Larissa Hotra

Larissa Hotra (Survivor Corps in El Salvador): Larissa graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources in 2004. She worked at the nonprofit SafeHouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a legal advocate and as an environmental science educator to high school students. She then served as the Midwest campaign coordinator for Global Impact, a nonprofit that raises money for international humanitarian organizations. By night, she worked as the Political Affairs Editor for a Ukrainian Internet Newsletter, e-POSHTA. Throughout her time in Chicago she dabbled in everything that the city had to offer: producing a story for Chicago Public Radio on the Ukrainian diaspora; organizing and working with the Ukrainian diaspora through PLAST – a Ukrainian youth scouting; attending free cultural and musical events; practicing her Spanish language skills in Latino immigrant neighborhoods; and trying to play soccer on every piece of green space in the city. At the time of her fellowship, Larissa was in the first year of a Master’s program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Oops. We forgot about people with disabilities. Again.

27 Jun

The Permanent Table of the Attorney’s Office of the Defense of Human Rights in El Salvador Publicly Decries the 2008 Census Results


EL SALVADOR (June 25, 2008) – Eleven of the more than twenty-five organizations and persons that make up the Permanent Table of the Attorney’s Office of the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH) gathered today at a press conference in the PDDH Offices to demand the development of a Specific National Survey of Population of People with Disabilities. Jesus Martinez, Director of the Landmine Survivors Network and acting member of the PDDH, and others assembled in order to counter the inaccurate results of the Sixth Public Population Census regarding the number of individuals with a disability in El Salvador.

“We are extremely uncomfortable with the results of this 2008 Census…It should include accurate and trustworthy statistics about all of the individuals with a disability living in this country.”

(see video for visuals)

The Sixth Public Census results show that only 4.1% of the 5,744,113 inhabitants of El Salvador, or 235,302 individuals, are living with a disability. The PDDH says that the number of people with disabilities in El Salvador is 10% of the population or higher. The Office demands the development of a specific National Population Survey of People with Disabilities designed to include full participation of the different sectors and institutions that deal with disability issues.

“The final information obtained suffers from strong limitations, ambiguities and omissions, characteristics that contribute to deepening the exclusive forms, margins, and invisibility of people with disabilities.” According to PDDH, the lack of reliable statistics of the 2008 Census will negatively impact the formulation of public political inclusion, budgetary allocations, and national organizations such as the Consejo Nacional de Atencion Integral a las Personas con Discapacidad (CONAIPD), the Instituto Salvadoreno de Rehabilitacion (ISRI), and the different Ministries that are attending to disability issues in El Salvador.

The PDDH links the inaccuracy of the 2008 Census with the deficient results of the 2007 Fifth House Census: “the results today presented serious differences with the estimates that have already came out in studies of important institutions that approach disability from different approaches.” On May 21st, 2007, in a Public Announcement by the Permanent Table, the PDDH members brought attention to a series of elements that were incomplete in the 2007 House Census to the treatment of the situation of people with disabilities: “… it [the Census] did not include people, organizations or institutions of a large trajectory in the defense of human rights of people with disabilities, on whom the experience is based…the Census is fundamental for the life of the Nation… and it is beginning to fill up the space of statistical information that has historically characterized El Salvador.”

In 2008, El Salvador ratified the International Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The recent entry into force of the Convention signifies the national and international legal obligations that should fulfill the El Salvadoran State. According to PDDH, the 2008 Census is not fulfilling the Articles of the Convention.

About the Permanent Table of the Attorney’s Office for the Defense of Human Rights (la Mesa Permanente de la Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (PDDH))

The Permanent Table of the Attorney’s Office of the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH) strives to protect and promote the human rights of all people in El Salvador. For more information about the PDDH, please visit

About the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN)

The Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) is the first international organization created by and for survivors. LSN links landmine survivors to healthcare and rehabilitation services, provides social and economic reintegration programs, and works to ban landmines around the world. LSN-El Salvador is a member of the PDDH and a leader in the disability rights movement in El Salvador. For a complete listing of all LSN programs and field offices or to learn more about LSN, visit

Larissa Hotra, LSN Peace Fellow

Posted By Larissa Hotra

Posted Jun 27th, 2008

1 Comment

  • I do not leave a response, however I browsed some remarks here Advocacy Project Blogs – Oops. We forgot about people with disabilities. Again..
    I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be only me or does it look as if like a few of these responses appear like they are written by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I would like to follow you. Would you post a list of every one of your social community sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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