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22.06.2018
Partnership - aims and challenges
Within the BIDF regional network More...
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Strategic planning
CIL Serbia organised a workshop More...
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Annual Assembly
CIL Serbia held its Annual Assembly More...
17.06.2018
PA Training
CIL Serbia organised two trainings More...
18.05.2018
ReLOaD Programmee
Representatives from 17 CSOs signed contracts More...

A PARAGIDM SHIFT FROM 'CHARITY' TO 'RIGHTS AND DIGNITY'


The process of drafting and adopting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the member countries of the United Nations has now brought the issues of discrimination and exclusion faced by persons with disabilities to centre stage.

The universal definition and understanding of Disability has rightfully moved from being a merely 'Medical' to a 'Human Rights' framework and heralded a paradigm shift from 'charity' to 'rights based' approach.

Article 1 of the Convention says "The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity."

In Oct 2007, India has become one of the first few countries to ratify this convention a move that has made all of us happy and proud indeed.

Questions usually addressed to persons with disabilities like "When did you become disabled?", "How did you become disabled?" should now make way to discussions and finding solutions on questions such as "Are you getting the freedom and choice to live the way you have wanted at home and in society?", "Does your house/ educational institution / place of work have provisions to enable you to access the toilet safely/ independently?", "Are you able to make use of the public transport?", "Are you able to get education on an equal footing like everyone else?", "Are you getting opportunities for gainful employment?", "Are you able to benefit from the different development schemes from the Govt.?", "Do you get an equal share in the property?" , "Are you being restricted from setting-up your own family?".

In 1995, India enacted "The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act". The various articles in the present Convention further strengthens the above Act by elaborating the various rights, obligations and monitoring mechanisms that the state parties (countries) need to build on/ adopt.

The Convention, in Article 1, further does not limit to only the 7 disabilities (Blindness, Low vision, Leprosy-cured, Hearing impairment, Loco motor disability, Mental retardation and Mental illness) that have been mentioned in the Persons with Disabilities Act but has opened up a wider definition as - "People with disabilities who have long-term impairments, for example, physical, psycho-social, intellectual and who cannot get involved in society because of different reasons, such as attitudes, language, stairs, and laws, which prevent people with disabilities from being included in society."  This broad based definition and the recognition of various barriers posed by society assists us to develop a more holistic and sensitive approach in addressing the discriminations faced by persons with disabilities in society.

Following these developments, there is a huge need for creating awareness among persons with disabilities, their care givers, the society at large, and the Government and Non-Government Organisations on the UNCRPD. There is also a need to develop appropriate strategies to review existing laws, policies, programmes and monitoring mechanisms of Govt. Non-Government Organisations and other agencies.

Further, this convention by design is not limited to only Govt. establishments. The Convention states that private businesses and organizations that are open to the public parties have to take initiatives to "eliminate barriers that people with disabilities face in buildings, the outdoors, transport, information, communication and services".

It is no longer enough to be content with providing a few "good willed" services such as a "wheelchair" or a "hearing aid" or "disability pension" .  It is going to be whether the laws, policies, programmes and schemes are in line and reinforce the principles of the Convention that focus on Dignity,   Ability to choose,  Independence,  Non-discrimination, Participation, Full inclusion,  Respect for difference, Acceptance of disability as part of everyday life, Equality of opportunity, Accessibility,   Equality of men and women and Respect for children.

By signing and ratifying this Convention, it is now legally binding on India and other countries of the UN to create and promote an environment where persons with disabilities are able to exercise their civil, political, social and cultural rights fairly and without prejudice.

It is time that Govt. representatives, representatives from Disabled People's Organisations, NGOs and other stake holders sit together and chalk out precise strategies as operation plan to take the Convention forward. If this is not done the Convention will be just another book on the shelf.

Finally, this Convention is about creating a society that recognizes and respects the diverse needs of humankind.

References:

  1. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is at http://www.un.org/disabilities/
  2. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act is at http://ccdisabilities.nic.in/


About the author:

C. Mahesh works for CBR Forum, as the Advocacy Coordinator in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities through 87 of their community based rehabilitation programmes across the country. In addition he is actively involved with the Office of the Commissioner (Disabilities) Karnataka and other networks in promoting 'barrier-free' environment and advocating for the effective implementation of The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act.

C. Mahesh;  +91 80 2549 7387 or 2549 7388; advocacy.cbrforum@gmail.com or cbrforum@gmail.com; www.cbrforum.in



17.01.2008

All news:

Smederevo Coalition
Way to Independence
On Empowerment
Assistive Technologies
Press Conference
Wishes could come true
Seminar on reforms of social protection system
National Conference on Gender Equality
Mobility International Seeks Young Adults
Wal-Mart settles with applicant with disability [USA]
First Contestant with a Disability to Compete for Miss USA Title
INFO - CENTER
INACCESSIBILITY IS DISCRIMINATION!
UN Convention on PWDs rights
Conference on National strategy for Youth
Bits and pieces from Slovenija
Meeting with Bozidar Djelic
Focus group “Social services for PWDs“
SHARE SEE Grantee Training
Make a date
It's Okay to Stare... Then Engage a Question!
Sombor hosted workshop "sex, gender, disability"
Dancing Beyond Disability
Seminar HUMAN BEING AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
Project From Alternative to Standardisation
The regional group of experts in social service provision for people with disabilities
Youth Regional conference
Are we going to Europe?
Disability Guide to Disneyland Paris
POI Conference "From cause to the result: New approaches towards disability"
Open Letter to the Government, Members of National Assembly Competent Institutions and Policy Makers
Centre plan for disabled actors
An Autistic Dream
MEETING ON DISABILITY ISSUES IN SERBIA
A PARAGIDM SHIFT FROM 'CHARITY' TO 'RIGHTS AND DIGNITY'
Transport benefits
New Visa rules
Disabled rights champion honoured
Map of the World
Serbia is going to sign UN CRPD
WORKSHOP IN CAIRO
Seminar on Women with Disabilities
Adaptation of living environment for Persons with Disabilities
Program „Contact Organisations from the Civil Society”
Community Living for Disabled People Must Be Made a Priority
Celebrating 3rd December
Celebrating the 3rd December 2007
FILM FESTIVAL OBSERVING 3 DECEMBER
National Umbrella Organisation mark 3rd of December
ENDING OF SHARE SEE TRAINING PROGRAM
SHARE SEE IV MODULE – NISKA BANJA
IMPORTANT DAYS TO CELEBRATE
To Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
SHARE SEE training in Predejane
Recognising the Rights of Girls and Women with Disabilities
SHARE SEE IV MODULE IN SMEDEREVO
Creation the Local Plans of Actions in Disability Area
SHARE SEE IV MODULE – BELGRADE
TODAY IS THE DAY OF UN
Goodbye mouse hello voice controls
Elena Pecaric
Award
AWARENESS RISING
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF POVERTY REDUCTION
ADA RESTORATION ACTION CENTER
WHERE IS SERBIA
Disability Rights Treaty on Verge of Making History?
The Days of European Heritage in Belgrade, 20-30 of September
Council of Europe in Zagreb
Seoul Declaration
Virtual interpreter turns speech into sign language
Strasbourg Freedom Drive
UN Convention
Jagodina hosted the Third Table tennis tournament "Jagodina Trophy"
Hungary ratified UN Convention
Convention on Child Protection
UN convention on disability rights reaches milestone in signatories
IIIrd INTERNATIONAL SMILING CHILD FESTIVAL
Your dressing room on the Internet
Chosen home life a basic right for disabled people
SPORT RESULTS
What Can They Do?
III Module of trainings accomplished
SHARE SEE trainings
Project with young activists finished
Special EUROBAROMETER 263 “Discrimination in the European Union”
Seminar on Independent Living in Macedonia
It's Deaf Awareness Week 7-13 May
International Day of Families (15 May)
European Coalitions
Social services in South East Europe
Test on Autism
UN Headquarters, New York, NY
Presentation the UN Convention in Belgrade
Presentation of UN Convention on rights of persons with disabilities in Jagodina
SHARE SEE training in Belgrade
SHARE SEE training for Leskovac cluster
SHARE SEE Module II in Nis
The U.S. Embassy has a pleasure to invite you
SHARE SEE trainings Module II
I N T E R V I E W
GATEWAY
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UN Study of Violence Against Women Finds 50% of Disabled Women Experience Abuse
Launch of the Year of Equal Opportunities
Interesting events
Survey reveals social attitudes to disability
Homes that Meet Life’s Changing Needs
Awards for the best Campaign, PAs and users within the PASS project
Design for Everyone, Disabled or Not
STRATEGY
EDUCATION FOR MEMBERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NOVI SAD ON BASIC FACTS ON DISABILITY ISSUES!
AWARDS COMPETITION
UN Convention adopted
Tribune on UN Convention in Novi Sad
Round table in Sarajevo
Evropean Union and Persons with Disabilities
Promotion of International Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
PASS presentation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
International Day of Disabled Persons
World Congress on Disability
N. Korea puts disabled in camps
Universal Design
European Conference in St Petersburg
UN reward to Poland
SHARE SEE Training in Belgrade
Antidiscriminatory practice in Norway
SHARE SEE Training in Leskovac
UN Convention
DISABLED PEOPLE FROM SPANISH INDEPENDENT LIVING MOVEMENT HAVE CANCELLED THEIR LOCK IN
8th Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Rights and Dignity of Persons
UN AGREES ON DISABILITY TREATY TEXT
Geneva, 23 August 2006
SHARE SEE Training in Smederevo
SHARE SEE Training in Krusevac
UN Convention - 13 August 2006
Independent living hope
8th Conference of the European Union of Supported Employment
The implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategy goes on
Independent Living seminar in Tirana
E-ACCESSIBILITY TO BE THEME FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY
New CIL branch
CIL Sport Competition
United Nations takes a big step towards accessibility
Social service for PWDs in the Republic of Serbia
New EU diversity spot airing on MTV
Study visits in Brussels for delegates of disabled people organisations from the Western Balkans on 27-29 June 2006
Poverty
EDF Annual General Meeting
Brochure on CIL 10th Anniversary



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