By Hassan Ali Bin Ali, Chairman of One Billion Strong
The global population of persons with disabilities is estimated to be over one billion, according to the World Report on Disability. Persons with disabilities are more likely than others to live in poverty, experience discrimination, and face exclusion from education, employment, and sport, among other aspects of community life. The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2006 by the UN General Assembly signaled the international community’s acknowledgement that much work is needed to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
One Billion Strong is pleased to be associated with and present the Second Edition of Human Rights. Yes! Action and Advocacy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as it furthers our organization’s commitment to human rights education and training as an essential tool to promote, protect, and realize the rights set forth in the CRPD. This edition reflects numerous developments that have occurred since the release of the First Edition in 2007. Significantly, the CRPD has entered into force and now has more than 114 ratifications. The monitoring body of the Convention, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, is fully operational and has attained its maximum number of members. Its work in reviewing State reports, engaging in dialogue with States Parties, issuing concluding observations and recommendations, and contributing to the greater understanding of CRPD obligations is steering treaty implementation around the globe. Many countries are reforming legal frameworks and courts are actively interpreting and applying the CRPD at regional and domestic levels.
Using the CRPD as its centerpiece, One Billion Strong’s disability rights education and awareness initiative responds to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. In keeping with the spirit of the Declaration, our human rights education programming consists of three components:
Education for human rights, which includes empowering persons with disabilities and their allies to enjoy and exercise their rights and to respect and uphold the rights of all;
Education through human rights, which includes learning and teaching in keeping with the participatory principles of the CRPD; and
Education about human rights, which includes providing knowledge and understanding of the CRPD, including its principles and its mechanisms for implementation.
The Second Edition has updated, user-friendly formats and is now divided into four parts to facilitate the needs of a diverse audience of readers and trainers. Part 1 provides an overview of human rights and disability; Part 2 reviews each right laid out in the CRPD; Part 3 provides information about different advocacy strategies to promote CRPD implementation; and Part 4 provides active learning exercises to help facilitate CRPD human rights education programming.
I urge disabled people’s organizations, disability advocates, civil society organizations, national human rights commissions, governments, development organizations, and all other allies to benefit from and build upon this resource in advancing the human rights of persons with disabilities.