Press Release: RI Global to UN Statistics Head: We Will Assist with Disabled Data

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RI Global: Office of Communications

Contact: Adrian Brune, +1 347-759-9501

RI Global to UN Statistics Head: We Will Assist with Disabled Data

28 February 2018, New York, NY –  Margaret Mbogoni, Senior Statistician at the Demographic and Social Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division, met with RI Secretary General Venus Ilagan at the RI headquarters Office to learn about the global work of Rehabilitation International and identify ways to pursue possible collaborative work on disability data collection and similar initiatives. RI has recently launched its Global Disability Development Fund which lists data collection as among projects of RI members and partners that can be assisted by the fund.

Bbogoni said there has been an increase in the awareness on the importance of collecting data to support policy making and programming for disability. More countries have been taking concrete steps to collect data to fulfill the commitment not to leave persons with disabilities behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as to ensure the effective and meaningful implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

She cited the importance for those who are engaged or planning to engage in this kind of initiative to have a very clear idea as to who will use the data to be collected and for what purpose to avoid unnecessary waste of resources. “Those collecting data must ensure that they do so with the purpose of identifying the barriers PWDs face in accessing the most basic of services and for the data collected to be used as basis to address the challenges that contribute to disabled people being disadvantaged and prevent them from enjoying their rights like everyone else in their communities,” Bbogoni said.

During the 56th session of the UN Commission for Social Development, RI President Haidi Zhang strongly suggested that for governments to be able to effectively address the needs of Persons with Disabilities, they have to know “who these people are, where they live and what are their needs first and foremost.

“Data collection is indispensable if persons with disabilities are to be included in the ongoing work for sustainable development,” Zhang said.

Illagan and Bbogoni agreed to continue the conversation. The RI SG said that RI Commissions or thematic working groups which include both experts, service providers and persons with disabilities, are in a position to take up some initiatives to address the need for the seven targets (in the SDGs) mentioning disability to be monitored by specific disability indicators or by disaggregating indicators by disability.

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RI Global: Founded in 1922, Rehabilitation International (RI Global) is a worldwide network and organization that promotes the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities (PwDs) through advocacy, habilitation and rehabilitation in order to achieve a world in which all people can enjoy active participation and full human rights.