International Day of Persons With Disabilities

16 Jul

The United Nations has declared December 3 International Day of Persons With Disabilities. Here in Bogotá, Survivor Corps and its partners will observe the day by organizing a national forum promoting ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The forum will bring together Colombian and international speakers to introduce the convention to a Colombian audience and address several themes:

First, Colombian speakers will analyze the conditions of people with disabilities in Colombia, a complicated task given the range of physical and mental disabilities that exist, the social diversity of the country, the myriad causes of disability, and the lack of reliable data on disability within Colombia.

Second, international speakers will discuss their experiences in organizing successful campaigns to ratify the convention in other countries.

Third, speakers will discuss the rights of people with disabilities, including the rights to health, education, legal standing, accessibility, and communication.

Fourth, leaders of Colombian organizations of persons with disabilities will discuss the significance of the convention for families with disabilities.

After these discussions, the goal is to use the end of the forum to produce a demonstration of commitment to ratification among the government representatives present. Starting with sympathetic members of the Colombian government in attendance, Survivor Corps and its partners hope to promote a shared commitment to ratification among the separate branches of the Colombian government.

This political goal is not simple in Colombia right now. For one thing, the rights of people with disabilities are an immeasurably low priority in national politics, overshadowed by the upcoming presidental election, the Uribe administration’s attacks on the supreme court, and the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt. Moreover, Uribe’s attacks on the supreme court complicate any chance of collaboration among the different branches of government.

Posted By Caroline (Colombia)

Posted Jul 16th, 2008

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