New Global Rights-Monitoring Network for Persons with Disabilities

Image Credit: Disability Rights Promotion International

Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) has introduced a new global monitoring system to address disability discrimination. This comes off the ba ck of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which reports how well all governments that have ratified the agreement are managing.

At the moment, countries are often limited by funding depending on how they report on their implementation of this agreement. The minimum requirements are simply catalogue laws, policies, and programs; which, as you can imagine, doesn’t always have a huge affect on real life accessibility issues.

The new monitoring system from DRPI aims to help countries place that cataloguing alongside evidence-based data. This is achieved by getting people with disabilities involved in the process; there will be training on “what disability means as a human right, how to collect data and conduct evidence-based research, and how to write and file human rights reports” (source). For example, insight into whether the laws about accessible offices or public spaces are implemented will much more effective when the targeted end users can influence the project.

The partners behind this new program are Bengt Lindqvist and Marcia Rioux. Lindqvist, as well as holding a position as Cabinet Minister in Sweden and as the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability, is well known for his years of disability rights activism.

Riox has this to say of the new monitoring scheme: “Our project allows evaluation to happen within the context of the experiences of people with disabilities to objectively measure where discrimination is now, while developing and tracking solid trend data to determine if and how things are getting better.”

Research for this project has been taking place in Canada over the last five years with excellent results. The monitoring scheme is now being rolled out across the world with training kicking off in Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America. In fact, a new monitoring centre, the Africa Regional Monitoring Centre, opened its doors in Kigali, Rwanda in early September.

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