Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabil

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e Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) at the United Nations Department


    April 2010

The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention

    on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Input has been received from by UN offices,

    agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from civil society. It is also available on-line


In this issue:

    ? Update on the Convention

    ? Highlights

    ? Upcoming events

    ? Other news



85 ratifications of the Convention

    144 signatories to the Convention

Optional Protocol to the Convention

52 ratifications of the Optional Protocol

    88 signatories to the Optional Protocol

Recent news:

Maldives ratified the Convention on 5 April

Third Conference of States Parties, 1-3 September 2010

    The third Conference of States Parties to the Convention (CoSP) will be held from 1-3

    September 2010 at UNHQ in New York. This session, under the theme: “Implementing

    the Convention through Advancing Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”, will begin

    with the election of members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    and include substantive roundtable discussions and an interactive informal session with

    civil society. Elections for members of the Committee will be held in accordance with

    article 34 of the Convention. As the total number of ratifications has passed 80, the

    membership of the Committee will increase by six to a total of 18 members. Additional

    elections will be held for the six members whose term expires in 2010. More information

    and a provisional agenda will be available shortly at





5th meeting of the Interagency Support Group on the CRPD, 6-7 May 2010

    The fifth meeting of the Interagency Support Group on the CRPD (IASG) will take place on 6-7 May hosted by World Bank at their Headquarters in Washington, DC. Members of the IASG will present their current work and review modalities for increased cooperation, as well as discuss emerging good practices, international development cooperation, challenges and opportunities to support the implementation of the Convention. The group will also discuss strategies for working with UN country teams on disability issues. Members of civil society will also attend and present their work on the implementation of the Convention and participate in a forum with UN agencies. More information:

Expert group meeting on accessibility

    SCRPD in collaboration with the World Bank is organizing an expert group meeting on accessibility from 9-11 June 2010 (venue TBC). The experts will review current standards and practices on accessibility and work to develop practical guidelines for disability-inclusive policy frameworks to ensure environmental accessibility for persons with disabilities, with reasonable adaptation, in both the physical environment and in the fields of information and communication technologies. With a view to foster the building of an international community of experts on all aspects of accessibility, SCRPD is calling for experts to email the details of their expertise and contact information, so as to establish a global network of experts. More information will be posted shortly at

Disability workshop at Annual Pacific Rim International Conference

    SCRPD made a key-note presentation entitled "Development for All: Inclusive Policies, Programs, and Participation in the Millennium Development Goals at the Plenary Session of the International Forum on the Rights of People with Disabilities: Utilizing the Convention to Mobilize for Action". SCRPD co-organized an interactive panel in collaboration with Harvard Disability Law Project and the Pacific Forum Secretariat, as well as a workshop on disability, MDGs and gender to support regional capacity-building for mainstreaming disability in development. The Forum was held in conjunction with the 26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on 12-13 April in Honolulu, Hawaii. More information:

Disability and ageing publication Call for papers

    The SCRPD and the UN Programme on Ageing are supporting the development of a publication on disability and ageing. The publication, scheduled to be launched in December 2010, will be published by the NGO Committee on Ageing/NY in memory of the late Ruth Begun, a long time member of the NGO Committee on Ageing/NY. Currently, papers are being sought for inclusion in the publication, whic will focus on: similarities and differences in the impact of disability on younger an older persons; disability, ageing and poverty; design for disability (rural/urban design, home/community


design; affects in later years of acquired v/s born-with disability; the impact of vision,

    hearing and/or mobility loss on older persons; and access to assistance/services for

    disabled older persons in developing countries. The length of the paper should not exceed

    6-8 pages (single-spaced) and not have been published previously. Priority will be given

    to papers based on research and good practice. Papers should include a statement of the

    issue, research findings or practice applications and recommendations. Deadline for

    submission: 30 September 2010. For more information, please contact the NGO

    Committee on Ageing Proposal Contact Information: Jessica Frank Lopez, Chair, Tel:

    (212)407-3710 or E-mail: or Florence L. Denmark, Tel: (212)346-1551 or E-mail: or Mary J. Mayer, Tel: (212)876-2131 or E-mail:


New publication on providing guidance to human rights monitors

    OHCHR has published a new tool: "Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons

    with Disabilities: Guidance for Human Rights Monitors”. The objective of this

    publication is to provide background information on the CRPD, its provisions and

    monitoring mechanisms. The tool will outline principle issues arising in the monitoring

    of the CRPD, such as the inclusion of persons with disabilities in monitoring activities,

    ensuring accessibility and the monitoring of specific provisions. The publication,

    available in English and Russian, is aimed at actors already engaged in human rights

    monitoring such as UN human rights officers, national human rights institutions, and civil

    society. Download the publication at:

    New resolution adopted by the HRC The Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted its resolution 13/11 entitled “Human rights of

    persons with disabilities: national implementation and monitoring and introducing as the

    theme for 2011 the role of international cooperation in support of national efforts for the

    realization of the rights of persons with disabilities. The resolution calls upon States

    parties to the Convention to establish and strengthen domestic mechanisms and

    frameworks for the implementation and monitoring of the Convention, as well as include

    civil society organizations in the monitoring process of the Convention. The HRC also

    decided that its next annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities

    will focus on the role of international cooperation in support of national efforts to

    implement the Convention. More information:

UN Millennium Campaign Online consultation on MDGs

    The UN Millennium Campaign is conducting an online consultation until 7 May that will

    provide input into their report at the MDG review summit this September. The

    consultation provides an opportunity to call for disability-inclusive MDGs, for better

    implementation, evaluation and monitoring, as well as to highlight the need for indicators

    and data collection. Join the online consultation at: http://www.un-


UNMAS Disability survey extended to all DPKO operations

    The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) of Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is the focal point of disability issues within DPKO. UNMAS is currently circulating a disability survey to all peacekeeping operations in the field. In August 2009, UNMAS developed the disability survey, which was circulated to ten UNMAS managed field programmes. Findings from the survey were presented at the Fourth Interagency Support Group (IASG) for the CRPD meeting in November 2009. The survey helps identify the extent to which the issue of accessibility and employment of persons with disabilities has been addressed by mine action centres. More information: Akiko Ikeda-Wei,

WHO - 2nd CBR Continental Congress

    On 3-5 March, the 2nd Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) Continental Congress was held in Oaxaca, Mexico. The Congress was jointly organized by the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Community-based Rehabilitation Network of the Americas and the Caribbean, the National Agency for Family Development (DIF), Consejo Nacional para las Personas con Discapacidad (CONADIS), Piña Palmera, CBM and the Oaxaca local government. More than 550 participants from 17 Latin American countries took part in the Congress including many people with disabilities and their organizations. Participants developed the "Oaxaca Manifesto" which calls upon States to include people with disabilities in the development of their communities and societies by implementing the CRPD and promoting the use of CBR in public policies. The next Congress will take place in 2013 in Bogota, Colombia. The CBR America and Caribbean Network, formed following the last CBR Congress, will work towards implementation of the Manifesto. More information: Dr Armando Vasquez, or Mr Chapal Khasnabis,

WHO - National strategy for persons with disabilities in Guyana

    On 10 March, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, Honourable Deputy Minister of Health, Government of Guyana launched the National Rehabilitation Services Strategy 2009-2013. The Strategy is the result of collaborative work of the Pan American Health Organization, WHO, the Guyana Ministry of Health and the Director of Rehabilitation Services. A seminar was organized to introduce the National Rehabilitation Services Strategy and to promote understanding about community-based rehabilitation. Dr. Kathleen Israel, PAHO/WHO Representative, who inaugurated the seminar, highlighted the importance of rehabilitation services and assured continued support to transform the strategy from a plan into concrete interventions that will change the status quo and result in real and meaningful improvement in the lives of persons with disabilities in Guyana. More information: Dr. Javier Uribe,, Dr Armando Vasquez,, or Mr Chapal Khasnabis,




6-7 May: 5th Interagency Support Group on the CRPD meeting

    (See above)

13 - 16 May: CODHy World Congress

    The 3rd World Congress on Controversies to Consensus in Diabetes, Obesity and

    Hypertension (CODHy) will take place in Prague, Czech Republic. The Congress is a

    comprehensive meeting fully devoted to clinical debates and covering controversial

    issues in a wide spectrum of diabetes, obesity and hypertension. More information:

23 - 27 May: 17th ESPRM Congress

    The 17th European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation and Medicine (ESPRM)

    Congress “European Rehabilitation: Quality, Evidence, Efficacy and Effectiveness” will

    be held in Venice, Italy. The meeting will cover functioning biology, functioning

    technology, clinical sciences, human functioning sciences, evidence-based rehabilitation

    and management. More information:

1 - 4 June: TRANSED 2010

    The 12th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled

    Persons, “Transed2010”, will take place in Hong Kong, China. The main theme of the

    Conference is “Sustainable Transport and Travel for All”. More information:

612 June: 2010 International VSA Festival

    VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, will bring together artists,

    educators, researchers, and policymakers with and without disabilities from around the

    world for a multicultural celebration of the arts and arts education. The Festival will

    feature visual, performing, literary, and media artists and over 2,000 participants from

    around the world. The festival will also include the 2010 International VSA Education

    Conference on Advancing Inclusive Education and 21st Century Learning Skills through

    the Arts and a Pathways to Employment for artists with disabilities. More information:

14-15 June: Interactive Hearings on the UN MDG Summit, UNHQ

    The interactive hearing will provide civil society organisations with an opportunity to

    share their expertise and innovative ideas with policy-makers at the local, national and

    international level. More information:

18-22 July: 21st International Congress on Education of the Deaf

    The 21st International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED) will take place in

    Vancouver, Canada. The Congress themed "Partners In Education”, will look at past

    achievements in education of the Deaf, recent research and established best practices.

    More information:


18 - 23 July: XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010)

    AIDS 2010 will be held in Vienna, Austria and will mark an important milestone: the deadline by which world leaders have committed to ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The conference will be an opportunity to evaluate progress to date and to identify what must be done, both individually and collectively, to achieve this critical goal. See Disability Zone, below. More information:

1 - 3 September: Third Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

    (See above)

    15-17 September: Implementing disability-inclusive development in the Pacific and Asia: Reviewing progress, planning the future

    An international conference and action planning roundtable will be held in Darwin, Australia and is organized by the ADDC - Australian Disability and Development Consortium. The Conference will discuss and review practical actions being taken in the Pacific and Asia to ensure that local, national and international development includes people with disability. The two-day conference and one-day action-based roundtable seek practical ways for people with disabilities in the Asia Pacific region and Australian Aboriginal communities to best fulfill their human rights. More information:

17-19 September: Stand Up, Take Action: Make a Noise for the MDGs

    September 17th -19th, 2010: Around the world, people will participate in a wide range of events, relevant actions and initiatives to show their support for the achievement of the MDGs and have their voices heard articulating their demands for delegations attending the Summit. This global action is designed to grab public, political and media attention and to make sure that the global movement in support of the MDGs is seen and heard around the world. More information:

20 - 22 September: Millennium Development Goals Summit

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend the MDG High-level Summit that will be held this coming September in New York. The Summit aims to boost efforts to achieve the MDGs by 2015. More information:

3 - 14 October: Commonwealth Games Para Sports

    The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has officially released the Para-Sports Medal Events Programme for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games following

    consultation with the International Paralympic Committee. The Games will take place in New Delhi, India, and will showcase world-class sporting opportunities for elite athletes with a disability. More information:


22-24 October: First European Congress on Visual Impairment

    The first European Congress on Visual Impairment will be held in Valladolid, Spain and

    will cover the prevention of visual impairments and rehabilitation. More information: and

26 - 29 October: 4th CBR Africa Conference

    The theme of this Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) Conference is „Linking CBR with Disability and Rehabilitation‟ and will be held in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference aims to promote better CBR practices in Africa and provide an opportunity for people to

    share information, knowledge and experience on how disability concepts, CBR and

    rehabilitation programmes can link together to help improve the quality of life for people

    with disabilities and their families. More information: Joan Okune ( or

    Sally Hartley (

28-30 October 4th National Spinal Cord Injury Conference

    The Conference is organized by the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and will take place in

    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. It will include showcasing new research, clinical

    breakthroughs and innovative approaches and methodologies to addressing spinal cord

    injuries. More information:

30 October - 3 November: International Conference for Universal Design

    The International Association for Universal Design will organize the conference in

    Hamamatsu City, Japan. The theme of the third conference will be “For the People and

    the Earth of Tomorrow - Towards a Sustainable Co-existence”. The conference

    organizers are inviting educators, product planning and developers, administrators,

    consultants and civic activists and students to submit research papers, as well as reports

    and editorial articles. More information:



(The information below from the non-governmental disability community is provided for

    informational purposes only; they do not constitute endorsement of, or an approval by,

    the United Nations of any of the products, services, or opinions of the corporation,

    organization, or individual. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the accuracy,

    legality or content of their statements and opinions.)

Newsletter of the International Disability Alliance April 2010

    Find out more about the participation of civil society in the work on the implementation

    of the CRPD, as well as the work of the Human Rights Council and the Committee on the

    Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Download the latest issue at:

International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights

    The International Diploma on Mental Health Law and Human Rights is currently


accepting applications for the academic year 2010-11. The Diploma, now in its third year

    of existence, is a collaborative effort between the World Health Organization (WHO) and

    the ILS Law College in Pune, India. The course builds the capacity of students to

    advocate for human rights and to influence national legislative and policy and service

    reform in line with the CRPD other key international human rights standards. The course

    is taught by a faculty of renowned international experts in the area and includes two

    residential sessions, as well as distance learning Deadline for application: 30 June 2010.

    More information:

    International Masters degree in mental health policy and services

    Applications are being accepted for 2010/2011 for the International Masters Degree in

    Mental Health Policy and Services (MHPS), promoted by the New University of Lisbon,

    in collaboration with WHO. The scope of the Masters is to build capacity of mental

    health professionals to lead and contribute to conceiving, formulating, implementing and

    evaluating national mental health policy, national mental health legislation and mental

    health services and care delivery. More information:

Online summer course on disability awareness

    This online course challenges the current perceptions about disability and persons with

    disabilities. Students in this online course will view and respond to a series of films about

    disability and challenge their own assumptions about disability, deepen their historical

    understanding of the ways in which the "grammar" of film has shaped depictions of

    disability, and consider the ways in which these images may dialog with the ways we

    think about disability. This course is intended for students across disciplines, including

    social work, psychology, public health, law, nursing, political science, and especially

    education. It is presented in an online, asynchronous format designed to accommodate the

    schedules of working professionals. This course is available completely online and

    offered by the Center on Disability, University of Hawaii. More information: or visit

    Disability Zone at International AIDS Conference in Vienna

    The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) task team on

    disability and HIV has organized a Disability Zone at the XVIII International AIDS

    Conference in Vienna this year. Grassroots DPOs, NGOs, faith-based organizations,

    networks, researchers, institutions and other organizations and leaders in the field of

    disability and HIV are encouraged to participate. In the Zone, people with disabilities,

    people living with HIV, researchers, donors and conference attendees can come together

    to share experiences, learn from each other and raise awareness of the interrelations

    between disability and HIV. More information: at

    Distance learning courses in CBR Bangalore University has launched new courses since 2005 in the field of disability and

    rehabilitation. The Directorate of Correspondence Courses & Distance Education in

    collaboration with CBR Network (South Asia) invites applications for Community-based

    Rehabilitation (CBR) Courses for the Academic Year 2010-11 offered through distance

    mode. More information:


Report on the rights and reality of access to goods and services

    Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) has launched a new report that examines disabled

    people‟s experiences of accessing goods and services, and examines the extent to which

    disabled people have been able to enforce their rights. The report is based on a survey of

    more than 1000 disabled people in the UK. More information: School project help design a smarter walking stick

    Three teenage girls studying in a UN-funded school in a refugee camp in the West Bank

    have been chosen to join 1,500 finalists, Nobel Laureates and leading scientific minds in

    the world‟s largest pre-college science fair where their prototype of an electric cane could

    win a $50,000 grand prize. The girls teamed up for a science project at UNRWA‟s Askar

    Girls‟ School in Nablus, north of Jerusalem, after seeing one of their visually impaired

    uncles struggle to walk on the region‟s hilly terrain. While most electronic canes can tell

    what is in front, the girls devised a wooden walking stick that has a “seeing” sensor

    below so it beeps when the surface changes, such as near stairs, holes or water, up to 30

    inches away. More information:



The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of

    Persons with Disabilities, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of

    Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations Secretariat in New York.

Mailing address: UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with

    Disabilities, 2 UN Plaza, DC2-1306, New York, NY 10017, USA.




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