Training for PAs in Bor More...
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Training for persons with disability
Walk the talk with persons with disability More...
Continuation of BIDF project More...
Make a date
In a few weeks, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has its first birthday, so get ready for hoopla. Break out the champagne and get down to the card shops to buy an anniversary card.T
he first human rights treaty of the twenty first century has been widely celebrated as a victory for the disability rights community, a recognition of the shared humanity of disabled and non-disabled people, and a legally binding document which will make a major difference to the lives of DWPs everywhere. It opened for signatures on 30 March 2007, and at the last count, 125 countries had signed up to its provisions. Everyone agrees that disabled people are amongst the poorest of the poor, and deserve a better deal. A bright shiny law which brings this woeful state of affairs to people's attention and demands action can only be a good thing, and I willingly applaud those who worked so tirelessly to achieve it.
However, this year also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That might raise a note of caution amongst all those who show such optimism about the impact of UN Conventions and other international statutes. The Universal Declaration guarantees us all a fair trial, freedom from torture, arbitrary arrest or detention, the right to an adequate standard of living and equal pay, amongst other worthy goals. But many of these rights are more notable for how they're breached rather than how they're observed - not least in America, land of the free and the host of the United Nations.T he UN Declaration was always a wish list rather than a piece of binding legislation, but don't look too closely at the more recent Conventions on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, or the Conventions outlawing Torture and Genocide, because you'll only get depressed at their lack of impact too.
After all, more than 50 of the world's nations - from Argentina to Zimbabwe - already have anti-discrimination legislation in place to protect the rights of disabled people, and the effectiveness of these specific national laws is, to say the least, mixed. Even the most widely celebrated and much emulated statute, the Americans with Disabilities Act, has had a varied impact. Certainly, disability access is much better in the USA than in most countries, but disabled Americans remain disproportionately poor and socially excluded. There's even an academic debate raging as to whether the ADA might actually have increased unemployment among disabled people, as the statistics seem to imply.
The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham declared that rights were "nonsense on stilts". I think he meant that it's all very well promising people the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but that doesn't help them very much unless someone is prepared to do something about it. It's hard, though still possible, to protect negative rights - i.e. the right not to be enslaved - but it's almost impossible to guarantee positive rights - i.e. the right to employment or the right to have a family.Guaranteeing people formal equality or freedom sounds great, but what really improves quality of life is access to employment or, failing that, adequate welfare benefits or services. Human rights tends to focus on the individual, whereas it's more often structural and community solutions that are required.Passing disability civil rights statutes is relatively simple and looks nice. Doing something to improve the situation for disabled people is complicated, costly and difficult. So expect lots of the former and less of the latter in future.
Despite my scepticism, I do realise that the UN Convention will have a gradual impact. For those countries who have never imagined that disabled people might have rights, the UN Treaty will be a timely reminder and a guide to action. The requirement to report regularly on the progresss made in implementing disability rights may also have an effect. Symbolically, the new law further contributes to disability being understood as a political issue rather than a medical problem. That's all brilliant.
Yet I still can't help making an admittedly loose analogy with Mother's Day. Every year, on the first Sunday in March, we have a national day on which we buy a card for our mums (if we remember), and perhaps some flowers or chocolates too. That's nice, that's right, and so we should. But Mother's Day is never going to do much to make the world a better place to be a mother. Similarly, I suspect that the UN Convention is only a small part of the immense effort that is required to achieve a better outcome for disabled people. It's important to remember that no law can deliver everything we hope for.
The venerable English saying "fine words butter no parsnips" springs to mind. Happy anniversary.
Tom Shakespeare, BBC OUCH MAGAZINE, No 224
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'
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
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
Virtual interpreter turns speech into sign language
Strasbourg Freedom Drive
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
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)
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
UN Study of Violence Against Women Finds 50% of Disabled Women Experience Abuse
Launch of the Year of Equal Opportunities
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
EDUCATION FOR MEMBERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NOVI SAD ON BASIC FACTS ON DISABILITY ISSUES!
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
European Conference in St Petersburg
UN reward to Poland
SHARE SEE Training in Belgrade
Antidiscriminatory practice in Norway
SHARE SEE Training in Leskovac
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
EDF Annual General Meeting
Brochure on CIL 10th Anniversary