The Purpose of Human Rights. YES!

The adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the UN General Assembly in 2006 presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the international disability rights movement. The human rights of persons with disabilities are now set forth in a legally binding treaty and provide a common language for engaged advocacy on a wide range of issues of importance to persons with disabilities. The challenge is to undertake broad-based education around the CRPD to ensure that persons with disabilities worldwide know and claim their rights to live self-determined lives in their communities with dignity.


What is New in Human Rights. YES! Second Edition?

The first edition of Human Rights. YES! appeared in 2007, just a year after the General Assembly adopted the CRPD and opened it for ratification. This new edition reflects the significant developments in the field of disability rights that have evolved in the following five years. Not only has the Convention received enough ratifications to enter into force in 2008, but as a result of the reporting process required by the treaty, the CRPD Committee, which monitors the treaty, has begun to issue General Comments, Concluding Observations, and Recommendations that encourage States Parties to take action to implement the treaty fully. Furthermore, disabled people’s organizations around the world have begun to use the CRPD to advocate for the full realization of the human rights of persons with disabilities.

To capture these important developments, this new edition offers:

· Updated statistics on disability rights around the world;

· Case studies of advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities;

· Examples of legal cases that illustrate how national laws are being changed to meet the requirements of the CRPD;

· A new section that explains how the CRPD is monitored and how its monitoring mechanism can be used for advocacy;

· A CD-ROM containing Human Rights. YES! in both PDF and an accessible word document. The CD-ROM contains a file of all the photos and images used in the manual for facilitators to use during trainings; and

· A passport-sized booklet containing both full-text and abbreviated versions of the CRPD.


Using Human Rights. YES!

This manual is intended to help all those who care about the human rights of persons with disabilities to become effective educators and advocates on human rights and disability, able to share both their passion and their knowledge. Human Rights. YES! draws on the experience of many educators and organizations, illustrating effective advocacy practices and distilling their accumulated insights in the development of participatory exercises.

Like most human rights education manuals, Human Rights. YES! is designed to be used as both a reference and tool: easy to read, easy to use, easy to photocopy, easy to relate to people’s real lives. Each part and chapter stands alone and may be read and used independently, depending on the needs of the reader. Throughout the manual, technical terms are printed in boldface type and defined in Annex 3, Glossary.

The second edition of Human Rights. YES! is also distributed with a CD-ROM and a passport-sized booklet. The CD-ROM contains electronic copies of the manual in PDF and an accessible word document version. The CD-ROM also contains a file of all the photos and images used in the manual for facilitators to use during trainings as appropriate. Please note that to ensure accessibility facilitators must describe any photo or image that they show during trainings. The passport-sized booklet contains both full-text and abbreviated versions of the CRPD for easy reference.


The Structure of Human Rights. YES!

Human Rights. YES! is unique in that it is written and designed for use by a diverse audience, taking into account the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities. However, adaptation for specific learners is recommended throughout the text. Facilitators should be aware of the needs of any particular audience and adapt the physical environment, activities, and all means of communication to make everyone’s full participation possible. For more information on facilitation, see Part 4, Facilitating Human Rights Learning.

Part 1, Understanding the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities, sets out some basic principles for thinking about human rights and disability. It provides a review of who is responsible for human rights and introduces the content of the CRPD. It also summarizes common attitudes and perceptions about disability that may create barriers to the realization of human rights and explores the way in which disability issues have been defined and researched. It concludes by setting forth a rights-based approach to disability and making the links between disability, human rights, and effective advocacy.

Part 2, The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, provides a comprehensive overview of the human rights set forth in the CRPD in seventeen chapters. Each chapter considers human rights set forth in the CRPD, providing an accessible explanation of each right. Illustrative examples of advocacy strategies, helpful facts, and other topical information are also provided. Each chapter concludes with a short list of useful additional resources on the topics covered.

Part 3, Advocacy! Taking Action for the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities, approaches advocacy at both the grassroots and the international levels. Section 1 explains the essentials of effective human rights advocacy and offers step-by-step advice for developing, articulating, and implementing an advocacy action plan. It provides advocacy planning templates as well as inspiring examples of how persons with disabilities are taking action for their human rights.

Section 2 explains in detail how human rights treaty bodies monitor the implementation of treaties. It describes the functions of the CRPD Committee and the ways in which advocates can interact with this process, especially through the Optional Protocol to the CRPD.

Part 4, Learning about Human Rights, offers participatory exercises to complement the content of Parts 1, 2, and 3. These exercises help people consolidate their understanding, articulate the issues in their own words and contexts, and think constructively about how to take action. This section also sets out principles for interactive learning, facilitation, and planning workshops.


The Annexes contain a variety of useful resources:

· Annex 1, Human Rights Documents: Full text, plain-language text, and summaries of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and a list of other key human rights instruments.

· Annex 2, General Resources: A list of significant printed, electronic, and other materials.

· Annex 3, Glossary: Definitions of human rights terms used in the text.

· Annex 4, Topic Index: A list of the principal subjects covered in the book.


Abbreviations Used in Human Rights. YES!

ADA           Americans with Disabilities Act
CAT           Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
CEDAW    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
CERD        International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
CRC           Convention on the Rights of the Child
CRPD        Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
DPO           Disabled people’s organization
ECHR        European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
ICCPR       International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
ICESCR    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
ILO             International Labour Organization
NGO          Non-governmental organization
OHCHR    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
UDHR       Universal Declaration of Human Rights
WHO         World Health Organization


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