sexta-feira, 10 de julho de 2009

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol

O texto que se segue é uma pequena síntese da "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol", para ter acesso à informação completa deverá consultar: ou

Why a Convention?A response to an overlooked development challenge: approximately 10% of the world’s population are persons with disabilities (over 650 million persons). Approximately 80% of whom live in developing countries
 A response to the fact that although pre-existing human rights conventions offer considerable potential to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, this potential was not being tapped. Persons with disabilities continued being denied their human rights and were kept on the margins of society in all parts of the world. The Convention sets out the legal obligations on States to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. It does not create new rights.

Purpose of Convention (Article 1)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
What is unique about the Convention?Both a development and a human rights instrument
 A policy instrument which is cross-disability and cross-sectoral
 Legally bindingA Paradigm ShiftThe Convention marks a ‘paradigm shift’ in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities.
 Persons with disabilities are not viewed as "objects" of charity, medical treatment and social protection; rather as "subjects" with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society. The Convention gives universal recognition to the dignity of persons with disabilities.

What is Disability? The Convention does not explicitly define disability
 Preamble of Convention states:
 ‘Disability is an evolving concept, and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’Article 1 of the Convention states:
 ‘Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’.
 Disability results from an interaction between a non-inclusive society and individuals:
 Person using a wheelchair might have difficulties gaining employment not because of the wheelchair, but because there are environmental barriers such as inaccessible buses or staircases which impede access
 Person with extreme near-sightedness who does not have access to corrective lenses may not be able to perform daily tasks. This same person with prescription eyeglasses would be able to perform all tasks without problems.

Convention Terminology
YES: ‘persons with disabilities’
NO: ‘handicapped’ / ‘physically or mentally challenged’
 Note: Preferences for terminology among persons with disabilities and among geographic regions may vary. The individual wishes of persons with disabilities should be respected as much as possible.

General Principles (Article 3)Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons
 Non-discrimination
 Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
 Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
 Equality of opportunity
 Accessibility
 Equality between men and women
 Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities General

Principles: Participation and InclusionParticipation is important to correctly identify specific needs, and to empower the individual
 Full and effective participation and inclusion in society is recognized in the Convention as:
 A general principle (article 3)
 A general obligation (article 4)
 A right (articles 29 and 30)

General Principles: Non-discriminationFundamental principle of international human rights law
 Includes direct and indirect discrimination
 reasonable accommodation must be made for persons with disabilities
 reasonable accommodation: ‘necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms’

General Principles: AccessibilityImportant as a means to empowerment and inclusion
 Both a general principle and a stand-alone article (article 9)
 Access must be ensured to:
 Justice (article 13)
 Living independently and being included in the community (article 19)
 Information and communication services (article 21)
 Education (article 24)
 Health (article 25)
 Habilitation and rehabilitation (article 26)
 Work and employment (article 27) - human resource policies and practices
 Adequate standard of living and social protection (article 28)
 Participation in political and social life (article 29)
 Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport (article 30)

International Cooperation (Article 32)
 International cooperation, including international development programmes should be inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disabilities
 Focus is on mainstreaming disability into all development activities, though disability specific measures may be necessary to ‘accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities'. (Article 5)
 Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved if persons with disabilities are not included

Protecting and Promoting Human Rights with Limited Resources
 International human rights law recognizes the limitations on resources
 Limitations on resources is not an excuse to delay implementation
 Limited resources have to be prioritized according to reasonable and objective criteria and funding must be proportional
 Strategies for effective use of limited resources:
 Target low-cost programmes
 Target people in the most marginalized situations
 Be non-discriminatory
 Draw on international cooperation
 Include persons with disabilities in all stages

How accessible are the activities of my organization?
 Every aspect of an organization’s activities must be analyzed to ensure accessibility and inclusion. A few examples:
 Do we require our partners/grantees to have policies and practices in place to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities?
 Do we collect data on the number of persons with disabilities which benefit from our development activities?
 Do we design our development projects and programmes to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate and benefit?
 And many others…

How accessible is my organization?
 A thorough analysis of every aspect of an organization must be is necessary to ensure accessibility and inclusion. Just a few examples:Are our human resource policies and practices accessible?
 Do we have policies ensuring that the recruitment process is accessible to persons with different disabilities?
 Do we have policies and resources which ensure that provision of reasonable accommodation, allowing persons with disabilities to work in our organization?
 Are our information and communication systems accessible?
 Is our website accessible?
 Is sign language interpretation available?
 Are documents available in Braille?
 Are our physical facilities accessible?
 Are our buildings, office spaces, facilities accessible?

Monitoring and Implementation
All activities must include the participation of persons with disabilities: ‘Nothing about us without us’

 The challenge of implementing the Convention is now!
 Need for training, capacity building, awareness raising, good practices collection and validation, knowledge management
 Need to mainstream disability in all development activities
 Need for implementation of Convention principles in the internal operations of organizations
 Need to include persons with disabilities in all stages of implementation, and build capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities to do so

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