Category Archives: CRPD

Kirsty Smith

By Kirsty Smith

Jan 28th 2015

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“Inclusion is not just about disability, inclusion is about everybody.”

Categories: Advocacy, CRPD, Development, Disability Inclusion, Inclusive, People with disabilities, Training, Uncategorized

I’m in Bangkok this week taking part in the first CBM joint Disability Inclusive Development (DID) training – ensuring that people with disabilities are included and involved in all development activity. The workshop is aimed at sharing international experiences of disability inclusive development and discussing good practice.

The workshop started today with participants from all nine CBM regions, four member associations, and international office to share experiences, good practice, resources, expertise, but also challenges faced whilst working towards disability inclusion.

The first day’s main focus was learning from examples from six regions in sessions that were facilitated in a very lively and creative manner.

A common point of discussion was moving from a mere welfare approach to a rights based development approach along the empowerment framework, and from a bilateral cooperation between CBM and the organisations it supports towards a true partnership that promotes mutual learning between the organisations.

A key issue discussed was the alliance with Disabled People’s Organisations which, because of their expertise, have an important role in the promotion of inclusion. Different strategies and methodologies for their involvement were discussed, and it was remarked that CBM has to not only look inwards but also acknowledge the different roles of stakeholders to ensure we draw on their specific strengths.

CBM’s role was seen to facilitate the link between disability stakeholders, as well as with mainstream organisations, governments, technical and finance partners. It was acknowledged that in order to influence change, DPOs require capacity development to enhance their professionalism.

The benefits of involvement of DPOs on these different levels are:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved academic, vocational and/or professional skills
  • Improved socialisation
  • Improved awareness of disability rights, participation and accessibility
  • Increased understanding of structures and processes
  • Improved leadership skills
  • Increased understanding of relations on all levels, from grassroots to global

These will together lead to increased empowerment.

One of the important learnings of the day was the importance of gender sensitivity in our work, for example not just disaggregation of data by gender but also breaking down the data for people with disabilities by gender, keeping the gender lens during implementation, featuring men in our documentation and footage, and ensuring men are allies.

Quote of the day:

“It causes the partner problems if they learn that I am coming to visit them.” (from a CBM staff member using a wheelchair)

“Inclusion is not just about disability, inclusion is about everybody.” (from a CBM staff member)

Diane Mulligan

By Diane Mulligan

Sep 30th 2014

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Can you afford NOT to include us?

Categories: Advocacy, CBM, CRPD, DRR, Economy, People with disabilities, Post-2015

A research report from the International Centre on Evidence in Disability (ICED) formed the basis of a discussion today with the UN Committee of Experts on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It was a pleasure for me to facilitate a dialogue between the Committee and Dr Hannah Kuper, co-director of the ICED at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on their recent research report ’The costs of exclusion and the gains of inclusion of persons with disabilities‘.

The first part of the research provides the evidence of the link between poverty and disability, described by Dr Kuper as ‘strong as the evidence between lung cancer and smoking’.

The second part of the research looks at three sectors, namely; health, education and employment, providing evidence from low and middle income countries on the costs of exclusion and the gains of inclusion of persons with disabilities… ”"

Did you know that In Bangladesh, reductions in wage earnings attributed to lower levels of education among people with disabilities and their child caregivers were estimated to cost the economy US$54 million per year?

Or that the inclusion of people with sensory or physical impairments in schools in Nepal was estimated to generate wage returns of 20%?

Read more of this wonderful research, and disseminate it to the people who listen to economic arguments, but always ask for the evidence!


By Catherine

Sep 23rd 2013

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The outcome we were looking for?

Categories: Advocacy, CBM, CRPD

How can you talk about outcome, when the meeting starts in a few hours? Well, you can already see the accessible version of the outcome document (OD) of the HLM DD on-line. It is great to see it already available in accessible formats.

The OD begins by reaffirming the commitment of the international community to the rights of persons with disabilities. It reminds us of the need to include persons with disabilities in the MDGs and the post-2015 framework. It calls for urgent action to adopt disability inclusive development strategies, and to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

It goes on to list a few areas for particular attention, which are already outlined in the CRPD. Education, healthcare, social protection, employment and decent work, universal design, data and statistics, research, awareness raising, women and children with disabilities all get a mention. This is much in line with the already committed to CRPD. II (K) also urges member states and the UN to make humanitarian response and DRR inclusive, which is excellent and builds on article 11 and 32 of the CRPD. It will be wonderful if this is carried through to the post Hyogo framework.

International development banks and financial institutions are called on to take persons with disabilities into account in their development efforts and lending mechanisms. It will signify great progress when this happens: To see a world where all programmes supported by these institutions were fully inclusive of and accessible to person with disabilities. All infrastructure developed through loans could be accessible. All education progress funded through the World Bank could be fully inclusive of persons with disabilities. Poverty reduction and social protection programmes would assist person with disabilities and their families to access opportunities to come out of poverty. You can read more about LPHUs work to help to make this a reality here: World Bank Safeguards Campaign.

II (O) is the hardest paragraph of the OD to read, and to interpret. It includes many aspects of development. It begins with a call for resource mobilisation, and a variety of forms of international cooperation to mainstream disability in development programmes. In the same sentence there is reference to capacity building, transfer of technology, technical assistance and capacity building, assistive technology accessibility for persons with disabilities, and empowerment. The second sentence includes a range of concepts from the difficulty of developing countries to mobilise resources ‘to meet pressing needs in mainstreaming disability in development including rehabilitation, habilitation, equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities, health promotion and public health campaigns for the prevention of diseases and in addressing social, environmental and health risk factors through, inter alia, improving health care, maternal health, access to vaccination, access to clean water supply and sanitation and safe transport’. A proverbial shopping list, and not at all easy to interpret.

Since the OD relates to including persons with disabilities in development cooperation, as stated in the principles of the OD, this paragraph refers to access for persons with disabilities to all public health programmes available to the general population, in line with the CRPD. While the list of health actions in the OD might be considered useful, I think we should keep to the principle that persons with disabilities have the right to access comprehensive healthcare services on an equal basis with others, which goes beyond the list of public health actions mentioned here. This would be in the spirit of the the World Health Assembly resolution of May 2013 which called on the WHO to develop a disability action plan, focusing on healthcare and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities. WHO is conducting an online consultation, and regional consultations, right now, to develop this. The OD comes at a good time to reinforce member states efforts in accessible and inclusive healthcare.

What does the OD say about the future? How will this be followed up?

It calls for persons with disabilities to be included in the international development framework, and UN operational activities. This is a must and the HLM will be a springboard for stronger actions. The UN Secretary General is called to report back on success in implementation of the OD, which will also be welcome. Importantly the second last paragraph underlines the importance of consultation with DPOs.

Lastly, the UN General Assembly is called on to include in its final progress report on the MDGs, the steps take to implement the outcome document.

So, this day, and this outcome document brings us a step closer to the situation CBM would like to see: in every development policy, and in every international cooperation effort, persons with disabilities are included.

Later on today, when the HLM in underway, we will hear member states tell us what their key plans are. Watch this space.


By Catherine

Sep 22nd 2013

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Are you ready?

Categories: Advocacy, CBM, CRPD

Are you all ready for the High Level Meeting on disability and development?

This is a very exciting moment for CBM, as we approach this first ever UN High Level Meeting on Disability and Development, 23rd September 2013. It is also exciting, and a bit nerve wracking, because it is the first time we ever blog direct onto without the magic filter (Gordon).  So, we are reading me unedited, and jet-lagged. It might be good to put in a disclaimer here saying what you read is not (yet) CBM’s official position. Only I can be blamed!

I have been told to ‘be informal’ while writing this blog. So allow me another side track- the photo of me you see here on the blog, according to Gordon, ‘takes 10 years off me’. Thanks to Karin Klostermann in CBM Germanys press department for taking the photo. Thanks also to Gordon for taking me down a peg.

So tomorrow is the day of the HLM, and the world (at least the people in the world, like you, who care about the rights of persons with disabilities), will be watching. What will the UN Secretary General say? What commitments will our governments make? What progress will we see for women, men and children with disabilities everywhere, once this HLM is over?

In this blog, I will try to report on the main issue- what our governments are promising and signing up to. I will also give you an overview of many other events taking place around the HLM- which CBM colleagues and partners are also involved with.

The HLM can be watched online at: The meeting goes on for the full day, during the day you can be alerted of who is speaking if you follow us on twitter @catherinecbm, @cbmworldwide and @CBMuk, and here, but perhaps a bit less immediate.

I have just read the wonderful news that Rima Canawati from the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation will have the chance to speak at the HLM itself. She has been recommended by IDDC as a speaker on behalf of civil society with focus women with disabilities and situations of conflict.

Watch this space on the 23rd!

Greetings from New York,