closing down institutions and integrating disabled children into the community; but also improving government oversight of institutions for as long as they continue to exist.

The 33-page report can be downloaded in PDF format (245 Kb) at:

http://www.unicef.org/videoaudio/PDFs/UNICEF_Violence_Against_Disabled_Children_Report_Distributed_Version.pdf

People interested in the topic of violence against children may also wish to read an article on violence and disabled children in the 2003 issue of the joint Rehabilitation International and UNICEF newsletter, One in Ten:

http://riglobal.org/publications2/10_24.htm

Also of possible interest:

A recent report, Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities could give ideas to advocates and families for how they can use international human rights laws to protect the rights of children with disabilities.

Learn about a report on human rights abuses of disabled children and adults in Serbia, including the use of violence.

Read a paper on Violence Against Blind and Visually Impaired Girls in Malawi

Those interested in abuse and human rights violations in institutional settings may also wish to read the following first-hand accounts written by the same author, Amanda Baggs. These are well worth reading. Some talk about the more obvious kinds of violence that most people are used to thinking of as “abuse.” Some talk about forms of psychological manipulation that are so subtle that outside observers might miss them. But Amanda Baggs makes powerful arguments for why “outposts in our head,” or the uses of power nevertheless can be at least as important for anyone who cares about the well-being of children (and adults) with disabilities. Click on any title below to see Amanda Bagg’s post:

Why It’s So Hard to Write Directly About My Life
Outposts in Our Heads: The Intangible Horrors of Institutions that Must Not Be Forgotten
The Meaning of Power
Extreme Measures, and Then Some




We Can Do learned about the UNICEF report on violence against disabled children from the AskSource.info database. Asksource.info provides a library of information, resources, and toolkits related to people with disabilities and to health issues, particularly in developing countries.




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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. Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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ILO Report Says, Disabled People Deserve Jobs

Posted on 5 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Employment, News, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ILO report calls for new efforts to support people with disabilities in the world of work

Type Press release
Date issued 03 December 2007
Reference ILO/07/61
Unit responsible Communication and Public Information
Subjects disability benefits, employment accident benefits, disabilities, disabled workers

GENEVA (ILO News) – Despite significant progress in recent years in improving their livelihoods, new efforts are needed to break down barriers that still prevent millions of people with disabilities from working and contributing to the economic growth of their societies, according to a new ILO report released for the International Day of Disabled Persons on 3 December.

What’s more, the new report, entitled “The right to decent work of persons with disabilities”, says such significant and sustained efforts are vital, not only to promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in employment, rural development and poverty reduction programmes, but also in moving toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for halving poverty by the year 2015.

The ILO estimates that some 650 million people – or one out of every 10 people in the world – has a disability, and that of these, approximately 470 million are of working age. While many are successfully employed and fully integrated into society, people with disabilities as a group often face disproportionate levels of poverty and unemployment.

The good news, according to the report, is that “countries around the world are increasingly recognizing that disabled people represent enormous potential, frequently untapped; that they have a valuable contribution to make to the national economy; that their employment reduces the cost of disability benefits and may reduce poverty; and that concerted action is needed to dismantle the barriers which prevent many disabled people from taking part in the economy and society” (Preface, p. vii).

However, too many barriers remain that stop disabled people from realizing their full potential “There is a strong link between disability and poverty”, the new ILO report says, adding that an estimated 80 per cent of all people with disabilities in the world live in developing countries. Of these, it says some 426 million live below the poverty line and often represent the 15-to-20 per cent most vulnerable and marginalized poor in such countries (Note 1).

“Decent work is the ILO’s primary goal for everyone, including people with disabilities”, says ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “When we promote the rights and dignity of people with disabilities, we are empowering individuals, enriching societies and strengthening economies. We must intensify our efforts to step up the pace of change.”

Citing World Bank studies estimating that social exclusion from the workplace costs the global economy between US$ 1.37 to US$ 1.94 trillion in estimated annual loss in GDP (Note 2), the ILO Skills and Employability Department added that “providing decent work for people with disabilities thus makes social as well as economic sense”.

The new ILO report highlights many challenges faced by people with disabilities in the world of work, including: concentration in low-level, low-paid jobs; lack of adequate representation at higher levels; problems of access to workplace areas, transportation and housing; the risk of losing benefits on starting work; and prejudices among co-workers, employers and the general public. It also says people with disabilities in the world of work tend to experience higher unemployment and have lower earnings than persons without disabilities, or are often underemployed.

“This is not to suggest that there has been no improvement”, the ILO report says. “The significant growth in domestic anti-discrimination legislation in recent years is encouraging, even though adoption of a law does not guarantee its enforcement. The persistent efforts of international agencies and in particular the ILO, in promoting equal opportunity and treatment in employment continue to make important inroads into the economic and social exclusion of persons with disabilities.”

The ILO said the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) adopted in December of last year will reinforce national and international efforts and provide a renewed impetus in eliminating discrimination on the basis of disability and in positively promoting inclusion. The principles of the new UN Convention are in line with relevant ILO standards, including Convention No. 159 on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons).

Convention No. 159 has been ratified by 80 countries. It requires that representative organizations of employers and workers, as well as those of disabled persons, be consulted on the implementation of national policy on vocational rehabilitation and employment for disabled people. This theme of consultation with key stakeholders is also emphasized in the new Convention.

Besides anti-discrimination measures by governments, employers and trade unions play an important role in managing disability in the workplace, the report says.

This year’s International Day marks a new effort by the ILO to promote the principle of decent work among people with disabilities. The ILO said it hopes the event would help foster greater understanding of issues affecting people with disabilities in the world of work and help mobilize new support for their rights at work.

The new ILO report can be downloaded for free in PDF format in English (follow the link and scroll down the screen until you see the title, “The right to decent work of persons with disabilities“; 393 Kb). The report will eventually be made available in French (Le droit des personnes handicapees au travail decent), Spanish (El derecho al trabajo decente de las personas con discapacidades), Amharic, Arabic, Bahasa, German, Hindi, Japanese, Kiswahili, Mandarin, Mongolian, Portugese, Russian, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Note 1 – The right to decent work of persons with disabilities, by Arthur O’Reilly. International Labour Office, Geneva, 2007. ISBN 9778-92-2-120144-1. To order a copy, please visit: http://www.ilo.org/publns.

Note 2 – Robert L. Metts (2000) Disability Issues, Trends and Recommendations for the World Bank, World Bank Washington..



Most of the text for this blog post is taken from an ILO press release. We Can Do has modified it slightly to add a quote from the report and to link to where you can download the report (when you reach the ILO page, scroll down a little to find the report). I first learned of this report via the “UN News by Email” distribution list.



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Report: 1st Africa Deaf HIV/AIDS Workshop

Posted on 20 October 2007. Filed under: Case Studies, Deaf, HIV/AIDS, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No continent has been struck by HIV/AIDS more than sub-Saharan Africa: nearly two-thirds of all people living with HIV are in Africa, and so were three-quarters of those who died from AIDS in 2006 (see UNAIDS report). We also know that people with disabilities are at higher risk for becoming infected with HIV (see Nora Groce’s study). And Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing people are no exception.

Two years ago, people who shared a concern about HIV and AIDS within the Deaf communities of Africa gathered at a workshop to exchange their knowledge and raise awareness within the Deaf community and among government officials about the need to address HIV/AIDS. The report resulting from this workshop is now available in PDF format on-line.

REPORT ON THE CONTINENTAL-WIDE HIV/AIDS SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR DEAF POPULATION IN AFRICA.
VENUE: PEACOCK HOTEL DAR ES SALAAM
DATES: 24 TH – 30TH AUGUST 2005
THEME: OUR FUTURE-OUR RIGHTS TO HIV/AIDS INFORMATION, CARE AND SUPPORT ______________________________________________________________________________ The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
• To provide HIV/AIDS awareness and life skills training to the representatives from the Deaf community in Africa.
• To sensitise the Deaf on their rights to HIV/AIDS information and to care and support when infected by HIV/AIDS.
• To provide a forum for the Deaf to exchange inter-country experience on HIV/AIDS among the Deaf population in Africa.
• To educate and raise awareness among the government officials, UN agencies and participants from institutions working on HIV/AIDS, on the specific problems face by Deaf people in accessing HIV/AIDS information, care and support.

The report summarizes the opening remarks which touched upon the challenges facing Deaf Africans in fighting HIV/AIDs and ideas for moving forward. It also summarizes some of the key presentations including:

“LINGUSITC AND ATTITUDINAL OBSTACLES FACED BY THE DEAF PEOPLE IN ACCESSING HIV/AIDS INFORMATION IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES: THE CASE OF TANZANIA.” By Dr. Mary Mboya, Lecturer Department of Education Psychology-University of Dar es Salaam.

“THE ROLES OF RSESA IN ADVOCATING THE LINGUISTIC RIGHTS OF THE DEAF PEOPLE IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA AND INITIATIVE TO ESTABLISH THE AFRICAN DEAF UNION.” By Dominic Majiwa-Regional Director, World Federation of the Deaf, Regional

“BARRIERS FACED BY DEAF WOMEN IN AFRICA THAT CONTRIBUTE TO VULNERABILITY TO HIV/AIDS” By Euphrasia Mbewe – Deaf Women Activist, Zambia.

“UGANDA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF STRUGGLE TO FIGHT HIV/AIDS AMONGST THE DEAF PEOPLE.” By Florence N. Mukasa – Gender and Theatre Coordinator, Uganda National Association of the Deaf.

“SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT HIV/AIDS” By Meena H. A. – UNAIDS Country Office – Dar es salaam.

“THE AFRICAN DECADE AND VISION TO COMBAT HIV/AIDS AMONG THE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN AFRICA” By Thomas Ongolo – The Secretariat of African Decade of Disabled Persons in South Africa.

“LOBBYING AND ADVOCACY STRATEGIES FOR HIV/AIDS AND HEARING DISABILITY INFORMATION, CARE AND SUPPORT.” By Ananilea Nkya – Tanzania Women Media Association (TAMWA)

The report also describes how deaf participants were trained in preventing HIV/AIDS, and in advocating for more inclusion of deaf people in HIV/AIDS work carried out by their governments.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format (143 kilobytes) at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DISABILITY/Resources/News—Events/BBLs/ADUReport.pdf



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