Implementing the CRPD Conference - August 29th 2009

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European Conference

on the implementation of the

International Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability

Budapest, Hungary

August 29th 2009

 

Over the last 30 or 40 years, leaders in the disability rights movement have become well aware of disability in the frame of Human Rights.  With the entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights document of the 21st century, the entire world has finally become aware that part of its population does not have any access to their fundamental rights as human beings.  Society has taken a long time to recognise and it will take yet more time to implement the changes that are needed.  We, disabled people, will persevere and we will be pragmatic. We will continue to articulate our needs and rights and we will ensure that all disabled people will have the freedom to enjoy their rights.

 

More than an obligation, living with disabled people is also a resource and not only an obligation, and we know that by accommodating disabled people society as a whole benefits. When we are included, we disabled people became more differently able and can be resources more than charges. Inclusion is better for everybody, solutions for us are facilitating efficiency of everybody and our creativity empowers the society.

 

The implementation of the CRPD is a great opportunity for the society at all, and knowing that  “living together is based on doing together”([1]) the best way to learn how to live with each other is to establish partnerships on an equal basis.

 

 DPI Europe has the ambition to start to define the principles and the rules of these partnerships.

 

In DPI, we believe that the people who represent disabled people must be disabled people themselves and not others.  We believe this because as disabled people our life experience has shown us that self-representation is the only way forward.

 

It is the time to make our slogan “nothing about us without us” a reality in all spheres of life.  We must ensure that today’s concept of “participation” becomes a reality tomorrow.

 

In the negotiations for the UN Convention, the participation of disabled people was central.  In all the negotiations disabled people were accepted at full partners.  We now have the opportunity to turn all the nice words into actions. Let us see positives instead of negatives.  Come with us on this great journey of the last great Civil Rights Movement.



[1] Philippe Mérieux, Professor of the University on Sciences of Education, http://www.meirieu.com/BIOGRAPHIE/biographie.htm

 

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