Friday, 22 July 2011

Using the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Helena Christina Gade

In order to use the UNCRPD beffectively you must study it first to understand it fully and also how this is related to your national laws. You can then use the UNCRPD to lobby nationally.

Following your pre-work on studying the UNCRPD and your national laws you can then establish a project with the main idea being spreading the knowledge: Informing & educating, developing values and attitudes, encouraging to arrange activities, enpowering through campaigning. You can establish different projects, such as an informational tour, or produce informational reports.

It is essential to have a strategy. I can then work effictively on what I would like to achieve. You can work in cooperation with the government or with politicians, or with disability groups and deaf organisations. In the strategy you can establish an expert committee. For example, in Denmark we establish this ad hoc committee. During our meetings we discussed how we could lobby our own government to incorporate the rights of the UNCRPD in the national laws.

Essential is that you have a good argumentation. You need to refer consistently to the legal documents and to present the reasons from a human right point of view. And your argumentation must have a good conclusion
Mor information can be found on the website:

A useful and powerful tool to use is the production of a "shadow report". The shadow report can be produced by the deaf organisation or another group of stakeholders, in which the real situation is reported. This can be presented alongside the report that the government sends to the UN. The government must present an evaluation or an informative report to the UN. This can be a one sided view and the shadow report will alert the UN to the problems that are really occuring on the ground. It is advised to write the shadow report with your national disability association.

The next step in the process is that you report on a violation of the UNCRPD. There are different levels of appeal that you can use in the case of vioalation of the UNCRPD. For example, the national appeal board, or the national board of equal treatment, the national court, etc. The situation in each country can be different in this respect. A powerful tool is also the media in the situation of violation or discrimination.

Countries who ratified the UNCRPD must set up a monitoring committee. This committee can also be of assistance if you do not know how to proceed. It is also important that you work collectively in your country and that you use all the tools that are available. You do not need to wait for the generosity of your politicians or your government, but you can actually now use the UNCRPD to lobby for your rights directly.

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