At a recent meeting of disability rights organizations, one participant expressed her amazement at the number of organizations and networks that work on disability rights, and their complete lack of coordination. Everyone agreed, noting that they hadn’t even heard of some of the groups mentioned during our meetings.
Accordingly, the organizations in the campaign to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have been doing a lot of very basic work to share information and coordinate previously isolated efforts. The first thing Paola and I did when I arrived in Colombia was create a directory of organizations and clean up Survivor Corps’ listserves. Now we’re working with one of our partners, DISNNET, to create a weekly email centralizing news about the ratification campaign in Colombia and offering perspectives on the regional and international context.
In working on the weekly email, I’ve been getting to know the information networks that support work on disability rights in Colombia and abroad. Here in Colombia, our partner DISNNET produces a daily e-mail newsletter that reports and editorializes on all sorts of developments related to disability, including political, cultural, and scientific issues.
In Latin America, the listserve Discapacidad y Derechos Humanos includes organizations from many countries working for ratification of the convention, and addressing other topics related to disability rights. The group Ratify Now serves a similar purpose globally.
The conversations over these lists include news of new ratifications (as of today, 36 countries have ratified the convention) and perspectives on the course of existing campaigns. There have been conversations about whether it’s best for countries to bring themselves into full compliance with the convention before ratifying it, or whether such a strategy obstructs progress that could be made through early ratification and “progressive realization.”
Here in Colombia, the organizations participating in the ratification campaign will meet on Monday to agree on a plan of meetings with government officials and public education. I’m hopeful that we can also get the weekly email started soon after Monday’s meeting.
Posted By Caroline (Colombia)
Posted Jul 31st, 2008