European Union ratifies the UN CRPD
The ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by European Union on 23 December 2010 has increased the number of the States Parties to the CRPD to 97 while the Optional Protocol has 60 ratifications.
The number of signatures of the Convention is 147 while the Optional Protocol has 90 signatures.
Millennium Development Goals and Disability*
The General Assembly of UN accepted the Millennium Declaration in September 2000. The member countries of UN have pledged to work for the development problems of the world. The goals were set to meet the needs.
The MDGs will fail if Persons with Disabilities are excluded – See the reasons below:
MDG1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- 82 % of disabled people live below the poverty line in developing countries (UN)
- 20 % of impairments are caused by malnutrition (DFID 2000)
MDG 2. Achieve universal primary education
- 98 % of children with disabilities in developing countries do NOT attend schools (UNESCO)
- The global literacy rate for adults with disability is 3 % (Helander 1998)
MDG 3. Promote gender equality and empower women
- Abuse of disabled women and disabled girls. A survey in Orissa, India found that 100 % of disabled women and girls were beaten at home, 25 % of women with learning disabilities had been raped and 6 % of disabled women had been forcibly sterilized (Mohapatra, Mohanty 2004).
MDG 4. Reduce child mortality
- Mortality for disabled children is as high as 80 % even in countries where under-five mortality is below 20 % (DFID 2000)
MDG 5. Improve maternal health
- 20 million women per year experience disability from complications during pregnancy and in childbirth (UNFPA 2003)
MDG 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Disabled people are most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS: victims of sexual abuse, restricted access to information or services, prevalence of HIV infection in mothers of children with disabilities is twice that of other groups (Yousafzi and Edwards 2004, Grooce 2004) (CBMI Tanzania study).
MDG 7. Ensure environmental sustainability
- 100 million people have disabling conditions due to malnutrition, inadequate sanitary facilities and inadequate health care. Poor environmental planning perpetuates exclusion – we call for inclusive, social and environmental planning.
MDG 8. Develop a global partnership for development
- The international disability movement successfully mobilized for a UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons. The Convention was accepted in December 13 th 2006 and is on the process of ratification.
Team of COD wishes you Marry Christmas and Happy New 2011
EASPD warns: austerity measures endanger social services all over Europe
On 7th and 8th October 2010 around 200 delegates from the European disability sector came together in Skopje, fYR Macedonia, for the European conference “Current realities – future challenges” to discuss how to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in society.
During the conference, representatives of the Macedonian Government confirmed that they will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the end of the year.
This overall good news was overshadowed by the dramatic and disturbing developments in the social sector in the East and Southeast of Europe as brought up by Romanian representatives and many others.
“Due to the implementation of the austerity measures in Romania, the social sector faces extreme cuts which lead to a situation of poor survival. The money persons with disabilities receive from the government is not enough to pay three meals a day. The cuts in the budget and the freeze in hiring staff in the social and health sectors until 2013 forces professionals to leave the country and leads to an exodus”, an EASPD member from Romania said during the conference. “We ask the European community to help us, as the existence of the Romanian social sector is threatened by the lack of funding.”
Discussing the Romanian case then showed that in many other European countries persons with disabilities, their families and services are also suffering the consequences of the economic crisis and the cuts in social spending.
EASPD President Franz Wolfmayr welcomes the decision of the Macedonian authorities to ratify the UN Convention but also warns policy-makers in the European Members States that the harsh cuts in the social and health sectors could break the backbone of the European welfare systems. “The Macedonian objective to ratify the UN Convention is a positive sign in difficult times which shows that change is possible step by step. At the same time we must not forget that the UN Convention cannot be adequately implemented without the needed resources and structures. In some countries persons with disabilities live in very difficult and not acceptable situations. The austerity measures threaten their living conditions and support services. We need to work all together to keep the European welfare systems alive and to set the ground for the implementation of the UN Convention all over Europe.”
Further information: Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General EASPD
“Disability Rights or Disabled Rights?” – Hungarian civil society alternative report to the UN CRPD
The Hungarian Disability Caucus which is a non hierarchical collaborative network of Disabled Peoples Organizations and their allies in Hungary have produced an alternative report which assesses Hungary’s compliance with the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The first CRPD Hungarian alternative report looks at each of the CRPD articles and concludes that the government is failing to meet the needs of people with disabilities, and its obligations under the CRPD.
The findings are particularly concerning, as Hungary became the first European State to ratify the CRPD in March 2007. The alternative report will be sent to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is available in English and Hungarian and can be downloaded at
The report contains 170 recommendations to the Hungarian government, including
· How to provide supported decision-making for the approximately 80,000 people under guardianship;
· How to amend legislation to guarantee reasonable accommodation and accessibility;
· How to close large institutions and develop independent living;
· How to ensure inclusive education of children with disabilities;
· How to bring employment law in line with the CRPD.
The members of the Hungarian Disability Caucus are
· Committee of Disabled Persons’ Organisations (FESZT)
· Down Association
· Hungarian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (ÉFOÉSZ)
· Hungarian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SINOSZ)
· Hungarian Autistic Society (AOSZ)
· Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ)
· Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC)
· National Federation of Disabled Persons’ Association (MEOSZ)
· Voice of Soul Association.
For further information, please contact:
- TOWARDS COMMUNITY LIVING: current realities & future challenges
- Representative of Serbia elected in expert body of UN for monitoring of implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – UN CRPD
- Tim Centra za orijentaciju društva - COD / Team of Center for Society Orientation - COD
- UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Easy reading
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Disability Monitor Initiative in South East Europe is managed by the Center for Society Orientation – COD (Centar za orijentaciju društva).
The mandate of COD is to work on capacity building of local actors in Southeast Europe region during transition period were all vulnerable groups could enjoy their Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Freedoms.
Ensuring access of people with disabilities to social services:
The need for regulatory mechanisms in South East Europe
This working paper presents the challenges and opportunities related to reforms of social services for people with disabilities in South East Europe. The paper also shows the central role of regulatory mechanisms in the process of service provision. It is available in English, Albanian and serbian.