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Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the legal consciousness of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

MIZAN, Arpeeta Shams
2021

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Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities

Disabled children and work: An overview of a neglected topic with a specific focus on Ghana

WICKENDEN, Mary
February 2021

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This paper provides an overview of issues related to disabled children and work.

This is a very unexplored topic and the literature is scant, so the paper first provides an overview of some key relevant background information on: disability globally and in Ghana, disability and employment, disabled children and relevant human rights approaches – the UNCRC and UNCRPD. Next examples of research on disabled children and work are presented and lastly some suggested hypotheses and possible research questions are proposed

 

ACHA Working Paper 7
DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2021.002

Do both ‘get it right’? Inclusion of newly arrived migrant students in Swedish primary schools

TAJIC, Denis
BUNAR, Nihad
2020

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The aim of this article is to advance knowledge on how Swedish primary schools organise education and what strategies they deploy to ensure inclusion and attainment of newly arrived migrant students. The article is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 teachers and school administrators, and one-year of fieldwork undertaken in two multicultural urban primary schools in the Stockholm region. One of the schools initially places students in separate classes, while the other one places them directly into mainstream classes. Both are evoking inclusion and attainment as a reason for using their respective models. As such, do both ‘get it right’? Using inclusion as the theoretical and conceptual framework this article addresses the broader question: How is the meaning of inclusion constructed in the processes of its practical implementation in these two schools? The results show the ambitious tale of inclusion in both schools was, in the process of the construction of its meaning and implementation, reduced to some of its aspects. Teachers and school administrators are allowed to include or leave out of their model whatever they deem necessary, obsolete, expensive or unrealistic and still fitting under the umbrella of inclusion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, and both schools ‘get it right’ and ‘wrong’ in some aspects.

Legal remedies through litigation for the rights of disabled people

DISABILITY RIGHTS DEFENDERS
EUROPEAN NETWORK ON INDEPENDENT LIVING
ARTICLE 19 AS A TOOL
November 2020

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Even though most countries have ratified the CRPD, the rights of disabled people get violated daily all over the world. In almost every country there are national laws and international agreements which should assure the same rights for disabled people. The main problem is that the laws are widely unenforced, that is why remedies are needed. There is a need for deeper discussions on tools for strategic litigation, including effectiveness of legal and injunctive remedies, different forms of compensation for violations of human rights and procedural strategies for impact, as important tools to fight against violations of disability rights. Thereby, every law system and country has different ways and possibilities to redress violations. In this webinar we want to look at the need for better remedies, access to justice and strategic litigation. We learn from the experience of international experts with strategic litigation and remedies and discuss what kind of changes we would like to see in the remedies available or what kind of new remedies are needed. How can we establish an exchange of international experience and cooperation between organizations in the work towards better remedies?

 

The following speakers shared their expertise:

Paul Lappalainen, Swedish/US lawyer, European Equality Law Network: Access to justice / Access to remedies
Mari Siilsalu, lawyer at Article 19 as a tool, Independent Living Institute: Survey on legal remedies
Ann Campbell, Co Executive Director at Validity Foundation: Looking beyond compensation: innovative remedies for women with disabilities
Stellan Gärde, Swedish lawyer and author: A human right - The right to legal aid
Timothy Hodgson, legal advisor at ICJ, lecturer at University of Pretoria: Economic and social rights litigation

 

The webinar was moderated by Ola Linder, Swedish lawyer and project leader of Article 19 as a tool. 

Bridge CRPD-SDGs global training on Article 11

FLEURY, Tchaurea
UJAH, Sulayman AbdulMumuni
October 2020

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The IDA-IDDC Bridge CRPD-SDGs Global Training on Article 11 was the first-ever global training initiative on Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to bring together Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and humanitarian representatives. An outline of the eight day event is given and lessons learnt are reported.

Message to Covid-19 Disability Rights Monitor

TESORIERO, Paula
October 2020

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A message by the chair of the Disability Working Group at GANHRI (Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions), on the occasion of the launch of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Global Report.

The temporalities of supported decision-making by people with cognitive disability

WIESEL, Ilan
SMITH, Elizabeth
BIGBY, Christine
THEN, Shih-Ning
DOUGLAS, Jacinta
CARNEY, Terry
2020

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In many societies, people with cognitive disability have been pre- sumed to lack reasoned decision-making capacity. Consequently, substituted decision-making laws and practices have traditionally authorised some people such as parents, guardians or medical professionals, to make decisions on their behalf. Several countries are now moving towards an alternative supported decision-making paradigm whereby people with different cognitive abilities are supported to make decisions that reflect as much as possible their ‘will, preferences and rights’. In this paper we examine how geo- graphical thinking about temporalities might illuminate some of the legal, ethical and practical complexities of supported decision- making. The paper draws on qualitative data from interviews with people with intellectual disabilities or acquired brain injury, and those who support them in making decisions. We examine how temporal scales and boundaries shape the determination of decision-making capacity; how decision-makers’ ‘will and preferences’ are interpreted by supporters; and how the labour of support for decision-making is organised. We argue that further geographical engagement with supported decision-making can help significantly advance this important disability rights agenda.

Disability inclusion in the United Nations system - Report of the Secretary General

SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
October 2020

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When launching the Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations would lead by example and raise its standards and performance on disability inclusion across all pillars of its work, from Headquarters to the field. The present report outlines the first steps on the path to achieving transformative and lasting change for persons with disabilities across the United Nations system

 

The report is organized into seven sections. Following the introduction, an overview of the advances made in the United Nations on disability inclusion, including the adoption of the Strategy, is provided in section II; the first year of implementation of the Strategy at the entity and country levels is reported on in section III; coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts are the focus of section IV; the overarching actions for implementation of the Strategy are considered in section V; challenges and opportunities are highlighted in section VI; and the conclusion and recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly are contained in section VII. The report provides an analysis of information from 57 United Nations entities1 that reported under the Strategy ’s entity accountability framework and seven United Nations country teams that completed the accountability scorecard on disability inclusion as part of a targeted roll-out.

A rapid assessment of the status of children with disabilities in Somalia

WAITHIRA MGUBUA, Jane
September 2020

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The main objective of this assessment was to explore the barriers faced by children with disabilities in the cities of Mogadishu, Galkaio, Baidoa and Kismaio in Somalia and assess how different stakeholders have sought to address these barriers. The findings of the Assessment are intended to serve as a limited baseline data to inform future programming in the area, both by the government and its local and international partners.

The Assessment used a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. The Assessment team interviewed 20 key informants, held four focus group discussions (FGDs) with 48 support persons and another four FGDs with 48 children with disabilities. The quantitative survey covered 100 support persons.

The social and human rights models of disability: towards a complementarity thesis

LAWSON, Anna
BECKETT, Angharad E
2020

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This article aims to reorient thinking about the relationship between the long-standing social model of disability and the rapidly emerging human rights model. In particular, it contests the influential view that the latter develops and improves upon the former (the improvement thesis) and argues instead that the two models are complementary (the complementarity thesis). The article begins with a discursive analysis of relevant documents to investigate how each of the two models has been used in the crafting and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This highlights the increasing importance of the human rights model in this policy context. It also provides examples of the operation of the two models which inform the remainder of the discussion. We then critique the comparisons between the models which underpin the improvement thesis; and, drawing on Foucault’s technologies of power and Beckett and Campbell’s ‘oppositional device’ methodology, deepen and develop this comparative analysis. The result, we argue, is that the two models have different subjects and different functions. In the human rights context, their roles are complementary and supportive.

The outcomes of individualized housing for people with disability and complex needs: a scoping review

OLIVER, Stacey
Gosden-Kaye, Emily Z
WINKLER, Dianne
DOUGLAS, Jacinta M
2020

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PURPOSE: Worldwide, disability systems are moving away from congregated living towards individualized models of housing. Individualized housing aims to provide choice regarding living arrangements and the option to live in houses in the community, just like people without disability. The purpose of this scoping review was to determine what is currently known about outcomes associated with individualized housing for adults with disability and complex needs.

 

METHODS: Five databases were systematically searched to find studies that reported on outcomes associated with individualized housing for adults (aged 18–65 years) with disability and complex needs.

 

RESULTS: Individualized housing was positively associated with human rights (i.e., self-determination, choice and autonomy) outcomes. Individualized housing also demonstrated favourable outcomes in regards to domestic tasks, social relationships, challenging behaviour and mood. However, outcomes regarding adaptive behaviour, self-care, scheduled activities and safety showed no difference, or less favourable results, when compared to group homes.

 

CONCLUSIONS: The literature indicates that individualized housing has favourable outcomes for people with disability, particularly for human rights. Quality formal and informal supports were identified as important for positive outcomes in individualized housing. Future research should use clear and consistent terminology and longitudinal research methods to investigate individualized housing outcomes for people with disability.

The rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change - panel discussion. 14th Meeting, 44th Regular Session Human Rights Council

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
July 2020

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The Panel focused on good practices and lessons learned in the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of the adverse impact of climate change. Its main objectives were to understand the benefits of disability-inclusive climate action and to identify opportunities for international cooperation in mitigation and adaptation actions which promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

The panellists of the event were:

  • Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
  • Ms Amalia A. Decena, President of Handicapables Association of Cagayan, Philippines
  • Mr Sébastien Jodoin, Assistant Professor at the McGill University Faculty of Law and Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and the Environment
  • Ms Deborah Iyute Oyuu, Programme Officer at the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Amid COVID-19

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
Ministry of Social Development
Independent Commission for Human Rights
June 2020

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This document make specific recommendations on support and protection to be provided to persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 response, and to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to maintain their active participation as well as to avoid discrimination at all levels against them

'What works' to ensure persons with disabilities have access to sexual and reproductive health services

Itad
June 2020

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A growing body of evidence shows that people with disabilities have historically been denied their sexual and reproductive health rights, despite having the same sexual and reproductive health needs as people without disabilities, and continue to face many barriers to accessing these lifesaving services.

This evidence gap map, developed as part of the UK Department for International Development’s Women’s Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health (WISH) programme, collates evidence on ‘what works’ to enable access to sexual reproductive health services for persons with disabilities in low and middle-income countries.

Disability Inclusive Development - Jordan Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Jordan?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Jordan. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Jordan, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Disability Inclusive Development - Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Bangladesh. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Bangladesh, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Disability Inclusive Development - Nigeria Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Nigeria?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Nigeria. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nigeria, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Persons with disabilities in armed conflict: Inclusive protection perspectives

UNITED NATIONS MINE ACTION SERVICE (UNMAS)
May 2020

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This virtual side event was held on 28 May 2020, coinciding with the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians. It focused on the disproportionate challenges facing persons with disabilities in humanitarian, conflict, and post-conflict settings. Chaired by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, this discussion shared insights from speakers and panelists from the Governments of Poland and the United Kingdom, the European Union, UNMAS, Humanity & Inclusion (H.I.), the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and others.

 

By presenting the situation in Syria, Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Manager for HI Syria response Bahia Zrikem highlighted the fundamental role Council Members should play in ensuring that all civilians, including persons with disabilities, are fully protected during hostilities, in line with International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law obligations, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the UNSC Resolution 2475 on protecting persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

 

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