The Duty of Governments for Inclusive Leisure Infrastructure: CRPD Article 30, The FIFA World Cup, and the Olympics

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The first responsibility of government is to its individual citizens.

 

Individuals also associate by birth or choice. These associations cluster needs to form civil society (family, race, language, church, NGO, union, business.) Government has responsibility to civil society as representative of individuals.

 

Disability crosscuts all individuals and associations of civil society because:

 

All individuals are embodied and all bodies differ in capacities (functionality)

Disability is a measure of the success of the interaction of functionality of an individual with their environment

 

Thus government responsibility goes beyond healthcare and social. Government responsibility includes designing social, physical, information, and policy environments designed for the intentional sustained inclusion of citizens with the broadest range of capacities operating under the broadest range of circumstances.

 

The full range of the rights of persons with disabilities was captured by the United Nations in the document "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (CRPD). Article 30 of the CRPD establishes rights beyond mere survival and subsistence. Article 30 makes explicit the right to sports, leisure, and tourism.

 

Thus the United Nations CRPD Article 30 speaks to governments about their unique obligations to their citizens with disabilities in relation to major sporting events as leisure, sport, and tourism. In such events public space and financial resources are spent in ways that must result in an infrastructure and cultural legacy that is accessible and inclusive.

 

In the case of Brazil CRPD Article 30 directs Copa 2014 and Rio 2016 to be accessible and inclusive to both spectators and participants but what of the practical realities of prioritizing citizens over foreigners?

 

In practical terms are there any elements of Copa 2014 or Rio 2016 planning and implementation where effective action providing accessibility and inclusion of foreign guests with disabilities does not also provide the same for citizens?

There is an almost perfect convergence of the needs of domestic and international tourists with disabilities for Copa 2014 and Rio 2016.

 

Where relative prioritization of tasks differs citizens should come first. However, be aware that the long term income possible from the accessibility of foreign tourism is a strategic resource available for maintenance of the accessible infrastructure required by citizens.

 

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