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Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: the vital role of Handicap International

Inclusion

Ten years ago, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It has since been ratified by 168 States. Handicap International played a vital role in drawing up this text.

When the Convention was being drafted, the organisation made sure that people with disabilities living in low income countries were able to take part in the discussions and that their voices were heard. This involved a lot of coordination and translation work so they could follow the debates and pass on their message.

The organisation also worked tirelessly to ensure the Convention included an article dedicated to international cooperation: by obliging donor States to apply the measures set out in the Convention to their international aid provision, Handicap International made sure that the concerns, needs and priorities of people with disabilities are incorporated into the funding of cooperation actions.

People with disabilities have been able to speak about their daily lives, their specific situations, the things which people without disabilities cannot see. It was very important to reflect the full range of discrimination. A woman with impaired hearing living in a remote area of Kenya is not in the same situation as a blind man living in Europe. I think that the Convention's main achievement has been to combine these different preoccupations and discriminations experienced by very diverse groups of people with disabilities into one text.

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HI opens first ever inclusive playground in Teknaf, Bangladesh.
© S. Ahmed / HI
Inclusion Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

HI opens first ever inclusive playground in Teknaf, Bangladesh.

HI and Ikea Foundation have constructed and officially opened the first ever inclusive playground in Teknaf district, Bangladesh. Since then,the playground has become a place filled with children, with and without disabilites, playing and laughing together.

Emmanuel can now travel to school by himself on his tricycle
© HI
Inclusion

Emmanuel can now travel to school by himself on his tricycle

Emmanuel is twelve years old. Paralysed in both legs, he goes to school on a tricycle given to him by Humanity & Inclusion (HI), which combats the exclusion of people with disabilities in war-affected countries.

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”
© Elise Cartuyvels/HI
Inclusion Rehabilitation

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”

Reema, 14, was abandoned at the age of six. Suffering from phocomelia – a congenital malformation – since birth, for many years she was unable to walk. With support from HI, she has been fitted with a prosthesis and benefits from rehabilitation care. Reema now goes to school. She wants to be a dancer and practices every morning.