Policy and Rights

This page features disability news on Policy and Rights from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.

International

A lively discussion on the most under-researched topic when it comes to inclusive policies? (Dec, Center for Inclusive Policy)

How Human Rights Defenders with disabilities are targeted & excluded globally. See the video testimonies. (Nov, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders)

Restoring the personhood of persons with disabilities short intervention on how “the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities is allowing those who were assumed to be hidden permanently from the world to have their moral agency both respected and restored.” See also further remarks on disability and the struggle for personhood. (Nov, Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur)

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had its twenty-seventh session reviewing reports from Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Macau Special Administrative Region of China, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Singapore. See also documentation from the meetings. (Aug, OHCHR)

CIP Discussion on how development partners influence governments in taking ownership of disability inclusion? (Jul, CIP)

Disability rights: How ‘nothing about us without us’ powered a global treaty. A vital, wide-ranging conversation exploring development of the Convention and onwards onto tensions today, with focus on legal capacity, mental health and psycho-social disabilities:

“The medical model that the disability community abandoned is still very prevalent for persons with psychosocial disabilities. It’s very hard to do advocacy that is not framed through mental health lens. [...] When people talk about your rights, (they) think we need to ensure access to mental health services and quality support, but nobody’s talking about my right to employment, my right to education. [...] The mental health system works as a gatekeeper. If I want to access a social benefit, I actually have to go to see a psychiatrist that will say that I have a disability and depending on the country, he may say, actually, this person doesn’t take medication; he may need to be assessed to see if he has the capacity to decide not to take medication. [...] You have a system ready to take away your rights.” (Jul, Strength and Solidarity)

CIP Question of the month is on the gap between policy and practice in disability rights in low and middle-income countries, and what can be done to close it. (Jun, CIP)

Face Equality is a Human Right:

“Historically, legal recognition of disfigurement has been limited to disability laws and spaces. But is facial difference always classed as a disability? While it is true that there is often an overlap between the two characteristics, many members of the facial difference community indicate that facial difference is an identity in itself.” (link to pdf, May, Face Equality International)

Open letter to the UN to protect gender parity and diversity of representation on the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. (Sightsavers and 80 other signatories)

Why tax justice is critical to the rights of persons with disabilities. Injustices that persons with disabilities face “cannot be properly tackled without dedicated public resources. ” (Apr, CESR)

Taxes, Budgets, and Human Rights: Part of a series on key concepts in human rights and the economy:

‘the use of public resources can help to tackle centuries of exclusion towards certain groups (like women, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ communities, and more) who have been systematically denied their rights. In fact, any group fighting for social justice is going to face, at some point, the question of “how to pay” to fix the problem.’ (Apr, CESR)

Report on disability legislation and how it works for people with Facial Disfigurements “While the UNCRPD provides a strong theoretical foundation for protecting the rights of people with facial disfigurements through its wide definition of disability, in reality, it has had more limited practical success, owing to the limited accountability measures in place” (link to pdf, May, Face Equality)

Unchaining Disability Law Global Considerations, Limitations and Possibilities in the Global South and East:

‘Over the past years, there have been increased legal measures to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities. Yet there has been significantly less action in relation to direct prosecution, despite mounting global pressure from disability rights advocates. The majority of persons with disabilities continue to live on the margins of, and often outside, the law, as the law offers them little or no protection because of deep stigmatization, inequality, and marginality. Institutions designed to protect persons with disabilities in countries positioned on the “global peripheries of law” are “places in the world where it is particularly difficult to realize human rights in practice.”’ (Mar, AJIL Unbound)

The proposal for a United Nations Convention on Tax aims to ensure that tax systems support realization of goals relating to equality, including the rights of persons with disabilities, and that States report on this. (Mar, Eurodad)

CRPD Committee Twenty-Sixth Session considered State reports of Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico,Switzerland and Venezuela. (Mar, OHCHR)

A paper exploring how Fiscal policy needs a focus on disability: how to make this possible? (in Spanish, Feb, Principles for Human Rights in Fiscal Policy)

Human Rights Watch World Report 2022 starts with a discussion of autocrats "on the defensive" and how democracies can "rise to the ocassion"; from there it is an update on human rights by country, including updates on disability rights. (Jan, Human Rights Watch)

A training course The Human Rights-Based Approach to Disability running in February-March (UNITAR)

The 15th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD is scheduled in New York from 14th to 16h June (UN)

Argentina

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Armenia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Asia-Pacific

Three-decade journey towards inclusion: assessing the state of disability-inclusive development. (Dec, UNESCAP)

Using the Capability Approach to Review the National Legislative Frameworks for Support Services for Persons with Disabilities in Four Countries in Asia: “most countries address support services, including assistive devices, only from the perspective of a social security measure for persons with disabilities living in poverty, failing to uphold the rights of those not meeting those eligibility criteria.” (Dec, Societies)

Framework for disability policies and strategies:

“The essential elements of a disability policy include a commitment to disability mainstreaming, intentionality around ensuring disability inclusion efforts are part and parcel of the national development agendas, the allocation of adequate budgets, the establishment of robust implementation mechanisms, the articulation of implementable objectives, and guidance for disability strategies. The essential elements for disability strategies include the completion of a situational analysis and the identification of priorities, actions to put into practice the state’s obligations to implement the CRPD, the identification of intended outcomes and objectives, and finally the adaptation of national development mechanisms and
plans so they are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities.” (Jul, UNESCAP)

Bangladesh

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Input to the UN Committee highlights areas of concern that Human Rights Watch hopes will inform the Committee’s consideration of the government’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (Jul, Human Rights Watch)

Inclusive development needs disability-friendly budget. (Jun, The Daily Star)

Cambodia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Cameroon

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Canada

Death shouldn’t always be the sentence for suffering Canadians. “As our Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) laws expand, even supporters of MAiD have become alarmed at how widely the net is being cast. [...] We have not witnessed a slippery slope in Canada, we have fallen off a cliff.” (Jul, National Observer) There are warnings from experts that a lack of safeguards mean it might be suggested to people who would not have otherwise considered the procedure, and of instances where “people have sought to be killed because they weren’t getting adequate government support to live.” (Aug, AP News) See also reactions from activists (Aug, BioEdge). One woman in her late 30s asked “If I'm not able to access health care am I then able to access death care?” (Jun, CTV News).

China

Draft law to improve accessible facilities under review. (Oct, China Daily)

Input to the UN Committee highlights areas of concern in consideration of the government’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (Jul, Human Rights Watch)

Disability Inclusion in China an overview helpdesk report. "The disability movement in China has been disproportionately affected by the Charity Law and Overseas NGO Law, which have necessitated a move from advocacy towards service provision. " (link to pdf, Nov, SD Direct)

Colombia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Cook Islands

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

East Africa

Legislator Revives push for regional law (Mar, The New Times)

Eswatini

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Europe

Does the future of Europe include disability? The Conference on the Future of Europe failed to address persons with disabilities. (May, Social Europe)

UN expert hails EU commitment to disability rights The Special Rapporteur's initial findings on his review of disability in Europe, celebrating efforts taken, and raising concern that some funding is still going to institutional arrangements for persons with disabilities. (Mar, OHCHR)

President of the European Parliament committed to work on improving the rights of Europeans with disabilities. (Mar, EDF)

Improving Accessibility and Access to Rights – Implementing the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030. (March, EU France 22)

Joint Briefing for United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities regarding the review of the implementation of the CRPD by the EU. "The EU has not taken enough measures to address equality and non-discrimination in its legislation and policies, and in particular to address intersectional and multiple forms of discrimination. " (Feb, EDF)

France

The 2021 report of the Defender of Rights shows disability as the most frequent claim of discrimination (in French, Jul, Faire Face)

Gambia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Georgia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Situation Analysis of the Rights of People with Disabilities Describes legislative and policy progress but "despite these changes, little has improved in the daily lives of many persons with disabilities in Georgia". (Jan, UNDP)

Ghana

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations urges the government to Implement UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “Ghana still has traditional practices that promote abuse and, in some ways, the killing of some children with disabilities including some category of adults in spite of constitutional provisions that prohibits inhumane cultural and traditional practices.” (Aug, Ghanaian American)

Learn How the Ghanaian Disability Rights Movement is Influencing National Policy. (Apr, DRF)

Guatemala

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

India

New Policy for disabled paves way for early intervention centres employment portal & national database (Jun, Times of India) Concerns raised that the draft was not accessible (The Hindu)

Government advisory board on disability not re-constituted since November 2020 (Jun, The Hindu)

Indonesia

National Commission on Disabilities receives thousands of complaints through a National Disabilities Channel. (Dec, Antara News)

Input to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Aug, Human Rights Watch)

Israel

Editorial on a government bill that allocates funding for disability inclusion: A major achievement for Israel (May, Jerusalem Post)

Italy

Lack of financial and social support to family of people with disabilities amounted to human rights violation, according to the UN committee on rights of persons with disabilities. (Oct, UNRIC)

Japan

Conclusions from the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the rights of people with disabilities in Japan: “Committee Experts commended Japan’s compensation of victims of eugenic surgery, while asking questions on institutionalisation and inclusive education.” (Aug, OHCHR)

Jordan

Jordan stands out as a regional leader on disability rights. Celebrating a “sophisticated body of law” and calling for actions to address inequalities and exclusion. (Sep, Gerard Quinn)

Malaysia

Nothing about Us without Us “Malaysia has a long-standing practice of making policy decisions and planning programmes for persons with disabilities (OKU) and care partners – without engaging us.” (Dec, FMT)

Mexico

Mexico Bill Would Further Endanger Disability Rights “Right to Make Decisions Should Not Turn on ‘Capacity’” (Apr, Human Rights Watch)

Moldova

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Montenegro

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Myanmar

Disabled face discrimination in Myanmar. “There is little wonder in a society that is attempting to develop economically and culturally after decades of military regime mismanagement that those on the bottom rungs have a particularly hard time, in part because they tend to be ignored.” (Jul, Mizzima)

Nepal

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

New Zealand

Accessibility Bill lacks teeth by the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello. (Te Awa) See also coverage on Stuff.

UN disability rights experts concerned with NZ progress, call for urgent action. (Sep, Stuff)

Disability Rights: How is New Zealand doing? Highlights cross-cutting issues of data collection, lack of agency ownership of the Disability Convention, and lack of genuine partnership with disabled people. (Aug, Ombudsman) See coverage on Stuff.

Lack of cross-government ownership a major barrier warns disability rights report, which particularly emphasizes the need for consultation with disabled people. One of the authors says “there is still a quantum leap required to remove disparities for disabled people in New Zealand”. (Aug, Ombudsman)

Disability advocates frustrated over feedback process for accessibility legislation (Jan, Stuff)

Appointment irks disabled community Ministry for Disabled People sees major appointments of people who do not identify as disabled. (Jan, Otago Daily Times)

Nigeria

10% of social investment programmes will be set aside for inclusion of persons with disabilities, declares the minister of social development. (Sep, The Cable)

The House of Representatives passes a bill prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability (Jun, Nigerian Tribune)

Nigerian Disability Rights Acts: 3 years after Prospects and challenges (Jan, Pulse NG)

Lagos Govt Reiterates Commitment to People with Disabilities "with the launch of comic books aimed at promoting a friendly platform for disability inclusion." (Dec, This Day)

North Macedonia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Pacific

A short video with nice footage introducing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Jun, ILO)

Pacific Islands

Inequality, discrimination, and exclusion assessing CRPD compliance in Pacific Island legislation (Oct, UN ESCAP)

Pakistan

Pakistani people with disabilities “It has taken a long time for Pakistan to pass legislation to contend with some of the challenges faced by PWDs” (Jul, Tribune)

Socio-Economic inclusion of PWDs Towards an Inclusive, Accessible & Sustainable Pakistan (Dec, Pakistan Today)

Panama

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Rwanda

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Sierra Leone

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Singapore

Experts of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Ask Questions on the Death Penalty and Access to Health Insurance. (Aug, OHCHR)

South Africa

Key considerations for an inclusive framework for youth with disabilities in post-apartheid South Africa. (Nov, African Journal on Disability)

Cabinet approves Framework on Disability Rights Awareness Campaigns (May, SA News)

South African Autism community says 'government has overlooked us for long enough' (Feb, News 24)

Tanzania

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Trinidad and Tobago

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Tunisia

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Uganda

A music video on disability rights: Did You Know - Air Jay ft Daxx Kartel (Jul, Make 12.4% Work)

United Kingdom

UK Ministry of Justice Treats People with Disabilities as an Afterthought: "Human Rights Act Consultation Exercise Fails Fully to Include People with Disabilities". (Mar, Human Rights Watch)

Bristol appoints disability equality commissioners to tackle inequality Interesting to see this at city-level. (Feb, Bristol)

High Court declares National Disability Strategy unlawful due to inadequate consultation (Jan, Bindmans)

Uzbekistan

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Venezuela

Experts of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Ask about Braille and Sign Language in Education and Public Life and about the Situation of Women with Disabilities (Mar, OHCHR)

Vietnam

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

West Africa

ECOWAS hosts regional experts’ meeting on disability inclusion to validate a regional plan of action. (Apr, ECOWAS)

Western Balkans

A report on social rights finds that “Integration of People with disabilities is difficult at all Levels” (Nov, Sarajevo Times)

Zimbabwe

Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

A call to include people living with disabilities in development programmes. (Aug, Chronicle)