Enable Newsletter June 2011
July 11, 2011
The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from civil society. It is also available online at: http://www.un.org/disabilities.
In this issue:
- Status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
o Fourth Conference of States Parties, 7 to 9 September 2011
- Highlights from the UN system
o Promoting the inclusion of youth with disabilities in development
o Discussing the relationships between disability, education and employment
o Education for all, including children with disabilities
o Advancing the rights and development of children with disabilities
o Sport as a catalyst for inclusion and development
o Changing perceptions about people with intellectual disabilities
o New statistic: 1 billion persons with disability
o Focusing attention on AIDS and disability
o Social investments deserve priority in economic recovery schemes
o HRC – Accelerating efforts to protect women with disabilities
o UNHCR – Protecting persons with disabilities in forced displacement
o UNICEF – Convention distributed in accessible formats to children
- Upcoming events
- Other news
STATUS OF THE CONVENTION (CRPD)
102 ratifications of the Convention
149 signatories to the Convention
Optional Protocol to the Convention
62 ratifications of the Optional Protocol
90 signatories to the Optional Protocol
Cyprus ratified the Convention and its Optional Protocol on 27 June 2011
Belize ratified the Convention on 2 June 2011
Papua New Guinea signed the Convention on 2 June 2011
Fourth Conference of States Parties, 7 to 9 September 2011
The fourth session of the Conference of States Parties will be held at UN Headquarters in New York from 7 to 9 September 2011. The theme of the Conference is “Enabling development, realizing the Convention through participation, employment and international cooperation”. Current documentation and information available related to the Conference are the provisional agenda, the NGO Application form for Accreditation, the Application form for side-events and the online NGO Registration for the Conference. The meetings of the Conference will include a high-level segment and General debate, as well as two Roundtables on "Realizing the CRPD through international cooperation", and "Ensuring effective and full participation in political and public life" an interactive dialogue will also be held on the implementation of the Convention. A day prior to the opening of the Conference, a Civil Society Forum will be organized by the International Disability Alliance with the support of DESA. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1571.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE UN SYSTEM
Promoting the inclusion of youth with disabilities in development
As part of the International Year of Youth, the General Assembly will hold a High-level Meeting on Youth on 25 and 26 July 2011. The theme of the meeting is “Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”. More information: http://social.un.org/youthyear/. During the meeting, a side-event on youth with disabilities will bring together experts on youth development and disability, youth organizations and organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as young people, to engage in an interactive dialogue, with a view to strengthening efforts to ensure the inclusion of youth with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts. The event will be organized by DESA in collaboration with UNICEF, the International Disability Alliance, Leonard Cheshire Disability International and other stakeholders. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities.
Discussing the relationships between disability, education and employment
The first seminar in the DESA Briefing Seminar Series focused on disability and economics and was entitled “The nexus between disability, education and employment”. The seminar was held on 1 July at UN Headquarters and drew attention to the relationships between disability, education and employment. Using findings of a study conducted in Nepal, the panelists highlighted the moral, social imperatives of including persons with disabilities in the labour market. The panelists also demonstrated that it made good economic sense to include persons with disabilities in the labour market and offered options for their further inclusion and participation. Panelists included Michael Morris, Executive Director, Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, Kamal Lamichhane, Yasuyuki Sawada and Akihiko Matsui from the University of Tokyo. The event was co-organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities.
Education for all, including children with disabilities
DESA along with its partners organized a side-event panel discussion on realizing the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education for children with disabilities at the 2011 High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Annual Ministerial Review in Geneva on 5 July. The event entitled "Education for All: inclusion of children and persons with disabilities", discussed the barriers facing children with disabilities in their access to education; highlighted good practices at the national level; and explored ways to foster inclusive education that benefits all children. The panel also discussed options for strengthening mechanisms for collecting data and information on children with disabilities who may be otherwise unaccounted for in national statistics on education and school enrolment. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1576.
Advancing the rights and development of children with disabilities
Children with disabilities are among the most stigmatized and excluded in society, often suffering marginalization within the family, community and at school. This often leads to poor health and education outcomes, a higher risk for violence, abuse and exploitation, further affecting their chances for participating in society. To draw attention to this issue, an interactive panel discussion on the promotion and protection of the rights of children with disabilities was held at UN Headquarters on 17 June. Panelists and experts highlighted the importance of the promotion and protection of the rights and development of children with disabilities. The event was convened by the delegation of the European Union to the UN along with the Permanent Mission of Uruguay, UNICEF and DESA. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1573 and http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_58970.html.
Sport as a catalyst for inclusion and development
DESA in collaboration with Achilles International and other stakeholders organized an interactive panel discussion on 27 June to help draw attention to the role of sport as a platform and catalyst for fostering the inclusion and well-being of persons with disabilities in society and development. The event was held in conjunction with the Hope and Possibilities Race in New York City on 26 June (http://www.achillesinternational.org/news/hope-and-possibility). The panel discussion was opened by Daniela Bas, Director of the UN Division for Social Policy and Development and Matthew Sapolin, Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Speakers included Dr. Eduardo Obregón Mondragón, Technical Secretary of the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sport, Mexico, Joao Qunitaes, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN, Richard Traum, Achilles Foundation International, Joseph Walsh, United States Olympic Committee, Ann Cody, International Paralympic Committee and Eric Dienes, Office of the UN Special Adviser on Sports for Development and Peace. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1563.
Changing perceptions about people with intellectual disabilities
The United Nations Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Mr. Wilfried Lemke, hailed the power of the Special Olympics to transform the public image of persons with intellectual disabilities. He stated that the Special Olympics transformed communities from closed to open ones, from intolerant to accepting ones and by using sport to accomplish this, it had come to represent the good, the power and the true spirit of sport. Mr. Lemke spoke at an event held at the XIII Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Athens from 25 June 25 to 4 July. The Games are held every two years and bring together athletes with intellectual disabilities in what is one of the world’s largest sporting events. More information: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38860&Cr=disabilit&Cr1=
New statistic: 1 billion persons with disability
The landmark World Report on Disability produced jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank was launched at UN Headquarters on 9 June. The launch event included the Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan and other high-level dignitaries and officials, as well as Stephen Hawking, the famed British theoretical physicist, who addressed the event via video. The report stated that over 1 billion people or 15 per cent of the global population experience some form of disability. The report reviews evidence about the global situation of persons with disabilities and offers directions for policy and practice to address exclusion. More information: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38666&Cr=disability&Cr1 or http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/en/index.html.
Focusing attention on AIDS and disability
The AIDS & Disability-Partners Forum was held on 9 June during the High-level Meeting on AIDS at UN Headquarters. This side-event was organized by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in collaboration with DESA, Health Canada, USAID, the US State Department, Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD), ILO, UNICEF and WHO. The Forum drew attention to the work underway to enhance the integration of an inclusive and accessible approach in AIDS programming for persons with disabilities. The outcome document of the Meeting included disability and references to persons with disabilities noting with concern that prevention, treatment, care and support programmes have been inadequately targeted or made accessible to persons with disabilities. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1572.
Social investments deserve priority in economic recovery schemes
The Report of the World Social Situation 2011: “The Global Social Crisis” finds that many Governments did not pay enough attention to the social implications of the recent global financial crisis. The Report launched on 22 June is published by DESA and explores the ongoing adverse social consequences of the 2008-2009 financial and economic crises. More information: http://social.un.org/index/ReportontheWorldSocialSituation/2011/MediaKit.aspx.
HRC – Accelerating efforts to protect women with disabilities
The Human Rights Council (HRC) recently adopted a resolution on “Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women: Ensuring due diligence in protection”. The resolution focuses on a range of issues, particularly relevant to the rights of persons with disabilities. The resolution calls on States to encourage greater international cooperation in research, data collection and analysis including data disaggregated by disability. The Council also requested OHCHR to prepare a thematic study on the issue of violence against women and girls with disabilities. The study will be prepared through a consultative process, including consultation with the Special Rapporteurs on Violence against Women and on Disability, and will be published in May 2012. More information: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/Pages/DisabilityIndex.aspx
UNHCR – Protecting persons with disabilities in forced displacement
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will shortly publish a guidance note entitled “Working with Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement”. Developed in cooperation with Handicap International, the note emphasizes the importance of the participation of persons with disabilities and inclusive programming for all humanitarian operations. The note is part of a series of concise guidance notes that UNHCR is developing for field staff on issues of diversity within forcibly displaced populations. More information: www.unhcr.org
UNICEF – Convention distributed in accessible formats to children
On 13 June, six children in the town of Cetinje, Montenegro, with visual and hearing impairments received copies of the child-friendly version of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Braille, audio and sign language. Senior Government officials and other dignitaries, representatives of the media, civil society, schools, parents and children from all over the country gathered as the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, launched the Convention in Braille, audio and sign language. The event was part of a UNICEF-supported campaign by the Government of Montenegro that promotes the inclusion of children with disabilities and the mainstreaming of disability issues. More information: http://www.unicef.org/protection/montenegro_58880.html
(We welcome information from the general public on key international disability events for inclusion in the list below.)
18 to 24 July: XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf
This first-ever WFD Congress in Africa will be held in Durban, South Africa. The Congress will bring together activists, professionals and interest groups to share their experiences, knowledge and expertise to be used for welfare and improving the human rights of Deaf people in Africa and around the world. It will also be a time to review achievements through the implementation of the Convention. More information: http://www.wfd2011.com/information/letter.html.
25 to 26 July: General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Youth
As part of the International Year of Youth, the General Assembly will hold a High-Level Meeting on Youth and will have as its overarching theme “Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”. DESA in collaboration with other partners will organize a side-event on youth with disabilities at the meeting (please see above). More information: http://social.un.org/youthyear.
7 to 9 September: Fourth Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
(Please see above)
19-23 September: 6th session Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The 6th session of the Committee will take place in Geneva. The work of the Committee at this session will focus on their concluding observations related to Spain, as well as the list of issues related to China and Peru. More information:
10 to 13 October: Disabled Peoples' International 8th World Assembly
The 8th DPI World Assembly will be held in Durban, South Africa and include a one-day Opening Plenary session, followed by two days of working groups and will conclude with a final closing plenary session. More information: http://www.dpi2011.co.za/en/home.
8 November: International Research Symposium
The Symposium entitled “Equitable Health Services for People with Disabilities with a Focus on Low and Middle Income Countries” is being co-organized by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This one day international symposium seeks to bring together researchers, policy makers, disability advocates, NGOs and health and rehabilitation professionals to share current research on equity in health care for persons with disabilities and to promote interdisciplinary action in relevant policy research. More information: http://www.equityhealthdisability.com.
29 November to 1 December: 2nd Asia Pacific CBR Congress
The 2nd Asia Pacific Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Congress will be held in Manila, Philippines. Topics on the agenda include the role of Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) in CBR, harmonizing the CRPD with domestic laws, accessibility, the WHO CBR Guidelines and more. More information: http://www.ncda.gov.ph.
3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011
This year, the Day will be commemorated under a general theme with supporting sub-themes to draw attention to key areas that would work in synergy to mainstream disability in all development processes. The theme for 2011 is: “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”. For sub-themes and more information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1561.
15-18 May 2012: Interdependence 2012
Interdependence 2012 is a conference and exposition that will be held in Vancouver, BC, Canada to accelerate global progress towards a healthy and inclusive world through two distinct but complementary pillars: making communities accessible for all and spinal cord injury research. This inaugural event – timed to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the legendary Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour – presents a unique opportunity to unite international leaders and decision-makers with research and accessibility experts to explore best practices, lessons learned and inspire collaboration for future opportunities. More information: http://ww.rickhansen.com/interdependence2012.
11 to 13 June 2012: Universal Design Conference 2012 in Oslo
Universal design in public spaces is the main focus of the Conference to be held in Oslo, Norway. Topics to be addressed are issues related to universal design in planning, legislation, education, buildings, outdoor areas, information and communications technologies (ICT) and public transport. The Conference website will open for abstract submissions on 1 July 2011. More information: http://www.ud2012.no.
17 to 21 September 2012: TRANSED 2012
The 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED 2012) will be held in New Delhi, India. More information: http://www.transed2012.in.
(DISCLAIMER: The information below is provided by the NGO disability community and others for informational purposes only. This does not constitute endorsement of, or an approval by, the United Nations of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization or individual. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of their statements and opinions.)
EDF meets with the President of the European Commission
A delegation of the European Disability Forum (EDF) led by its President, Yannis Vardakastanis, met with the President of the European Commission in Brussels on 1 June to discuss the next steps for disability in the EU. More information: http://www.edf-feph.org/Page_Generale.asp?DocID=13855&thebloc=27461. On 16 June, EDF and its partners launched their campaign for accessible websites at the 1st Digital Agenda Assembly. The group called on the European Commission to propose binding legislation that delivers web accessibility for all. More information: http://newspost.eu/digital-agenda-edf-and-partners-launch-new-campaign/
Global Accessibility News
The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) announced its worldwide launch of an international accessibility news service. Theweekly news service will promote and create awareness on accessibility of the built social and virtual environments, including architectural and infrastructural design, transportation systems, electronic information, web and communication technologies. The information is gathered daily from news sources around the world, and presented as Headline News, categorized by Geographical Regions: Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. More information: http://globalaccessibilitynews.com.
Light for World Releases its First Ever Newsletter, “End Exclusion”
Light for the World, a European confederation of national development NGOs released the first ever newsletter, “End exclusion: let’s enable the MDGs”. This newsletter will release quarterly updates on the progress of new awareness raising campaigns and provide other news in the field of disability and development. More information:
Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Division for Social Policy and Development
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
2 UN Plaza, DC2-1306, New York, NY 10017, USA.