Friday, 22 July 2011

Human Rights the key to Global Deaf Renaissance - Deborah Oyuu Iyute

So far we have had three UN conventions that can be applied to Deaf people, and especially women and children:

  1. Un Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC): 21 years ago
  2. UN Conventions womemn (CEDAW) 30 yrs ago
  3. UNCRPD was implemented 3 years ago

The CRC is for all children regardless of their disability. An important article in the CRC is article 2.1. One important aspect in this article is the right to language. The other important article is 12.1. The point of that article is that (deaf) children should be supported with judicial settings. In article 13.3 it says that the child has freedom to expression. This implies that the Deaf child can express him or herself in the language of his or her choice, such as sign language.

There are child specific issues that the presenter would like to focus on. One of the aspects is the sexual abuse, even within the marriages the women are raped. What can we do to prevent this situation.  The second issue is parental neglect. The parents neglect or exploit the child. This various by country but the convention touches each of us.

The CEDAW aims at enlarging our understanding of the concept of human rights, as it gives formal recognition to the influence of culture and tradition on restricting womens enjoyment of their fundamental rights.

CEDAW is also concerned with the dimension of human reproduction as well as with the impact of cultural factors on gender relations. Art. 16 of the CEDAW focuses on the issue of marriage and family relations, asserting the equal rights and obligations of women and men with regard to choice of spouse, parenthood, personal rights and command over property. In addition art. 4 affirms women's right to  reproductive choice.

Art. 10 of the CEDAW states that the state parties should take all measures to reduce discrimination against women to ensure equal rights with men in the field of educatin and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women.  The presenter also mentions art. 14 which is focused on the problems faced by rural women who work extremely hard to take care of their families and children.

What needs to be done?
We need to eliminate the barriers that Deaf women and children face. We need to partner with other organisations and we need to share experiences.

To find solutions to solve the problems, we can use the UNCRPD, which came into place three years ago. The presenter focuses on article 9.2 (e) which relates to accessibility, especially by the use of professional sign language interpreters. We must advocate for the use of interpreters to assist us in becoming part of society and that society will become accessible. The other article mentioned is 21 (b) on the freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information.

We must inform our Deaf members and citizens of the CRPD, you all must participate in this informing. If you are not empowered you can not influence.  We also need active involvement and participation in different organisatons and we need to produce parallel reports within the organisations.

Effective strategies to promote our rights
It is important to build alliances with policy makers. So, you as Deaf people must allign with the policy makers and your government. You must also paly a key role in the domestication of the CRPD and other laws. The information must also be accessible to Deaf people through sign language. And also use to PR your cause.

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