Human Rights and Disability

A paradigm shift of this radical nature always takes time. For the last hundred years disabled people were mainly viewed as objects of charity and care. The International year of Disabled persons 1981 , made the breakthrough for the concept of rights for people who happened to live with a disability. A process was started which has now, at least resulted in the reorganization that disability – related problems are a responsibility for the human rights monitoring system within the UN.
In the future, disability will not be accepted as a basis for depriving people of their voting rights, property rights, family rights, the right to education and even the right to life itself. To strengthen human rights protection for disabled people we should built on the current momentum we must develop capacity within the existing human rights by monitoring system and at the same time work towards a convention on the rights of people with disabilities. Adhoc meetings of Government have been convened to consider a convention. Mainstream human rights organizations were instrumental in getting this initiative to this stage. The involvement of N.G.Os has been encouraged by the disability movement and would be welcomed in the efforts to get a convention initiated and passed.
There are many ways to build capacity within the existing human rights monitoring system. One approach is to work with disability rights organizations and human rights organizations to provide training on how to use human rights system and have concrete data on the human rights violations experienced by people with disabilities. Disability rights Promotion International, a new project that has been formed to facilitate training and monitoring, plans to start pilot projects next year.
The disability movement needs all the support it can get from the human rights NGO community . Human Rights organizations can contribute by including a disability dimension in their own work. In the Disability Rights Promotion International Projects one should promote the skills and talents of disabled people.
Vitasta Kaul