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Access For All

European Parliamentarians and the European Disability Forum join with CBM to call for strong European action to implement UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities worldwide
MEP Gay Mitchell opens ‘Access for All?’ at the European Parliament in Brussels. Exhibition highlights need to renew commitment to MDGs for people with disabilities in the developing world.
Brussels, 3 December 2008
The European Parliament recently hosted an important photo exhibition to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The exhibition, developed by CBM and entitled ‘Access for all’, will run throughout this week marking the entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The 2008 theme of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us". The photos exhibited illustrate CBM's work in fostering political empowerment and access to health, education, livelihood support and social inclusion in some of the most disadvantaged communities in low income countries.
Much can be achieved when Persons with Disabilities are able to access to development activities; however, such people are a drop in the ocean of the 650 million Persons with Disabilities worldwide. At present only 4 percent of people with disabilities in the developing world access development aid; speakers at the exhibition called for increased commitment and action to equalise opportunities for Persons with Disabilities around the world. Donor countries in particular need to honour their role in ensuring that all development and humanitarian assistance is delivered to people with disabilities on an equal footing with others. Speakers at the opening of 'Access for All' reminded us of the hard work that lies ahead to make sure that the promises made by governments in signing this Convention will be translated into real improvements in the lives of Persons with Disabilities worldwide.
'….billions of Euro can be found for bankers at the drop of a hat…'
Hosting the exhibition was Gay Mitchell, Irish MEP who is used to campaigning for increased focus on development aid and poverty reduction at the European level. He described his pursuit of a strong development cooperation programme for the EU, and pointed out that in these days when 'billions of Euro can be found for bankers at the drop of a hat', he has had to struggle for one billion Euro to come to the aid of farmers in developing countries whose families lives and livelihoods hang in the balance due to the food crisis. Mitchell went on to say that there was 'a need to keep renewing our commitment to poverty reduction and the MDGs', and that 'nowhere is the need felt more strongly than by people with disabilities in the developing world'.
Speakers at the opening of the exhibition addressed the question:
What can the European Union do about the exclusion of persons with disabilities from development cooperation? John Bowis MEP, campaigner for the inclusion of disability across all areas of EC policy, drew inspiration from the photo exhibition, saying: 'We are not asking for people to feel sorry for people with disabilities; we see pride and dignity in the faces of people in the exhibition here today, and it is this pride and dignity that we need to respond to. Disability is not inability- inability is cased by the barriers we as a society put in place'.
Bowis was struck also by the photos which highlighted the way disability impacts families, and in particular its effect on children in developing countries. He reflected on how 'a child's right to play, to be naughty, to mix with other children, to have a career themselves eventually', was all taken away when they either had a disability themselves, or were needed at home to care for a family member because of poverty and inadequate support.
'The real difference worldwide caused by the UN CRPD will be in the developi

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Access For All

  1. 1. <ul><li>ACCESS FOR ALL – A photo exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Marking the coming into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Shown at: </li></ul><ul><li>European Parliament Brussels, December 1-5 </li></ul><ul><li>World Bank European Office, ongoing </li></ul>CBM is an International Christian development organisation, committed to improving the lives of persons with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world. This year CBM celebrates 100 years of commitment and expertise. Photo © CBM/ Lohnes, graphic design plazier apart, responsible editor Catherine Naughton
  2. 2. Rights and participation <ul><li>The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) entered into force on May 3rd 2008, guaranteeing the rights of some 650 million Persons with Disabilities worldwide. Hailed as a &quot;powerful tool&quot;, the Convention gives the framework within which society can remove the barriers faced by persons with disabilities. What do equal rights really mean to persons with disabilities? They should mean inclusion, shown here where a person with an impairment is teaching a class, becomes an everyday occurrence, not an exception. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Convention recalls the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations which recognise the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” (CRPD; 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Malawi. CBM/ Malawi Council for the Handicapped </li></ul>
  3. 3. Photo: Malawi. CBM/ Malawi Council for the Handicapped
  4. 4. Work and employment <ul><li>The CRPD recognises the established relationship between poverty and disability, and the prejudice and exclusion persons with disabilities often face in education, training and employment. Article 27 calls for considerable and direct action to combat discrimination, and to equalise opportunities of persons with disabilities in work and employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo CBM/ Phil Lam </li></ul>
  5. 5. Photo CBM/ Phil Lam
  6. 6. Safe from harm <ul><li>All children have the right to a safe and child-friendly </li></ul><ul><li>environment. Yet children and adults with a disability are </li></ul><ul><li>often more at risk from abuse and neglect and have less </li></ul><ul><li>chance to voice their fears and experiences. Protecting </li></ul><ul><li>children from abuse and neglect is non-negotiable. </li></ul><ul><li>Women and girls with disabilities are 2-3 times more likely </li></ul><ul><li>to be victims of physical and sexual abuse than those with </li></ul><ul><li>no disabilities (DFID; 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>Photo CBM Thomas Einberger/ argum </li></ul>
  7. 7. Respect for difference and diversity <ul><li>The general principles of the UN CRPD </li></ul><ul><li>( a ) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons; </li></ul><ul><li>( b ) Non-discrimination; </li></ul><ul><li>( c ) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society; </li></ul><ul><li>( d ) Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity; </li></ul><ul><li>( e ) Equality of opportunity; </li></ul><ul><li>( f ) Accessibility; </li></ul><ul><li>( g ) Equality between men and women; </li></ul><ul><li>( h ) Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Tanzania, CBM/ Marie Hatzoudis </li></ul>
  8. 8. Photo: Tanzania, CBM/ Marie Hatzoudis
  9. 9. Freedom of expression <ul><li>‘ According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), state governments shall recognise sign language as an official language in the Constitution and/or special legislation, ensure professional interpreter services and guarantee bilingual education to Deaf people. Solely this way the Deaf people’s Human Rights - still so blatantly violated around the world - will be assured in the future.’ </li></ul><ul><li>World Federation of the Deaf </li></ul><ul><li>Photos Sri Lanka CBM Thomas Lohnes </li></ul>
  10. 10. Photos Sri Lanka CBM Thomas Lohnes
  11. 11. Photos Sri Lanka CBM Thomas Lohnes
  12. 12. Most at risk in emergencies <ul><li>Following a disaster, the WHO estimates 5-7% of people in camps or temporary shelters have a disability (WHO; 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>Article 11 of the UN CRPD calls for all States Parties to take necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters. </li></ul><ul><li>CBM staff work with partners in emergency situations to try and ensure that persons with disabilities, often neglected in relief efforts, are supported and protected on an equal basis with other people. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo. Niger CBM/ Carl Becker </li></ul>
  13. 13. Right to Healthcare <ul><li>Persons with disabilities have the same right to quality basic healthcare as everyone else. This is often denied due to inaccessibility or remoteness of health centres. Health workers may be inappropriately trained in addressing the needs of persons with disabilities and in addition, healthcare information is usually not adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities (EC Guidance Note on Disability and Development, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Women and girls with disabilities are amongst those most affected by inadequate healthcare (Groce 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>Article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities specifies the right to the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care available to others. This includes sexual and reproductive health, health-related rehabilitation and population based public health programmes. </li></ul><ul><li>Photos CBM/ Phil Lam </li></ul>
  14. 14. Photos CBM/ Phil Lam
  15. 15. Photos CBM/ Phil Lam
  16. 16. A matter of life and death <ul><li>37 million people in the world are blind- most of them from cataracts, like this girl. Every five seconds someone somewhere in the world goes blind. Yet with the right education or healthcare, 80% of cataract blindness can be prevented or cured. </li></ul><ul><li>Article 10 of the CRPD states that every human being has the inherent right to life, and that States Parties should take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. </li></ul><ul><li>One child every minute goes blind. Almost half of children who go blind will die within two years of losing their sight (CBM: 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>In developing countries, without support, four out of five children who are both deaf and blind die before their fifth birthday (Sense International). </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Tanzania. CBM/ Evelyne Jacq </li></ul>
  17. 17. Photo: Tanzania. CBM/ Evelyne Jacq
  18. 18. I am here too <ul><li>Children with disabilities are at greater risk than their non-disabled peers of being excluded from school, dying before the age of five and of being physically or sexually abused. </li></ul><ul><li>First set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 7 of the CRPD reinforces the fact that children with Disabilities have the same rights as any other children. It clearly outlines the rights of children with disabilities to express their views freely on all matters that concern them. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Our ability to deal with children with disabilities is a yardstick of our ability to deal with all children.” </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Ustinov, UN Ambassador, 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>Photo CBM/Thomas Einberger </li></ul>
  19. 19. Photo CBM/Thomas Einberger
  20. 20. Participation in political and public life <ul><li>The right of Persons with Disabilities to participate in political and public life </li></ul><ul><li>cannot be taken for granted. Article 29 of the CRPD calls on State Parties to </li></ul><ul><li>ensure that Persons with Disabilities are free to stand for election, take part in </li></ul><ul><li>political and public dialogue, exercise their vote by secret ballot and form </li></ul><ul><li>organisations of Persons with Disabilities at local, regional national and </li></ul><ul><li>international levels. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nothing about us without us” </li></ul><ul><li>Disabled Persons Organisations and networks will play a crucial role in the implementation and monitoring of the UN CRPD. </li></ul><ul><li>Picture:Mr. Gastone Ruhisha, a member of the Rwandan National </li></ul><ul><li>Decade Steering Committee, Rwanda, presenting the new disability law </li></ul><ul><li>to district officials. The Secretariat of the African Decade supported the </li></ul><ul><li>establishment and functioning of national decade steering committees </li></ul><ul><li>and DPOs on the African continent. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Rwanda. CBM/ Judith Van Der Veen </li></ul>
  21. 21. Photo: Rwanda. CBM/ Judith Van Der Veen
  22. 22. Right to Education <ul><li>In its ‘Education for All’ Global Monitoring Report, 2007, UNESCO estimated that one third of all children excluded from school worldwide are children with Disabilities . </li></ul><ul><li>Both the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 24) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child state explicitly that children with disabilities have the right to education, and that provisions should be made so that “Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live.” </li></ul><ul><li>These photos show an inclusive classroom in PNG where children with Disabilities are educated side-by-side with their non-disabled peers. In line with the UN CRPD, and with the support of Callen Services, a CBM partner, the government of PNG has made inclusive education part of the National Education Policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Photos: PNG CBM/ Siegfried Herrmann </li></ul>
  23. 23. Photos: PNG CBM/ Siegfried Herrmann
  24. 24. Photos: PNG CBM/ Siegfried Herrmann
  25. 25. Right to personal mobility <ul><li>Article 20 of the UN CRPD calls on States Parties to take effective measures to ensure the greatest possible independence of personal mobility for Persons with Disabilities. This includes providing affordable mobility aids and assistive devices. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Poverty not only leads to disability, but also allows few concessions for the needs and aspirations of people with a disability. In many rural areas, where up to 80 per cent of the general population lives, disability prevention and rehabilitation are rare” </li></ul><ul><li>Disabled Persons International, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: CBM/ Phil Lam </li></ul>
  26. 27. Social protection <ul><li>The relationship between poverty and disability is commonly referred to as a ‘vicious circle’. “It is a two way relationship – disability adds to the risk of poverty and conditions of poverty increase the risk of disability” Elwan, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>“ The result of the cycle of poverty and disability is that people with disabilities are usually amongst the poorest of the poor” (DFID (2000; p.2)) </li></ul><ul><li>Article 28 of the CRPD recognizes the rights of person with disability to an adequate standard of living and social protection. Social protection is key to poverty reduction and ensuring equal opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Tanzania, Marie Hatzoudis, CBM </li></ul>
  27. 28. Photo: Tanzania, Marie Hatzoudis, CBM
  28. 29. Breaking the ‘Fulani stick’ <ul><li>Often, when a grandparent is blind, a child becomes their eyes, leading them at the end of a ‘Fulani stick’. The adult loses independence; the child often loses aspects of their childhood and their chance to receive a formal education. By preventing or treating blindness, a person with a disability and their whole family has a chance to play active parts in community life. </li></ul><ul><li>For every person with an impairment or disability, 4 to 5 other family members are affected. For this reason, it is essential to include families of disabled persons in development programme activities (DFID; 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Country and photographer unknown, CBM </li></ul>
  29. 30. Photo: Country and photographer unknown, CBM
  30. 31. Inclusion, Equity, Access <ul><li>Article 32 of the UN CRPD specifically demands the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in International Cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>The World Bank (1) defines inclusive development as the result of a combination of principles and processes: </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion : acceptance and inclusion of persons with disabilities as equal partners in all development activities </li></ul><ul><li>Equity : persons with disabilities should enjoy equitable access to the benefits resulting from development activities. In addition, development activities should promote non-discrimination and equal opportunities and participation for persons with disabilities in every facet of civil, political economic, social and cultural life </li></ul><ul><li>Access : persons with disabilities should enjoy access to the built environment, transportation, information, and communications infrastructure, facilitating their full participation in all aspects of life. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo CBM /Thomas Einberger/ argum </li></ul>
  31. 32. Photo CBM /Thomas Einberger/ argum
  32. 33. Participation in cultural life recreation and sport <ul><li>Article 30 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities demands that States Parties take action to ensure equal access for persons with disabilities to culture, recreation and sports activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Article 30 stipulates the inclusion of children with disabilities into play activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Photos: </li></ul><ul><li>Kenya- income generation projects/ fashion show. CBM / Siegfried Herrmann </li></ul><ul><li>Rwanda- basketball. CBM/ Keith Mc Allister </li></ul>
  33. 34. Photo CBM / Siegfried Herrmann
  34. 35. Photos: CBM/ Keith Mc Allister
  35. 36. Right to habilitation and rehabilitation <ul><li>Rehabilitation services can play a vital role in a persons development and limit the impact of impairment on daily life. The right to habilitation and rehabilitation is defined in Article 26, and is aims to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life. </li></ul><ul><li>According to the WHO, only 1-2% of disabled persons in low-income communities receive the rehabilitative services they need (May- Teerink; 1999). </li></ul><ul><li>Photos Ethiopia. CBM/ Nahum Ayliffe </li></ul>
  36. 37. Water- clean and accessible? <ul><li>Safe, affordable and accessible water services are a pre-requisite to health . </li></ul><ul><li>Article 28 of the UN CRPD explicitly states that the rights of Persons with Disabilities to safe, affordable, accessible water services are a basic part of an adequate standard of living and social protection. </li></ul><ul><li>For the majority of persons with disabilities in low-income communities, human right to life, food, water and shelter are a daily struggle (WEDC; 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention of disability </li></ul><ul><li>Improving water and sanitation services is a cost efficient and sustainable way to tackle the root causes of some forms of preventable diseases that can lead to impairment and disability. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: County unknown, Wolfgang Jochum, CBM </li></ul>
  37. 38. Photo: County unknown, Wolfgang Jochum, CBM
  38. 39. Attitudes and beliefs are often disabling <ul><li>Which is more disabling, An impairment or society’s attitude to it? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Challenging disabling attitudes and policies are as important as addressing the physical or mental impairment’ (CBM; 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>Article 8 of the UN CRPD calls on States Parties to adopt immediate measures to combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to persons with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Photo: Bolivia CBM/ Keith Mc Allister </li></ul>
  39. 40. Photo: Bolivia CBM/ Keith Mc Allister
  40. 41. Multiple discrimination <ul><li>Article 6 of the UN CRPD recognises that women and girls face multiple discrimination. It calls on States Parties to ensure the full development, advancement and empowerment of women. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite their significant numbers, women and girls with disabilities, remain hidden and silent, their concerns unknown and their rights unrecognised; </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout the developing world women with disabilities face triple discrimination - because of their disabilities, their gender and their poverty </li></ul><ul><li>UNICEF has reported that women and children receive less than 20 percent of rehabilitation services </li></ul><ul><li>Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>CBM Thomas Einberger /argum </li></ul>
  41. 42. CBM Thomas Einberger /argum