Enabling Development, Realizing the CRPD Through Civil Society Cooperation
-Sherzodbek Sharipov, Research and Programs Fellow, USICD
New York, UN Headquarters- From September 6-9, government delegations and disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) from all over the world gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York for the Conference of States Parties (COSP). DPOs from different countries had a chance to share their experiences and best practices in advancing disability rights movements in their communities in a one-day civil society forum organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the International Disability Alliance, a network of global and regional organizations of persons with disabilities.
The purpose of these discussions was to share best practices, discuss the progress of CRPD implementation in countries that have ratified the Convention, and share experiences in creating mechanisms and standards supporting the international
DPOs from each region shared their practices in specific fields of disability, including in legislative and policy reforms as well as calling upon international collaboration to achieve the important and primary goal of disabled people–respecting dignity and equality and the human rights of people with disabilities in all areas of community development.
Full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in society has been a primary strategy in achieving the goal of disability communities. DPO presentations covered topics such as equality and non-discrimination toward people with disabilities in employment, inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools, protection of women with disabilities from trafficking and abuse, ensuring the accessibility for people with disabilities in public places, raising awareness of human rights and fundamental freedoms of people with disabilities in the community, and ensuring community integration of people with disabilities.
From accessibility to communication, from health to legal capacity of PWDs, from the right to vote to equal treatment in employment—all topics related to the life and work of people with disabilities in the community were discussed during the event. Representatives of Canadian and American DPOs shared their experience in legislative and policy reforms, while representatives of DPOs from EU member states introduced their strategies for the full implementation of the CRPD. Representatives from the South Asia and Pacific region presented their work in ensuring the full implementation of each principle and article of the convention.
DPOs also shared their latest reports and findings with colleagues. The civil society forum provided a great platform for participants to gain knowledge about disability movements in neighbouring countries, to share best practices in ensuring the better life and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all areas of the community development, progressive mechanisms and strategies for the full implementation of international instruments, including CRPD at the national level.