Disabled Peoples' International
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DISABLED PEOPLES’ INTERNATIONAL (DPI)
UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES - DISABLED PEOPLE’S INTERNATIONAL (DPI) RATIFICATION TOOLS
Presentation by Rachel Kachaje, Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) Deputy Chairperson for Development and Underrepresented Groups at the Africa Regional Conference on Millennium Development Goals and Disability held on 14-19 September 2008,Nairobi, Kenya.
On behalf of the Disabled People’s International (DPI), let me take the opportunity to express my gratitude to the organizers of this conference for inviting me to be one of the speakers at this Africa Regional Conference on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)and Disability held in Nairobi, Kenya.
Happily, we are here today to look at how the Convention can be used as a tool for enhancing participation and promotion of mainstreaming disability issues in the Millennium Goals Campaign and Development.
WHY DO WE NEED THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
With all of the Human Rights Conventions and other Human Rights instruments that we already have in place, you may well wonder why some people believe that we needed another new Convention specifically for Persons with Disabilities!!!!!!!!!!
650 million persons with disabilities all over the world are being made invisible by external environments, are forgotten when it comes to the enjoyment of civil, political and social rights and are the last to be considered in the many economic, social and cultural policy development and legislative reforms
Persons with disabilities have same human rights as everyone else BUT have been historically invisible in international human rights systems like the Millennium Development Goals and the non-legally binding instruments often not employed or resourced for effective implementation
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the nine ‘’core’’ international human rights treaties (i.e it has a monitoring mechanism), legally binding on countries that become States Parties andelaborates existing human rights in the context of disability. The Convention does not invent a new wheel or special rights for people with disabilities but rather it addresses the invisibility issues.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a tool for mainstreaming and development.
There is a history of separating human rights instruments and activities from those of development. However, the Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension; it is both a human rights treaty and a development tool. The Convention clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities, and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made in order for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights, as well as areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced. It also highlights pragmatic and action-oriented measures to be undertaken by States parties in support of development programs that are inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disabilities. This represents a paradigm shift within the development community, as it identifies disability as an issue to be considered in all programming, rather than as a stand-alone thematic issue. Within this framework, there remains room for disability-specific actions and programming, based on the needs of the specific context. The Convention obligates States parties to undertake proactively the appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities participate in all facets of society, on an equal basis with others.
Mr Ban’s spokesperson Marie Okabe said and I quote “The Convention will be a powerful tool to eradicate the obstacle faced by persons with disabilities,” she said, pointing to discrimination, segregation from society, economic marginalization, and lack of opportunities for participation in social, political and economic decision-making processes.