UN CRPD News letter
March 2013

The United Nations Enable Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (DSPD/DESA) with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities. It is also available online at:
In this issue:– Status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
– Highlights from the UN system
– Upcoming calendar of events
– Other news

ratifications and 155 signatories to the CRPD

76 ratifications and 91 signatories to its Optional Protocol (OP)– Iraq acceded to the Convention on 20 March 2013 – 6th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
The 6th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP6) will be held from 17-19 July 2013. The theme for this session is: “Ensuring adequate standard of living: empowerment and participation of persons with disabilities within the framework of the CRPD”. The sub-themes are: 1. Economic empowerment through inclusive social protection and poverty reduction strategies; 2. Disability-inclusive development in national, regional and international processes; and 3. Community-based rehabilitation and habilitation for inclusive society. Information on the programme, documents and other details, such as civil society participation, side-events and NGO accreditation will be posted on the Enable website at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1606.

Update on the High-level Meeting on Disability and Development

The High-level meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development (HLMDD, http://www.un.org/hlmdd2013) is expected to take place at the level of the Heads of States on 23 September, this year. Prior to the meeting, draft outcome document will be produced by Member States, along with input from organizations of persons with disabilities and other relevant stakeholders. Toward this end, DESA, in partnership with UNICEF are currently conducting online global consultations that began on 8 March and will continue until 5 April 2013. The online consultations were extended by a week to encourage wider participation from regions and languages. The consultations are being carried out in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/enable)
World Down Syndrome Day commemorated at UN Headquarters
In 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The World Down Syndrome Conference 2013 was organized at UN Headquarters in New York on 21 March, under the theme “The Right to Work”. This year’s Conference, focused on the rights of persons with Down syndrome to work in open, inclusive and accessible environments. The Conference worked to help raise awareness on the importance of promoting early development and education, proper medical care, and providing for independent living in communities. The multi-stakeholder event was organized by Down Syndrome International, the Missions of Australia, Brazil, Japan, Poland and India, as well as DESA and UNICEF. (http://www.un.org/en/events/downsyndromeday; http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org)
United Nations Innovation Award: call for stories on people’s empowerment
In conjunction with the theme of the recent session of the Commission for Social Development, the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) seeks to find and bring to scale the most incredible stories on people’s empowerment around the globe. You can nominate yourself, or another person you admire who empowered you and therefore your unique and special story. We truly believe that the major social challenges of our time can be solved only with the full participation of people at all levels of society. This innovation award represents DSPD’s commitment to the promotion of people’s empowerment and social development globally. Deadline: 14 May 2013. (http://empowerment.unsdn.org/)
Commission on the Status of Women concludes its 57th session
Rehabilitation International (RI) in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion conducted a side event titled: Violence Against Women with Disabilities – a Global Challenge” on 4 March, during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (4-15 March 2013). RI organized the side-event following the launch of the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences. During the discussion, Governments and UN agencies were called upon to address violence against women with disabilities, and to mainstream disability into gender discussions at all levels. (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/directory/special_rapporteur_vaw_10470.htm), A disability-related event was also organized on 8 March by UN Women in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Permanent Missions of Jordan, New Zealand and Peru, as well as Human Rights Watch, Plan International and Women Enabled. The event aimed to raise awareness about and bring to light the intersection of the CRPD and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). (http://tinyurl.com/boo3hkk). The side event, “Women with Disabilities and Violence: Challenges and Visions in the Asia Pacific Region” held on March 8, saw the pre-launch of the new Asia Pacific Women with Disabilities United, which will be a start of a new movement for women with disabilities in Asia Pacific. The event was supported by the Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.


OHCHR – Addressing the rights of persons with disabilities at HRC22
The rights of persons with disabilities were dealt with extensively in the context of the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) held from 25 February to 22 March 2013. The fifth annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities (6 March 2013) focused on the work and employment. The HRC also adopted without a vote a resolution on the work and employment of persons with disabilities (draft resolution A/HRC/22/L.4). The resolution calls upon States parties to the CRPD to adopt and implement appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the right to work on an equal basis with others. During HRC22, a side-event organised by Ecuador, Spain and Fundación ONCE was dedicated to bringing forth good practices in promoting employment of persons with disabilities. Side-events were also held on the issue of inclusive education (organized by UNICEF) and on defining the way forward on including the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda (organized by Austria, Finland and the International Disability Alliance). (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/Pages/DisabilityIndex.aspx)

OHCHR – Study on the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities
The “Study on the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities, with a particular focus on challenges faced with respect to the full enjoyment of human rights and inclusion in development” (E/C.19/2013/6), reviews the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities in the enjoyment of their human rights. The study examines areas such as political participation, access to justice, education, language and culture, and issues specific to indigenous women and children with disabilities. Recommendations are made to United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders on ways to increase the inclusion and participation of indigenous persons with disabilities, as well as help develop the capacity of organizations of indigenous persons with disabilities. (http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1605)

UNICEF – All-Staff Disability Orientation and Training Video
The web-based Disability Orientation for staff is a multi-media, 40-minute training video that presents statements, resources and good practices from UNICEF and its partners from around the world. The objective of the orientation is to strengthen understanding of, and capacity to support, programming for children and women with disabilities. The Disability Orientation consists of two main modules, each module has five lessons. The first part of the Orientation provides an overview of the disability movement and what disability means according to the CRPD. The second part of the Orientation focuses on how to mainstream disability through UNICEF’s work. (http://www.unicef.org/disabilities/)

My World: The United Nations global survey
Make the voices of persons with disabilities heard… LOUD!
Vote for the changes that would make the most difference to your world! MY World is a United Nations global survey asking you to choose your (7) priorities for a better world. There are 16 priority areas in the survey to choose from, plus one more for you to decide, which can be made disability-specific, such as: freedom to make my own decisions; being included in the community by removing architectural and attitudinal barriers; including persons with disabilities in all development plans, programmes and activities. You decide! Forward, translate and send this around the world! Results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda. Tell them about the world you want, because your voice matters!  Vote at: http://enable.myworld2015.org.

(Send us information on major international disability events for possible inclusion in the list below)

2 April: World Autism Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives. (http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/

17 April: General Discussion on women and girls with disabilities
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will hold a half Day of General Discussion on Women and Girls with Disabilities on Wednesday, 17 April 2013. Women and girls with disabilities experience multiple forms of discrimination, which hinder their meaningful participation on an equal basis with others in all spheres of life. The Committee has invited persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to submit their inputs to the Committee. (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx)

29 to 30 April: 29th Pacific Rim Int’l Conference on Disability and Diversity
The theme for the 29th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity: “Being in Community”, embraces the ideals of all people living together harmoniously and happily in a barrier-free world without fear of exclusion from social, economic or political life. (http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu)

20 to 31 May: 12th session, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The session will be held at UN Headquarters, New York and include a review year of the Forum. (http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples/UNPFIISessions/Twelfth.aspx)

6 to 7 June: M-Enabling Summit 2013
The second M-Enabling Summit 2013: Global Summit on Accessible Mobile Technology for Senior Citizens and Users of All Abilities is organized by the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and E.J. Krause and Associates (EJK) in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ensuring substantial participation for leading international mobile service providers, policy makers, apps developers and manufacturers. (http://www.m-enabling.com)

27 to 28 June: Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries
The Symposium to be held at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, will focus on improving and increasing access to technology and rehabilitation products and services with the goal of ensuring full inclusion and participation for persons with disabilities in low-resourced communities in low and middle income countries. (http://idtr.uwctds.washington.edu/workshops/2013)

2 to 3 July: Include 2013: Global Challenges and Local Solutions in Inclusive Design
The event will be organised by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Hong Kong Design Centre and the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/4989/all/1/include-2013.aspx)

2 to 13 September: 10th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
(Details forthcoming)

9 to 11 September: 6th International Urban Design Conference
The Conference will be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.  The conference “UrbanAgiNation” urbanisation | agitation | imagination will examine the future Density and Infrastructure requirements in cities. The call for abstracts is now open. (http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au)

23 September: High-level Meeting on Disability and Development (HLMDD)
(See item above).

16 to 18 October: 2nd International Conference of the WFD
The 2nd Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) will be held in Sydney, Australia under the theme: “Equality for Deaf People”. (www.wfdsydney2013.com)

3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The details and theme for IDPD 2013 are forthcoming.

(DISCLAIMER: The information below is provided by civil society organizations and others for informational purposes only. This does not constitute endorsement of, or an approval by, the United Nations of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization or individual. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of their statements and opinions.)

Strengthening the role of the EU’s in implementing the CRPD
As part of the Making Development Inclusive project, the IDDC EU Task Group organized a roundtable on the implementation of the CRPD and the role of EU’s external action. The event was hosted at the European Parliament and highlighted the importance of EU support for persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, globally. Speakers noted that while good progress had been made, much more remained to be done to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are mainstreamed in all EU development programmes and policies. In 2013, the first EU report to the CRPD Committee will be submitted.

Forced Migration Review article on refugees and persons with disabilities
“Refugees and displaced persons with disabilities – from ‘forgotten’ to ‘vulnerable’ to ‘valuable’,” a recent article was published as part of Forced Migration Review’s special 25th anniversary collection. This article, by Emma Pearce of the Women’s Refugee Commission, lays out the needs and rights of persons with disabilities among displaced populations. (http://tinyurl.com/cbz7u27)

Zero Project Report 2013
The Zero Project Report 2013 was presented at the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council during a side-event: “Advancing the rights of persons with disabilities: Innovative Policies and Practices & the post-2015 MDG agenda.” The event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Finland, New Zealand and Thailand, as well as the International Disability Alliance, in collaboration with the Essl Foundation and World Future Council and their Zero Project. The Project focused on the crucial subject of employment and disability in its 250-page report, which provides indicators, along with innovative practices and policies that promote employment of persons with disabilities. (http://www.zeroproject.org/about/presentations/geneva/; http://www.zeroproject.org/about/publications/)

New online resource on disability-inclusive development
This online resource: “Disability and Development: Concepts, strategies and tools for disability-inclusive development”, available in French and English, was developed by Handicap International and the French Agency for Development. It highlights why disability needs to be addressed by international cooperation and provides key facts, as well as more in-depth resources to promote disability-inclusive development. (http://www.hiproweb.org/fileadmin/cdroms/Handicap_Developpement/www/index.htmland publications@handicap-international.org)

Funding available for LAC region
ACall for Proposals of the IDB funds from the Government of Japan has been issued for civil society organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), to fund innovative projects that focus on vulnerable communities and groups. Deadline: 15 May 2013. (http://www.idepa.org.ar; correo@idepa.org.ar)

Good practices in disability-inclusive development
The Making It Work International Coordination Team has an online searchable database with over 100 good practice case studies in disability-inclusion. (http://www.makingitwork-crpd.org/good-practice-database/; info@makingitwork-crpd.org)


Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
S-2906, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA.
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