UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: a call for action on poverty, discrimination and lack of access

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Dear Reader,


It is our great pleasure to send you “A call for action on poverty, discrimination and lack of access,” the report of a joint UNECA/Leonard Cheshire Disability conference on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This report, like the conference it covers, synthesises an extremely broad range of expertise, experience and opinion on how to bring the world’s newest human rights convention to life. UNECA, with a mandate to support African governments in implementing the Convention, and Leonard Cheshire Disability, secretariat for a global partnership of disability and development organisations, together mobilised over 50 speakers and 500 participants from 58 countries at the conference. They represented UN agencies, the World Bank, governments, international and national NGOs, disabled people’s organisations and service providers.

Ours was the first international conference to be held after the Convention came into force on 3 May 2008 and our speakers offered a blueprint for concrete action on disability and development. The broad range of topics covered form an integrated set of ideas, arguments and tested methodologies on combating the poverty, discrimination and lack of access that people with disabilities face.

We believe that you will find this report useful for reference, guidance and inspiration in your own work towards implementing the Convention and bringing about a fully inclusive society. Above all, we hope that this will become a living document that you and your colleagues will refer to again and again.

To everyone who participated in the conference, we offer our heartfelt thanks. For those turning to this material for the first time, we also thank you for joining our mutual efforts to achieve full human rights for all the world’s citizens.

Yours faithfully,

Thokozile Ruzvidzo                                     Tanya Barron
Officer in Charge                                         International Director
African Center for Gender and                    Leonard Cheshire Disability
Social Development
UN Economic Commission for Africa

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