The United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) will be hosting  an in-person side event on the importance of inclusive and gender responsive services and support as a critical pre-condition to economic equality of women and girls with disabilities. 

Register herebit.ly/3TwYUhe

Event: ‘Our Agenda Too: Women with Disabilities Advocating for Rights-based & Inclusive Systems of Care & Support

Date: Tuesday 19 March at 8:30-10 am EDT

Location: Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, 320 E 43rd St, New York

Format: In-person only (a recording of the event will be made available after the event).

Co-Organizers: UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Disability Rights Fund & Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, Ford Foundation

Co-Sponsors: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Center for Inclusive Policy, UNICEF, OHCHR, Women Enabled International and International Disability Alliance, with the support of the following missions to the UN: Mexico, United States, UK & Finland

Accessibility: International sign interpretation & captioning will be made available. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

For more information, read the event invitation and concept note.

“My personal experience as an indigenous woman with a disability has been very complicated due to the lack of information, accessibility and opportunities. I have faced many barriers, such as exclusion for being indigenous and a woman with a disability. I have experienced discrimination in different aspects of my life,” said Floridalma Bocel Raxtún, also known as Flory.

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Flory is an indigenous woman with a disability from the Kaqchike linguistic community, in a rural area of Guatemala. Flory has experienced discrimination and exclusion on the basis of her disability, gender and indigenous origin. Despite these challenges, she works to help improve the lives of other people with disabilities in her community.  

My first volunteer experience outside of my community was a major challenge. I realized that women with disabilities face numerous discriminatory barriers. Being an indigenous woman from a rural area who wears indigenous clothes can also lead to exclusion. However, I discovered that there are organizations and spaces where we are recognized and included,”  said Flory.

In 2020, Flory began working with the “Collective of Women with the Ability to Dream in Colors,” the first organization in Guatemala made up exclusively of women with disabilities. This collective is a leading civil society partner in a United Nations joint program called,  “Building the Preconditions to Institutionalize the Rights of Guatemalans with Disabilities,” funded by the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Fund.

This joint program brings together UN agencies, government and civil society to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in Guatemala. It seeks to strengthen the national system for data collection on disability, build the institutional capacity of the government to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and strengthen organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) to participate in law and policy reforms that impact their lives. The joint program is implemented by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office. 

In support of these objectives, the program has provided trainings to 62 women with disabilities from rural and indigenous communities in Guatemala. The trainings focused on advocacy strategies for human rights monitoring, using an intersectional approach to promote inclusion, empowerment and leadership and how to engage in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals. This training equipped individuals with knowledge to recognize obstacles to participation as human rights violations and stand up for change, an agency they may not have had previously.

“Through this UNPRPD joint program and working in the collective, I felt safe and found other persons with different disabilities. I have learned to break down barriers, advocate for inclusion, and work for a significant change in society,” Flory shared.

The UNPRPD joint program has raised awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities and in particular, the rights of indigenous rural women and girls with disabilities and how to translate this into concrete changes in policies, laws and systems. Through the active participation of diverse persons with disabilities, significant progress has been made in the implementation of the CRPD. OPD representatives that were part of the trainings now have stronger advocacy skills and technical knowledge to be able to more actively contribute to the development and establishment of the National Independent CRPD Monitoring Mechanisms.

The programme has also created accessible spaces for dialogue and consultation with women with disabilities throughout the country so that they can express their needs and proposals for change in policies and programmes that affect them. This has allowed their voices to be heard and their opinions to be considered.

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“It is essential that we are taken into account and that our opinion is heard. Often, others speak on our behalf, but this should no longer happen because we can express our thoughts, feelings, and what we really want,” as shared by Flory.

The story of Flory and the joint efforts made by this program demonstrate that true inclusion requires collective action. The UNPRPD Fund leverages the multi-stakeholder approach to joint programming bringing together UN agencies at the country level to facilitate partnerships between governments, OPDs, and broader civil society. Although there is still work to be done, the dedication of individuals like Flory and the support of initiatives like the UNPRPD Fund continue to demand changes to advance the rights of all persons with disabilities.

The UNPRPD Fund is a unique financing mechanism that brings together UN entities, governments, organizations of persons with disabilities, and broader civil society to support the implementation of the CRPD and the disability inclusive SDGs through joint programming, capacity building and knowledge sharing.

Across 87 countries, the UNPRPD Fund has already supported over 93 joint UN programmes, driving significant progress in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities.

To learn more about the work of the UNPRPD Fund, you can read the 2022 annual report.

Side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Before the COVID 19 pandemic, Ukraine conflict and subsequent cost of living crisis, persons with disabilities across regions and countries were already facing multiple barriers and significant inequalities in terms of poverty, education, health, work, and social participation. The succession and combination of crises exacerbated those vulnerabilities, and there are legitimate concerns that they will widen those inequalities even more.

In regular times and even more so during crises, social protection has a crucial role in ensuring basic income security, providing access to health care, and covering the diversity of disability-related costs faced in relation to education, work, and living in the community.  However, globally less than 30% of persons with significant disabilities have access to disability-related benefits, down to less than 10% in low-income countries.  

In the last years, we have witnessed a growth of initiatives in many countries to build more inclusive and shock responsive social protection systems, including through developing disability management information system and inclusive social protection registries as well as in engaging in expansion of cash transfers and seeking to reform existing systems to be more supportive of inclusion.

Following 2019 joint statement on inclusive social protection systems and the 2022 global conference on disability inclusion and social protection, UNICEF and ILO together with GIZ, FCDO, WB, Helpage and IDA have been working on a guidance document to support countries further efforts.

The side event will be articulated around three segments:

Agenda and Speakers

For registrations, click here.

Side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Co-sponsored by UNPRPD.

UNESCO and Inclusion International, together with the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Colombia to the United Nations, are co-organizing a side event entitled “ Inclusive Education: an imperative for advancing human rights and sustainable development” at the margins of the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD). “Reaching the under-represented groups of persons with disabilities” is the third thematic area of this year’s CoSP.

This side event is a contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 4 on “Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all” and to the follow-up to the UN Transforming Education Summit, which was convened by the UN Secretary-General in response to the global crisis in education – one of equity and inclusion, quality and relevance. 87% of the National Commitments to Transform Education expressed during the Summit recognized “the importance of ensuring more inclusive education systems to cater for the needs of the most vulnerable learners and communities”.  There is an urgent need to accelerate efforts and action to ensure that persons with physical, emotional, developmental and intellectual disabilities are not left behind.

Despite the many actions that have been taken, learners with disabilities are among those at highest risk of being excluded from school, or to be taught in segregated settings. Worldwide, laws emphasize segregation in 25% of countries, partial segregation in 48%, integration in 10% and inclusion in 17%. Also, the existence of inclusive policies in some countries does not guarantee proper and effective implementation. When learners with disabilities are included in general schools, they are most likely not receiving the support that they need to learn and participate on an equal basis with their peers with and without disabilities.

The side event will also echo the Call to Action “Disability Inclusive Education: A Call to Action to Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education” issued at the Transforming Education Summit by the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network’s Inclusive Education Working Group and the Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US) to support organizational commitments to invest in inclusive education.

Objectives

Organizers

The main co-hosts of this event are UNESCO, Inclusion International, and the Permanent Missions of Colombia and Portugal to the United Nations. Co-sponsors are the World Bank, the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), the International Disability Alliance, the International Disability and Development Consortium’s Inclusive Education Task Group, the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network Inclusive Education working Group, and Perkins School for the Blind.

General info & Technical details

The event will be held in person at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday 13 June  2023 at 11.30am EST, Conference Room 11. The event will be held in English. The side-event will be webcast on the UN TV at: https://media.un.org/en/webtv . Sign language interpretation and captioning will be provided on UN TV.

Registration

If you are attending the event in person, please kindly register by filling the short form at this link by Thursday, June 8th at 4pm EDT: https://forms.gle/yt6zpwkDSS7rS3nw5

16th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The United Nations Population Fund in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York, Women Enabled International and Validity International, and supported by the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations in New York and the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) invites you to a side event during the 16th Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on:
Equal rights and choices for women and young persons with disabilities: Innovative interventions to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health and rights

13 June | 3:45 – 5:00 PM (EDT) In Person at UNFPA, Orange Café (605 3rd Ave, New York) and via Zoom

This event will explore different dimensions of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for persons with disabilities. The barriers and concrete solutions to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights and addressing gender-based violence, including UNFPA’s We Decide programme on disability inclusion, will be discussed by a range of different stakeholders.

Speakers:

For registrations, click here.

Side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

13 June, 9:45 am – 11 am, UN HQ Conference Room 11

The ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disproportionately impacted persons with disabilities, who face significant challenges in accessing basic services, information, protection and humanitarian assistance. Before the Russian full-scale invasion started on the 24 February 2022, around 2.7 million people in Ukraine were recorded to be living with a disability. Ukraine has one of the highest rates of institutionalization of children and adults with disabilities in Europe.

The United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UNPRPD MPTF) with additional funding from Finland has funded a national joint programme in Ukraine to support mainstreaming disability in the humanitarian response, continuity of services for persons with disabilities affected by the war, alongside building the capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities. In addition, the UNPRPD has launched a multi country initiative in Georgia and Moldova to support Ukrainian refugees with disabilities.

Building on these efforts, the event will focus on the journey from resilience to recovery for persons with disabilities in Ukraine. It will explore the immediate needs of persons with disabilities in conflict-affected areas, showcasing the ways in which organizations of persons with disabilities can be supported in driving and supporting recovery plans.

Speakers will share important lessons on disability inclusion and ongoing challenges faced by persons with disabilities learned from the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The side event aims to contribute to building a more inclusive future for all.

Objectives

This side event aims to bring together multiple stakeholders from UN, governments, organisations of persons with disabilities (OPD) to share learnings on what works and what can be enhanced to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. These reflections will be based on the experience from UNPRPD joint programmes in both Ukraine and neighboring countries (Georgia and Moldova).

The discussion will also focus on what needs to be in place to ensure a more systematic approach to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities in current discussions around recovery and reforms to accelerate CRPD implementation and the adoption of a rights-based model of disability to ensure inclusive and accessible policies, programs and services, including the shift to community and family care based services.

Specific attention will be given to:

Format

Session Outline

Moderator: Leyla Sharafi, Senior Gender Advisor, UNFPA

Opening remarks

Experience from UNPRPD MPTF programmes in Ukraine and neighboring countries

The importance of OPDs participation and their pivotal role

Looking into early recovery and supporting long term policy changes through coordinated action

Closing remarks

Side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

UNPRPD Fund in collaboration with International Disability Alliance, International Disability and Development Consortium, Global Greengrants Fund, and Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network Disability-Inclusive Climate Action working group will host a side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ‘Towards Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Do We Have All Tools for Change?‘ on 15 June, 9.45am to 11am, Conf Room C

Abstract:

This session provides the most recent update on four main pillars of disability-inclusive climate action and outlines some practical next steps for strengthening them:

Background and rationale:

Despite explicit obligations to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas affecting them articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the mandate to ensure addressing the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities in the Paris Agreement, reviewing the international decisions on climate change as well as national policies and commitments clearly demonstrates lack of concrete measures to address the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities and removing barriers for their participation as climate actors.

In recent years, climate change has been increasingly prioritized by the disability movement as an area of concern leading to strong calls by persons with disabilities, their organizations, and allies for more inclusive and participatory climate processes and policies at all levels. As a result, a number of valuable resources have been developed, and some initiatives have emerged to address the lack of tools required to enhance disability-inclusive climate action. Persons with disabilities, their organizations, and allies are in a critical moment to transform the climate action agenda to be more accessible, inclusive, and participatory.

The annual Conference of States Parties to the UN CRPD Convention provides a unique opportunity for key stakeholders active in this area to get together, share what they have produced and achieved, strategize on the next steps, and initiate new collaborations. The present event is being organized to provide such an opportunity.

Objectives:

The purpose of this event is to serve as an open and critical discussion on achievements, gaps, and opportunities to address the systematic exclusion of persons with disabilities from the climate action agenda at national and international levels. At the end of this event participants will gain the most updated information on the following questions:

  1. The available evidence and data on the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities;
  2. The current status and gaps on disability-inclusive climate policies and decisions at national and international levels;
  3. Barriers for active engagement and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in climate justice processes and mechanisms;
  4. Barriers to access funding to advance disability-inclusive climate action and initiatives to address them.

Agenda and Format:

The event will be an interactive round-table with the participation of four stakeholders actively engaging on disability-inclusive climate action.

Round-table participants:

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Persons with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities often cannot exercise their political rights. Distinguished panelist moderated by disability rights expert Oliver Lewis discusses the rights-based approach with the co-authors of Zero-Project-Award-winning book on this subject.

Panel:

NEW YORK, 23 February 2023 – The UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UNPRPD MPTF) is pleased to announce that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has joined the partnership, becoming the 10th member.

By joining UNPRPD MPTF, ITU – the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology – now forms part of the only UN interagency funding mechanism dedicated to supporting the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and offering a ‘One UN’ approach to disability inclusion at national level.

The Fund brings together ten United Nations entities, members states, organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), and broader civil society to implement the CRPD and disability inclusive SDGs through joint programming, capacity building, and knowledge sharing.

This newest partnership further strengthens international cooperation by addressing information and communication technologies ICTs/digital accessibility as a means to support counties’ efforts in ensuring that everyone has equal and equitable access to and use of ICTs in the digital world, and thus, advancing the disability inclusion agenda globally.

‘’We live in a world where more than 1 billion people have a disability – and 80 per cent live in developing countries,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “We cannot leave persons with disabilities behind. That’s why, together with our UNPRPD partners, ITU is committed to making digital technologies more available, inclusive, affordable, and accessible for all.”

“UNPRPD MPTF and ITU joining forces is an essential step in continuing our efforts to support disability inclusion. The Fund is a critical player in providing catalytic funding for evidence-based joint programming responding to country priorities and prioritizing low-income countries. This partnership will help advance mutual goals around tackling exclusion faced by persons with disabilities“– said Chair of UNPRPD, Nafissatou Jocelyne Diop, Chief of the Gender and Human Rights Branch at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

As an innovative pooled fund, UNPRPD MPTF has supported 93 joint UN programmes in 80 countries across the five regions, influencing government policies and impacting over 200 million persons with disabilities.

For further information, please contact:
ITU –David Hirsch, Senior Media Relations Officer, International Telecommunication Union
Press line: +41 22 509 2730
E-mail: pressinfo@itu.int

UNPRPD MPTF – Veronica Cuesta Alvarez, Communications Specialist, United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Multi-Partner Trust Fund
E-mail: veronica.cuesta.alvarez@undp.org

The story of Jurabek Kakharov, a disability rights activist from Uzbekistan and UNICEF consultant on disability inclusion who works on disability inclusion, as part of the UN Joint Programme “Transformation of Social Service Delivery: Implementing Human Rights-Based Approach for Children, Youth and Women with Disabilities in Uzbekistan” funded by the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Multi-Partner Trust Fund and implemented by UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and OHCHR.

Caption: Jurabek Kakharov, a disability rights activist from Uzbekistan, works to promote inclusion and accessibility with UNICEF, through a joint UN Programme. Photo: © UN Uzbekistan/ Nigina Sodikova