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Toolkit on disability for Africa

UNITED NATIONS DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (UNDESA)
November 2016

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A Toolkit on Disability for Africa has been developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD). It is designed for the African context and aims to:

  • Provide practical tools on various disability-related issues to government officials, members of parliament, civil and public servants at all levels, disabled persons organizations (DPOs) and all those with an interest in the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development;
  • Support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and disability-inclusive development;
  • Offer examples of good practices from many countries in the African region.

 

Toolkit Modules:

  • UN DESA toolkit on CRPD – Trainers’ tips
  • Introducing the UNCRPD
  • Frameworks for implementing and monitoring the UNCRPD
  • Disability-inclusive development
  • Accessibility
  • Building multi-stakeholders partnerships for disability inclusion
  • National plans on disability
  • Legislating for disability rights
  • Access to justice for persons with disabilities
  • The rights of persons with disabilities to work
  • Inclusive health services for persons with disabilities
  • Participation in political and public life
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) and disability
  • Culture, beliefs, and disability
  • Inclusive education

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

Rob Aley
et al
November 2016

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The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

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Abstract
The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

End the cycle

CHRISTOFFEL BLINDENMISSION (CBM) AUSTRALIA
October 2016

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End the Cycle is a community awareness initiative promoting the human rights and empowerment of people with disabilities living in the world’s poorest countries. This website provides background information about the cycle of poverty and disability, highlights personal stories, and provides links to useful publications and related resources. Details are also provided about how to get involved with the initiative

Statements from the 2016 Social Forum

OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSONNER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
October 2016

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The 2016 Social Forum took place from 3 to 5 October 2016 in Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, in accordance with paragraph 6 of Human Rights Council resolution 29/19 entitled “The Social Forum.”

 

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year.

 

The theme of the 2016 session of the Social Forum was the promotion and full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities in the context of the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

 

Among other human rights concerns, statistics show that around fifty per cent of persons with disabilities cannot afford appropriate health care; and they are more likely to be unemployed than persons without disabilities. Persons with disabilities have, on average, worse living conditions and less participation rates in public affairs than other groups. 

 

Realizing the right to development of persons with disabilities requires the adoption of a human rights-based approach to disability which respects their active, free and meaningful participation in development, the fair distribution of resulting benefits, and their inclusion in society on an equal basis with others. States parties to the CRPD have agreed to cooperate internationally, including through making development cooperation inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities (Article 32 CRPD). The Social Forum provides an inclusive platform to continue moving the international human rights agenda in that direction. 

Human rights toolkit for women and girls with disabilities. First edition.

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)
October 2016

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A Toolkit for women or girls with disabilities to learn more about human rights and how this knowledge can be used to achieve change in their own lives or the lives of others. Following an introduction about why this Toolkit is needed,  a brief overview of five key human rights issues that women and girls with disability in Australia have identified as most important to them is provided. Section 3 provides information about what human rights are and also gives a brief overview about Australia’s international human rights obligations. Sections 4 and 5 focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), examining the main ‘Article’ from each, that deals with the important urgent issues that have been identified by women with disability in Australia, which are: Violence; Decision-Making; Participation; Sexual and Reproductive Rights; and, Employment. For each of these issues, the words of the main Article (as it appears in the CRPD and CEDAW) are provided and explained in practical terms, and examples are given of what governments have to know and do. Information from WWDA members and supporters about some of the key changes which need to happen is given. Different ideas of what women and girls with disability can do to help achieve change and promote the rights of all women and girls with disability are given and some sample letters and ‘talking points’ for phone calls to a local Member of Parliament, or a government Minister or advisers are provided.   

Women and girls with disabilities. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. General comment No. 3 (2016). Article 6.

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
September 2016

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"International and national laws and policies on disability have historically neglected aspects related to women and girls with disabilities. In turn, laws and policies addressing women have traditionally ignored disability". "Article 6 serves as an interpretation tool to approach the responsibilities of States parties across the Convention, to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls with disabilities, from a human rights-based approach and a development perspective". These general comments take the form of an introduction, normative content, states parties’ obligations, the interrelationship of article 6 with other articles of the Convention (perspectives of women with disabilities in CRPD provisions) and national implementation

Right to inclusive education. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. General comment No. 4 (2016). Article 24

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
September 2016

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"States parties must ensure the realisation of the right of persons with disabilities to education through an inclusive education system at all levels, including pre-schools, primary, secondary and tertiary education, vocational training and lifelong learning, extracurricular and social activities, and for all students, including persons with disabilities, without discrimination and on equal terms with others". "The right to inclusive education encompasses a transformation in culture, policy and practice in all formal and informal educational environments to accommodate the differing requirements and identities of individual students, together with a commitment to remove the barriers that impede that possibility". The difference between exclusion, segregation, integration and inclusion is highlighted. Core features of inclusive education are set out. These general comments take the form of an introduction, normative content, states parties’ obligations, relations with other provisions of the Convention and implementation at national level." 

Participatory and emancipatory approach in disability research. Possible allies for supporting active citizenship, civil rights and actions of social innovation.

TRAINA, Ivan
August 2016

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Participatory and emancipatory approaches in disability research are addressed through three research questions related to: the extent the participatory approach can encourage an active citizenship paradigm for the involvement of disabled people; the extent emancipation through research can contribute to the affirmation of a civil rights model of disability; and the extent it is possible to consider these approaches as tools that can support the design and implementation of socially innovative actions. The paper considers the academic literature and a reviews international documents, assuming a disability perspective

Considering Disability Journal. DOI: 10.17774/CDJ12015.2.2057584

Assessing fiscal policies from a human rights perspective

Center for Economic and Social Rights
July 2016

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"The study undertaken by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and the Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI) aimed to contribute to a broader reflection on the role of fiscal policy in complying with a state’s economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) obligations. Despite being a middle-income country with the largest economy in Central America, Guatemala’s social indicators were alarming; with more than half the population living below the national poverty line and one in seven Guatemalans living in extreme poverty. The persistence of systemic inequality and discrimination could be partially explained by the legacy of almost 40 years of armed conflict, which did not end until the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996. Nevertheless, the stark contrasts between rich and poor suggested that the dismal state of ESC rights could not be attributed to limited state resources, but to the way in which they were distributed, this highlighted the need to hold the state accountable for its efforts to generate and manage resources equitably and in accordance with its human rights obligations.... Methodological case study on the use of available resources to realize economic, social and cultural rights in Guatemala

Challenges to principled humanitarian action: Perspectives from four countries.

NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL
Handicap International
July 2016

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The purpose of this paper is to contribute to an increased understanding of the perceived and actual challenges humanitarians face in operational contexts as they apply the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. A snapshot is provided of four case studies; Colombia, Nepal, northern Syria and South Sudan. Through a combination of field research, headquarters interviews, desk research, and a webinar, views and observations are presented from the humanitarian community. These observations provide a glimpse into the challenges faced by principled humanitarians. As a result the paper puts forward seven recommendations intended to assist humanitarians and states to sharpen tools and strengthen approaches when implementing principled humanitarian protection and assistance. An addendum to this study provides perspectives from selected members of the donor community. This research was conducted through interviews with state representatives in Geneva, aiming to understand how donors perceive their responsibilities in upholding the humanitarian principles and the Good Humanitarian Donorship Principles. This final chapter highlights challenges faced by states while supporting principled humanitarian action, particularly in conflict zones. On the basis of this research, additional recommendations for both states and humanitarians are proposed to strengthen the adherence to the humanitarian principles

UNCRPD: What is Article 12 and legal capacity?

MENTAL HEALTH EUROPE (MHE)
June 2016

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Article 12. of the UNCRPD wants to ensure that every person with disabilities including people with psychosocial disabilities may enjoy equal recognition before the law which requires legal capacity.

This short animated video seeks to explain what legal capacity is all about and recalls that everyone has the inherent right to make their own choices including people with psychosocial disabilities. 

"Working to improve our own futures": Inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in humanitarian action

Women's Refugee Commission
May 2016

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While humanitarian organizations are increasingly recognizing women and girls with disabilities in policies and guidelines, there are still significant gaps in operationalizing this. Their needs and capacities are often under-represented in gender, protection and disability forums. Furthermore, organizations of women with disabilities, which can play a critical role in bridging the development/humanitarian divide, are not meaningfully included in humanitarian coordination and decision-making.This report documents the findings from a global mapping on inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in humanitarian action. It presents recommendations to strengthen the role of organizations of women with disabilities. These organizations have the skills and expertise to identify and monitor protection concerns in affected communities, bridging the humanitarian - development divide. However, they face a vicious cycle of exclusion from both the women's and disability rights movements, which in turn reduces their access to financial opportunities and capacity development.

Opera : a four step framework for monitoring economic, social and cultural rights fulfillment

CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS (CESR)
March 2016

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This infographic illustrates the OPERA framework. This framework is for monitoring economic, social and cultural rights fulfilment and consists of four levels of analysis: outcomes, policy efforts, resources and assessment. The infographic lays out specific benchmarks and for what is measured by each level of analysis and how each concept is to be measured

The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people. House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and disability report of session 2015–16

HOUSE OF LORDS, Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability
March 2016

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The committee considered whether the UK Equality Act 2010, a legislative framework, adequately supports the fight against disability discrimination and how it can be made to work better for disabled people. Aspects covered include: the Red Tape Challenge; the Public Sector Equality Duty; leisure facilities and housing; access to justice; the restoration of the Equality and Human Rights helpline and conciliation service; and communication. Major issues identified were the need to include disabled people in the planning of services and buildings and communication concerning this, the need to be proactive rather than reactive or process driven and the importance of enforceable rights. Statistics concerning disabled people living in the UK are presented. The development of the Equality Act, and it's relationship with the UNCRPD and with EU law are outlined.

How to talk about disability and human rights

FRAMEWORKS INSTITUTE
March 2016

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"This MessageBrief summarises and comments on the framing strategies currently in use to communicate information about disability and human rights. The recommendations presented here are based on framing “best practices,” gleaned from more than 15 years of communications research on a wide range of social issues, and represent important opportunities for disability rights advocates to communicate more effectively". This brief reviews more than 55 communications materials sampled from 20 organisations involved in the disability rights field. Five primary framing strategies: Unframed Facts and Numbers, Description Instead of Explanation, Problems Without Solutions, Crisis Stories, and Vivid Cases in current communications are identified and 8 recommendations are presented. Gaps in existing research precluding the ability to make more specific reframing recommendations are identified.

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