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Human Rights and Disability Advocacy

Edited by Maya Sabatello and Marianne Schulze

Publication Year: 2013

The United Nations adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) constituted a paradigm shift in attitudes and approaches to disability rights, marking the first time in law-making history that persons with disabilities participated as civil society representatives and contributed to the drafting of an international treaty. On the way, they brought a new kind of diplomacy forward: empowering nongovernmental stakeholders, including persons with disabilities, within human rights discourse. This landmark treaty provides an opportunity to consider what it means to involve members of a global civil society in UN-level negotiations.

Human Rights and Disability Advocacy brings together perspectives from individual representatives of the Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), indigenous peoples' organizations, states, and national institutions that played leading roles in the Convention's drafting process. The contributors provide vivid and personal accounts of the paths to victory, including stumbling blocks—not all of which were overcome—and offer a unique look into the politics of civil society organizations both "from within" and in its interaction with governments. Each essay describes the nonnegotiable key issues for which they advocated; the extent of success in reaching their goals; and insights into the limitations they faced. Through the plurality of voices and insider perspectives, Human Rights and Disability Advocacy presents fresh perspectives on the shift toward a new diplomacy and explores the implication of this model for human rights advocacy more generally.

Contributors: Andrew Byrnes, Heidi Forrest, Phillip French, Lex Grandia, Huhana Hickey, Markku Jokinen, Liisa Kauppinen, Mi Yeon Kim, Gerison Lansdown, Connie Laurin-Bowie, Tirza Leibowitz, Don MacKay, Anna MacQuarrie, Ronald C. McCallum AO, Tara J. Melish, Pamela Molina Toledo, Maya Sabatello, Marianne Schulze, Belinda Shaw.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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Foreword

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pp. xi-xiv

Th e adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006 marked the For many years the international disability community had tried to per-suade states that a new convention was required to ensure the full enjoy-ment of human rights by persons with disabilities. It was an uphill battle, ...

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Preface

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pp. xv-xvi

Th e UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force on Saturday 3 May 2008, thirty days aft er the twentieth nation had deposited its documents of ratifi cation with the United Nations (Article 45(1)). It had taken relatively little time for twenty countries to ratify the CRPD since it was opened for signing in March 2007, and remarkably, when ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Th e Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May 2008. It is the fi rst human rights treaty to be adopted aft er the end of the Cold War; the fi rst one to be adopted since the highly successful 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action that conference yielded; the fi rst one to be draft ed and adopted at ...

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1. A Short History of the International Disability Rights Movement

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pp. 13-24

Th e adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities marks a signifi cant achievement for disability rights. Th is success is com-monly attributed to the involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the draft ing pro cess at the United Nations. Th is chapter briefl y recounts the history of the international disability rights ...

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2. Our Lives, Our Voices: People with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families

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pp. 25-44

...?Th is Convention can?t just be about those of us here today. It has to be meaningful for the people who aren?t in the room; to my friends who aren?t always seen or heard by others because they don?t communicate in the same way as us here. It has to protect their rights and speak about their lives as well.? Robert Martin, a member of Inclusion International?s Council and a self- ...

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3. Living in the Community, Access to Justice: Having the Right Makes All the Difference

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pp. 45-57

Th e right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community is central to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Yet this right was only incorporated into Article 19 at the last possible negotiating session in January 2006, as a result of extensive groundwork spanning one-and-a-half Why was this right almost left out, and why was it fi nally incorporated? ...

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4. Inclusion or Choice? Securing the Right to Inclusive Education for All

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pp. 58-69

Securing the right to inclusive education for all in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities involved a struggle between perspectives on what it means to honor a human right to education for persons with dis-abilities. According to one perspective prevailing early in the negotiations, education for persons with disabilities should be about free choice between ...

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5. An Eye Toward Effective Enforcement: A Technical-Comparative Approach to the Drafting Negotiations

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pp. 70-96

Th e Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a historic achievement on many levels. Hard- fought and comprehensive, it promises to change the way the rights of persons with disabilities are understood and socially claimed by a broad range of stakeholders for generations to come. Th is is as true for the rights of persons with physical and sensory disabilities ...

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6. Children with Disabilities

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pp. 97-112

Children with disabilities, like adults, experience widespread violation and neglect of their human rights. Despite the unique provision in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which explicitly includes disability as a ground for protection from discrimination, as well as a dedicated article introducing government obligations to ensure ser vices for them, children with disabilities ...

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7. Women with Disabilities: The Convention Through the Prism of Gender

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pp. 113-130

Starting with the UN premise that of the world?s population of seven billion at least 15 percent have a disability, persons with disabilities make up the single largest marginalized social group. Considering that women consti-tute 51 percent of the world?s population, there are consequently at least 510 million women with disabilities around the globe. Despite this staggering ...

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8. Including Deaf Culture and Linguistic Rights

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pp. 131-145

Th e World Federation of the Deaf is an international, nongovernmental umbrella or ga ni za tion, comprising 133 national associations of deaf people and representing approximately 70 million deaf around the world. Th e phi-losophy of the WFD is one of equality, human rights, and respect for all people, with a focus on deaf people who use sign language and their friends ...

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9. Imagine: To Be a Part of This

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pp. 146-156

To be elected to the fi rst committee to draft a text for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was a challenge and an honor for me. At that time I was secretary- general of the World Federation of the Deafb lind, a small growing worldwide representative or ga ni za tion of persons with deafb lindness. Later I was elected president. Th at election to the draft ing ...

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10. Indigenous People with Disabilities: The Missing Link

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pp. 157-169

Since the introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the UN has focused on treaties for groups requiring specifi c protec-tion. Th e original Declaration did not address in e qual ity for certain minor-ity groups, including indigenous people and persons with disabilities. Th is lack of ac know ledg ment adds to the exclusion and marginalization these ...

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11. At the United Nations . . . “The South Also Exists”

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pp. 170-187

A central element in every demo cratic agenda in the twenty- fi rst century is the sharing of power between the state and civil society. Th is mutual eff ort is, by the same token, a central element in the creation of sustainable devel-opment that incorporates a sense of respect for the citizens? rights, points of Th e active participation of members of civil society with disabilities was ...

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12. Voices Down Under: An Australian Perspective

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pp. 188-208

Th e negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol is a monumental achievement of intergenerational signifi cance. In the course of the negotiation pro cess, the social relations of disability fundamentally changed, not only at the international level, but also within individual nations, including Australia. Indeed, at least for a ...

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13. Monitoring the Convention’s Implementation

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pp. 209-221

Th e negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities coincided with a vibrant debate over the need for an overhaul of the report-ing system to the so- called treaty bodies? and therewith the framework for monitoring the national implementation of international human rights ob-ligations. Moreover, the Convention was set to be the fi rst human rights ...

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14. The Role of National Human Rights Institutions

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pp. 222-238

Th e negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was a remarkable pro cess. Th e extent of civil society participation? above all by persons with disabilities and Disabled People?s Organizations? and their insights and perspectives aff ected in fundamental ways both the style and structure of the negotiations and the form and content of its outcome, ...

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15. The New Diplomacy

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pp. 239-258

Th is chapter summarizes the main observations and examines some of the theoretical aspects behind the work of civil society organizations at the United Nations, based on the work of such groups during the draft ing pro-cess for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. By doing so, it aims to address the questions posed in the introduction: What were ...

Notes

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pp. 259-288

List of Contributors

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pp. 289-294

Index

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pp. 295-302

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 303-304

When we concluded our initial conversation about co- editing a book on the Convention pro cess, we had no idea what a thoroughly inspiring, fun and particularly rewarding journey we were about to embark upon. Th e (hi)story of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is unique in so many ways and trying to capture some of that magic in a book has ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780812208740
E-ISBN-10: 0812208749
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245479
Print-ISBN-10: 0812245474

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Series Editor Byline: Bert B. Lockwood, Jr., Series Editor

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • People with disabilities -- Civil rights -- History.
  • People with disabilities -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- History.
  • Human rights advocacy -- History.
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol (2007 March 30).
  • Non-governmental organizations -- Political activity.
  • Civil society.
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