The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and a number of its members, including ADD International, Atlas Alliance, CBM, Disabled People’s Organisations Denmark (DPOD), Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development (DCDD), Handicap International, Inclusion International, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Light for the World, Plan International and Sightsavers, attended the 9th Conference of State Parties to the CRPD (COSP) for the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). You will find below a summary of the involvement of IDDC and IDDC members at this important event which took place in June in New York.
Civil Society CRPD Forum, 13 June 2016
IDDC took part in the preparations of the Civil Society CRPD Forum and supported the participation of persons with disabilities from the global South to take part. Priscille Geiser, IDDC Chair, spoke as part of Panel 2 on Practical Steps Towards Implementation: Engagement of Persons with Disabilities at the Global, Regional and National Levels. She introduced the work of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and IDDC on the joint BRIDGE CRPD-SDG training as well as the Sustainable Development (SDG) Advocacy Guide and Toolkit (see the Priscille’s talking points). Panel 2 was moderated by Tim Wainwright from ADD International, and raised great interest from participants, with at least 15 questions from the floor. The joint work of IDA, IDDC and the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) was also referred to during Panel 1 by Med Ssengooba from DRF who spoke about the workshops and webinars organised to engage disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) in the SDG process. We also welcome the opening speech of the UN Special Envoy Lenin Moreno who emphasised the importance of including disability and engaging with persons with disabilities in humanitarian response, a few weeks after the World Humanitarian Summit.
The rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities
As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CRPD, the motto “Nothing about us without us” is unfortunately far from a reality, including at the UN. IDDC supported DPOs to react to the shrinking space for civil society at the COSP. We want to welcome and appreciate the strong and relevant mobilisation of advocates representing persons with psychosocial disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities, in response to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) background paper prepared for one of the Round Table. Key points can be found in the two-pager document which was widely disseminated at the COSP.
IDDC wants to stress the high quality of discussions held through some of the side events and is proud to be associated with this through our new member, Inclusion International. Strong reactions were also expressed at side events about psychosocial disabilities, which did not involve persons with psychosocial disabilities. This indicates the need for us not to lower our guard and actively promote the engagement of concerned DPOs and advocates so that no person with psychosocial or intellectual disability is left behind – a focus of IDDC’s discussions at the last General Assembly.
History was also made at this COSP with Robert Martin being elected as the first person with intellectual disability to become a member of the CRPD Committee. In addition, Valery Nikitich Rukhledev of the Russian Federation is the first signing Deaf person to be elected to the CRPD Committee.
We look forward to positive developments in the Committee’s work and concluding observations to accelerate the realisation of the rights of persons with disabilities.
No women with disabilities elected at the CRPD Committee!
On the first day of the COSP, elections were held to renew half of the members of the CRPD Committee. The role of the Committee is key in reviewing progress in the enforcement of States parties’ obligations under the CRPD, as well as in formulating guidance for CRPD enforcement and the realisation of all human rights for all persons with disabilities. Despite women with disabilities running for elections, no woman was elected at the committee. This leaves only one woman member out of 18 members, who has now tremendous pressure to ensure that the specific discriminations faced by women with disabilities are adequately addressed in the work of the committee. IDDC together with IDA reacted by issuing a press release and meeting with journalists. ABC news and Fox News wrote articles about this. IDDC also wants to express solidarity with the women candidates who did not get re/elected, two of whom happen to work with IDDC member organisations.
We look forward to further work in creating alliances with disability and gender stakeholders to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities. At the COSP we started to gather names for those women with disability going to AWID, or organisations supporting women’s gender equality work, this has included a range of DPOs, CSOs, NGOs and UN agencies. If you would like to join the Network of Women with Disabilities going to AWID [WWDAWIDgroup@googlegroups.com] to get more information please contact Maegan Shank (Maegan.firstname.lastname@example.org) . We have also circulated to this group the IDDC concept note prepared by Luisa Fenu and Mary Keogh and if any IDDC members or partners are interested to also support this side event please contact Luisa (email@example.com) and Mary (Mary.Keogh@cbm.org).
Related press articles
- IDA-IDDC press release, IDA & IDDC joint press release - Results of the 2016 CRPD Committee elections
- Fox News article on 15 June 2016, Activists say more women needed on UN disability committee
- ABC News article on 15 June 2016, Activists say more women needed on UN disability committee
- Inter Press Service (IPS) on 21 June 2016, Mixed Progress at UN on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Complementary - Link to a joint statement produced by Handicap International together with the Technical Advisory Committee of the Making it Work initiative on Gender and Disability - organisations interested to endorse can contact Luisa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bridging the Gap between CRPD and the SDGs side event, 16 June 2016
IDDC co-organised a side event with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on “Bridging the Gap between CRPD and the SDGs”. The event started with three ministerial interventions from Pirkko Hämäläinen, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland; Minister Marcelo Scappini Ricciardi, Charge d'Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the Office of the United Nations and Specialised Agencies; and Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, Senior Expert on Disability and Inclusion at the European Commission at the Directorate General DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
It was followed by an interactive discussion moderated by Facundo Chavez (OHCHR), between 4 panelists: Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities; Silvia Quan member of the CRPD Committee, Colin Allen, incoming Chair of IDA and President of the World Federation of the Deaf; and Priscille Geiser, Chair of IDDC. The side event discussed two levels of implementation: (1) the development of international guidelines to develop policy at national level that is in line with the 2030 Agenda and the CRPD and (2) international-level monitoring.
IDDC members’ side events at COSP
Many IDDC members attended, co-organised and participated in different side events during the COSP. Below are some of the events in which members participated.
- CBM co-sponsored the side event “Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies: Article 11 in Practice”. Read the following blog for details on CBM’s involvement in COSP: http://blog.cbm.org/recap-of-the-9th-session-of-cosp/
- Sightsavers and DPOD were involved in organising the side event “Fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals through inclusive budgeting”, which focused on initiatives for inclusive allocation of resources targeting the situation for persons with disabilities.
“IDDC used this opportunity to launch a new research into the financing of disability-inclusive education. The research will look at the benefits of financing disability-inclusive education, the current state of education financing with regard to inclusion, and what needs to change in order for education financing to effectively support the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Article 24 of the UN CRPD. The research will be published in a final report in September 2016, in time for the UN General Assembly. The findings will feed into a range of advocacy activities over the coming year. An initial leaflet was distributed before and during the COSP. A longer version is also available here.”
- Handicap International were involved in organising the side event, “Outcomes of the WHS for persons with disabilities and next steps”, which focused on the recent World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and on the outcomes for persons with disabilities and steps towards inclusive humanitarian action.
- Inclusion International organised the following side events, “Promoting the rights of persons with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities” and “Our Voice Matters: A Global Self-Advocacy Strategy”.
- Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) contributed to two side events, the first one was on the World Bank's Disability Inclusion and Accountability Framework which aims to support the mainstreaming of disability in the World Bank’s activities. LCD also had the chance to share their practices and lessons learned on inclusive employment at the side event on "Unusual" employment of persons with disabilities: from words to work’ by the Permanent Missions to the UN of Australia, Costa Rica, Finland and Spain, the International Disability Alliance, the UN Global Compact and the International Labor Organisation (ILO).
- LIGHT FOR THE WORLD co-sponsored a side event together with the Zero project on “ICT supporting Education for All”. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD‘s inclusive education initiative “One class for all” starting in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia was presented. See also the article on the LIGHT FOR THE WORLD website - Where are the women with disabilities?
- Plan International co-sponsored the side event with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on "Ending Violence Against Children and Adolescents with Disabilities", where they launched the new research report “Protect us!” on violence against children with disabilities. The report "Protect us!" (including a short and accessible executive summary) is available for download.