UN Route towards relay services throughout the world

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UN Route towards relay services throughout the world

  1. 1. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world Christopher FG Jones Co-Convenor JCA-AHF Geneva, 25 November 2011 ITU-T Workshop on “ Telecommunications relay services for persons with disabilities ” (Geneva, 25 November 2011)
  2. 2. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>UNCRPD </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  3. 3. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>Article 9 – Accessibility  </li></ul><ul><li>To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life , States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others , …… </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  4. 4. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>…… to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and system s , and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public , both in urban and in rural areas. ……. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  5. 5. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:  </li></ul><ul><li>b. Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  6. 6. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to: </li></ul><ul><li>a. Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public; …… </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  7. 7. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>b. Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities; …….. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  8. 8. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>g. Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet; </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  9. 9. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>It is clear from the above sections of the convention that relates to the provision of relay services by the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Which states have ratified the UNCRPD? </li></ul><ul><li>Do these states have relay services? </li></ul>
  10. 10. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>It is clear from the above sections of the convention that relates to the provision of relay services by the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Which states have ratified the UNCRPD? </li></ul><ul><li>There are 2 levels of ratification:- </li></ul><ul><li>Convention and Protocol </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  11. 11. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>There are:- </li></ul><ul><li>153 signatories to the Convention </li></ul><ul><li>90 signatories to the Optional Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>106 ratifications of the Convention </li></ul><ul><li>63 ratifications of the Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>The following are examples of which countries are involved with UNCRPD. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  12. 12. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>The following is a sample of countries represented by this audience such as Estonia, Poland and Nigeria. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  13. 13. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world Country Convention Signed Protocol Signed Convention Ratified Protocol Ratified Australia Y Y Y Canada Y Y Denmark Y Y Estonia Y Finland Y Y France Y Y Y Y Germany Y Y Y Y Japan Y Lebanon Y Y Nigeria Y Y Y Y South Africa Y Y Y Y Sweden Y Y Y Y UK Y Y Y Y USA Y
  14. 14. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>Even countries that have ratified the UNCRPD do NOT have the FULL range of relay services. Are they breaking the convention? </li></ul><ul><li>Example the UK has only ONE relay service even though she has ratified both the convention and the protocol. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  15. 15. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>How easy is it to campaign for relay services? </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately it is not easy as some of us have experienced like in the UK where we have been campaigning since 2003! </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  16. 16. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>There is a need for deaf organizations to consolidate and campaign with one voice! </li></ul><ul><li>This is crucial to any campaign that both the regulator and the government receive the SAME message with one UNIFIED voice! </li></ul><ul><li>Examples are: </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  17. 17. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>In the UK, United Kingdom Council of Deafness, an umbrella body recently sent a letter to the Minister consisting of 56 signatories by the CEOs of different deaf organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>In the USA, even with their prescriptive legislation relating to relay services, they are still campaigning for improved access! </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  18. 18. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>In the USA, in spite of their prescriptive legislation relating to relay services. Several different petitions have been sent to the FCC for better and improved access to the telephone. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  19. 19. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>This has been led by the NAD – National Associaton of the Deaf together with signatories from the CEOs of many organizations of the deaf through the US. These include Hearing Loss Association of America and TDI. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  20. 20. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>In Australia, the Deaf Telecommunications Access Networking which grew out of Telecommunications Access Sub-committee (TASC) which have been campaigning since 1986! </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  21. 21. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>It is obvious that in these exemplar countries, deaf people have been campaigning for a VERY LONG time. </li></ul><ul><li>It will be even harder for those countries who have no relay services, to start campaigning. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  22. 22. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>How can the UNCRPD help with the provision of relay services in any country that have ratified the convention? </li></ul><ul><li>Simple answer to that question is? </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  23. 23. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>No one knows! </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>No deaf person or a deaf organization globally has petitioned under the UNCRPD currently! </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this so? </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  24. 24. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>It is a COSTLY route that an individual or a voluntary organization do not have the required funds to put forward a petition to the UN. </li></ul><ul><li>NB:- the following is not to be taken as legal advice as I am not a lawyer!. Please seek your own legal advice! </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  25. 25. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>To carry out an UN petition, one needs to ensure that ALL domestic remedies have been EXHAUSTED. This is best done by a barrister or equivalent who will scrutinize each national and/or federal law to seek potential remedy. If all of this fails then you have exhausted all domestic remedies then you are eligible for a petition to the UN. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  26. 26. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>Victims – it is an unfortunate word that the UN uses for their petition procedure! Generally it is a good idea to collate a number of victims who have had restricted or no access to the telephone. It is imperative that each victim is interviewed INDEPENDENTLY by a reputable marketing organisation to produce a report. </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  27. 27. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>To conclude, would the UN route towards relay services throughout the world work? </li></ul><ul><li>As not one individual and/or organization has brought forward a petition. We do not know if this will work! </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  28. 28. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>What is stopping them? </li></ul><ul><li>Educational? </li></ul><ul><li>Legal costs? </li></ul><ul><li>Who knows? </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011
  29. 29. UN Route towards relay services throughout the world <ul><li>References:- http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/disabilities-op.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Christopher FG Jones </li></ul><ul><li>Email:- [email_address] </li></ul>Geneva, 25 November 2011

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