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Let me decide and thrive - Global discrimination and exclusion of girls and young women with disabilities

PLAN INTERNATIONAL
December 2017

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Girls and young women with disabilities have the right to make decisions over their own bodies and live free from violence and fear. Yet, on a global level, they are the people least likely to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Compelled by this reality, Plan International and the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have joined forces to ensure young women and girls with disabilities can exercise choice and have control over their bodies. The Let Me Decide and Thrive initiative is supported by in-depth, critical field and desk research and aims to empower girls and young women with disabilities, raise awareness of their plight among stakeholders, and work to secure their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

This research found that the barriers to SRHR confronted by girls and young women with disabilities are overwhelming: infantilisation and disempowerment; forced sterilisation, abortion, and contraception; disproportionate suffering from all forms of violence; substantial barriers in accessing justice; discriminatory attitudes, norms, and behaviours rendering them invisible; and a lack of accessible and appropriate SRHR information and services.

Equal access : how to include persons with disabilities in elections and political processes

ATKINSON, Virginia
AZELTON, Aaron
FOGG, Ken
April 2014

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This publication provides governments, civil society and the donor community the requisite tools and knowledge to promote the participation of persons with disabilities in elections and political processes.

It draws on international standards, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and presents four mutually reinforcing strategies to increase the political participation of persons with disabilities: Empower persons with disabilities and disabled persons' organizations (DPOs) through trainings on technical elections issues as well as organizational and advocacy skills; Support government institutions such as election management bodies and legislatures to create inclusive and accessible legal and regulatory frameworks; Include DPOs in broad-based civil society coalitions, such as election monitoring groups; Assist political parties to conduct meaningful outreach and encourage inclusion of persons with disabilities in leadership positions and as candidates. Good practices from around the world are highlighted throughout the manual.

The executive summary is presented in easy to read format, and the publication is available in plain text for those who use screen readers

Take us seriously! Engaging children with disabilities in decisions affecting their lives

LANSDOWNE, Gerison
et al
June 2013

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UNICEF’s work on disability is based on a human rights approach, with a focus on equity. It has been developed within the framework of inclusive development, and actively promotes the social model of disability. A central tenet is that legislation, policies and programmes must be informed and shaped by the children they will affect. Participation is a foundational principle of a rights-based approach. These guidelines are meant to strengthen the capacity of UNICEF and partners in creating opportunities for children with disabilities to exercise their right to be heard and taken seriously.

It is important to:

  • clearly identify obstacles impeding the participation of children with disabilities;
  • examine why participation is important for children with disabilities;
  • provide practical guidance on how and where to reach out and engage children with disabilities more effectively and systematically;
  • prioritize ways to measure the effectiveness of participatory initiatives with children with disabilities. 

Count me in - Include people with disabilities in development projects | A practical guide for organisations in the North and South

BRUIJN, Paulien
et al
November 2012

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"People with disabilities are often amongst the poorest in the developing world. Yet they are usually left out of development projects. This is not because of ill-will. Development organisations simply do not know how to include them. This book offers suggestions based on the experience of organisations that participated in a two-year learning programme. It is full of useful tips on how to launch inclusive programmes and projects, how to prepare your staff for working with people with disabilities and how to adapt your organisational processes and systems"

Available in Braille, high resolution, low resolution and word formats.
Available in Portuguese: "Inclusão de pessoas com deficiência nos projectos de desenvolvimento: Um guia prático para organizações do Norte e do Sul".
Available in French: "Tiens compte de moi - L'inclusion de personnes en situation de handicap dans les projets de développement"
Available in Spanish: "Cuenta conmigo - Incluir a las personas con discapacidad en los proyectos de desarrollo"

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