RI Global What’s On: March 2017 Newsletter, Disabled Women Workers Unite At CSW61

RI Global What’s On March 2017
Disabled Women Workers United!: CSW61
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March 2017 Newsletter
Disabled Women Workers Unite!: CSW61

RI Global at the Commission on the Status of Women

For the second consecutive year, both of the key job market indicators increased significantly for people with disabilities. In 2016, the monthly employment-to-population ratio increased from 27.0 to 27.7 percent and the average monthly labor force participation rate increased from 30.5 percent to 31.2 percent. While these increments build on the reversal of six-year downward trends for PwDs, women with disabilities have long been undermined in the workforce.

This year’s 61st Commission on the Status of Women’s Priority theme is Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work and it will review the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. The draft of agree conclusions from the Commission recognizes that worldwide, gender inequalities in labour markets and the world of work persist and that the pace and scale of transformation towards realizing women’s economic empowerment in the workforce has not only been unacceptably slow, but also impeded the realization of women’s human rights. The Commission has developed several recommendations for CSW61 and the changes necessary for equality in the workplace.

Rehabilitation International, as always, will attend the Commission on the Status of Women, which takes place at the United Nations Secretariat in New York from 13-24 March. It will hold a side event Women’s Economic Empowerment – the Importance of Role of Women’s Associations, which will focus on the “Norwegian model” for economic empowerment, as well as the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association’s role in contributing to a diverse and inclusive labor market. Please join past RI President Jan Monsbakken, Secretary-General Venus Ilagan and the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association at the Armenian Convention Center, Vartan Hall, on 17 March from 12.30 to 14.00. Another side-event Networking Workshop: Advancing the Leadership of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Development and Society organized by DESA/DSPD, UN Women and the Permanent Mission of Japan takes place on 14 March in Conference Room 2727 in the UN Secretariat Building. Other side-events include Accessible Cities & The Needs of Women with Disabilities & Older Women and Working to Improve Our Own Future – Strengthening networks of women with disabilities in humanitarian action.

WHO: “Rehabilitation 2030” commits to promoting rehabilitation in worldwide health systems
Drawing attention to the challenge faced by many of the developing countries on the substantial unmet need for rehabilitation worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) invited the world’s leading experts to discuss coordinated action during “Rehabilitation 2030” held in Geneva in early February. The two day deliberations called for supporting Governments in incorporating rehabilitation into universal health coverage. Participants also committed to ten areas of action in rehabilitation through a “Call for Action” paper, aiming to strengthen rehabilitation up to year 2030.In conjunction with the meeting, WHO launched the guide  Rehabilitation in health systemswhich outlines recommendations for Member States and other relevant stakeholders on concrete steps to strengthen and expand the availability of quality rehabilitation services. WHO, along with its partners, will support Member States to implement the evidence-based recommendations reflected in the new guide, in addition to the Community-based rehabilitation guidelines; the country toolkit for strengthening rehabilitation; and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. “There is a substantial and ever-increasing unmet need for rehabilitation worldwide, which is particularly profound in low- and middle-income countries,” the WHO said in a statement. “The availability of accessible and affordable rehabilitation is necessary for many people with health conditions to remain as independent as possible, to participate in education, to be economically productive, and fulfil meaningful life roles.“The magnitude and scope of unmet rehabilitation needs signals an urgent need for concerted and coordinated global action by all stakeholders.”

RI GLOBAL: On the Agenda

RI Global Secretary-General Venus Ilagan and Treasurer Susan Parker meeting with the Chinese Delegation to discuss President Zhang Haidi’s upcoming visit to the U.S.

RI Global Calendar for 2017

Conference on The Right to Work for Persons with Disabilities: The UN CRPD is celebrating its 10th anniversary, but which developments and changes has it actually initiated? How “open, inclusive and accessible” are the labour market and the work environment for people with disabilities? Experts from all over the world will discuss and analyse these questions and ideas regarding the realization of inclusion.
8-10 March, Kassel, GermanyThird Symposium Franco-Latin American Research on Disability
The central theme of this 3rd symposium is Equality and Dignity. Bringing together academics and civil society groups, this convention discusses the reinforcement for development as well as the sustainment and expansion of policies for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, accessibility (universal design) and, consequently, social responsibility  and dignity.
9 to 11 March, Porto Alegre, BrazilAccess Israel 5th International Convention:
The Fifth International Accessibility Convention will focus on the issue of assuring that all future technologies will be accessible to all, including people with disabilities and the elderly. Discussions on increasing the digital era’s availability will be presented, as well as various technologies and best practices specifically designed for organizations and business, including technologies that enable them to hire and employ people with disabilities.
19-21 March, Tel Aviv, Israel

UNISDR Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction,
This platform is a biennial forum for information exchange, discussion of latest developments, knowledge and partnership-building across sectors, with the goal of improving implementation of disaster risk reduction through better communication and coordination amongst stakeholders, including persons with disabilities.
22 to 26 May, Cancun, Mexico 

M-Enabling Summit 2017: A joint initiative of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK), the M-Enabling Summit promotes accessible technologies and environments for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
12-14 June, Washington, D.C., USA

10th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
Article 40 of the Convention stipulates that “The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties (COSP) in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).” Accreditation for new NGOs and Registration will begin in March 2017.
13 to 15 June, UN Headquarters, New York, NY

High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)
The theme of this year’s HLPF will be Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world. The set of goals to be reviewed in depth include Goal 17, which strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
10 to 19 July, UN Headquarters, New York, NY

3rd International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf
The conference will elaborate different themes on the occasion of plenary, section and board meetings: bilingual education, sign language in the families, deaf employees at employment market, communication without barriers, new IT revolution, and participation in the decision-making process.
8 to 10 November, Budapest, Hungary

International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Since 1992, the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
3 December, UN Headquarters, New York, NY

Norges Handikapforbund (Norwegian Association for the Disabled) influences politicians and government leaders to create a society where PwDs have full equality. 
Norges Handikapforbund (Norwegian Association for the Disabled)
On 3 June 2013, the government Norway ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), but on its own terms. For the disability movement, the celebration was dampened when the Government sought to continue depriving people with disabilities of legal capacity, and to allow non-consensual medical interventions.Norway generally has broad consensus among its politicians and the general public, that all people are equal and should have the same opportunities in life. But that doesn’t mean obstacles in society don’t arise that disallow Persons with Disabilities to live in accordance with their own wishes, abilities and interests – or to participate in society.
Norges Handikapforbund (Norwegian Association for the Disabled) influences politicians and government leaders across the country in areas such as universal design, technical aids, work, school and rehabilitation to create a society where PwDs have full equality.  A membership organization with approximately 15,000 members, Norges Handikapforbund runs on a democratic structure, with elected representatives at all levels, a central administration in Oslo, 300 local branches, work in 9 regions and a youth arm, the Norwegian Association of the Disabled Youth (NHFU).Chaired by Arne Lein, the longtime human rights advocate has been at the forefront of the disabilities movement when Norway needs righted. In recent years we have also been working to forming new alliances. Disability organizations now stand closer together and form a common front on issues of importance to Norges Handikapforbund.
“I feel pride. I am proud fellow, which I believe is essential if we are of being union leader in an organization where we heard.”It helped two years ago. After considerable effort, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, called on Norway to end its coercive practices against people with mental disabilities, respect their autonomy, and give full effect to international disability rights law.


HRW research and video on situation of refugees with disabilities
Refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants with disabilities are not properly identified and do not enjoy equal access to services in reception centers in Greece, according to a recent reportGreece: Refugees with Disabilities Overlooked, Underserved on the refugee crisis in Europe from Human Rights Watch. Together with thousands of other migrants and asylum seekers, they remain unprotected from freezing temperatures. Furthermore, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working on the ground recognize that more needs to be done to respond to the rights and needs of these vulnerable populations. The report recommends that funds allocated for the crisis should benefit all refugees without discrimination, including people with disabilities. Key next steps should also include issuing clear guidance to field staff on identifying and registering people with disabilities, including disabilities that are not readily identifiable; ensuring that people with disabilities and other at-risk groups, including children, have equal access to assistance; and consulting refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants with disabilities as well as national disabled persons organizations in these processes.
UNDPI: New Symbol of Accessibility
The Meetings and Publishing Division of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (MPD, DGACM) of the United Nations has launched a new symbol of accessibilityto raise awareness about disability related issues. Designed by the UN Department of Public Information in New York, the new logo features a circle and a symmetrical figure with open arms to symbolize inclusion for people with all disabilities, everywhere. The new logo, to appear on printed and electronic public information products, was reviewed and selected by the Focus Groups on Accessibility, working with the Inter-Departmental Task Force on Accessibility, which comprises of key civil society organizations, including those of persons with disabilities.
Netherlands to host UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters
The ITF has announced that Netherlands will stage two of wheelchair tennis’s major events in 2017 and 2018. The UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters will be held in Bemmel in 2017-18, while the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will take place in Apeldoorn. Both events will be hosted by the Dutch Tennis Federation (KNLTB) in the province of Gelderland. One of the most successful nations in the history of wheelchair tennis, Netherlands has already staged several of the sport’s major events. Bemmel will become the third Dutch city to host the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters, with the 2017 event held in November – dates still to be confirmed. The UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis doubles championship and the BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the ITF’s key wheelchair tennis event, often referred to as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of wheelchair tennis. The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year.

New BBPA guidance on accessibility, helping pubs to welcome persons with disabilities
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has published updated guidance for pubs to help licensees make their venue as welcoming as possible to persons with disabilities. The guide features a foreword from legendary British Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE, and is also endorsed by Paralympic tennis hero, Jordanne Whiley. Pubs are for everyone – why being accessible is important is a follow-up to 2012’s An open welcome – why being accessible is good for your pub, and highlights various steps venues can take to ensure they are as accessible as possible, from access ramps at the door, to hearing loops on the bar and large print menus. The guide also underlines the importance of staff training, so that pubs can meet the needs of customers with all disabilities.


Statements for Disaster Risk Reduction Conference
The United Nations is currently accepting requests to make official three-minute statements at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, taking place in Cancun, Mexico from 22-26 May. The online registration system allows for one official statement per delegation, and will allocate slots on a first come, first served basis until all slots are filled. All delegations that have submitted a request also have the possibility of logging back in to make changes, such as updating the attached statement, or changing the speaker. Any confirmed member of a delegation can submit the request on behalf of that delegation. For further information related to Official Statements, please contact Ms. Ana Cristina Thorlund at gp-statements@un.org. The online registration process for submitting official statements to be delivered is now open, and will close on 19 May.Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announces the 2017 Robert Pearson Scholarship campaign
Entering its sixth year, the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program offers much needed financial assistance to students with disabilities. The scholarship was renamed in 2016 in memory of AMI’s former Accessibility Officer, Robert Pearson, who passed away suddenly in December 2015. In 2017, AMI will once again collaborate with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) to two $5,000 bursaries to two deserving students with a permanent disability; one from the English community and one from the French. The AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship contest concludes 30 April 2017. Complete rules and regulations are available on the English website or the French website.2017 Hong Kong Conference of Workability International and Workability Asia
The Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities and Hong Kong Council of Social Service will host the 2017 Hong Kong Conference of Workability International (WI) and Workability Asia (WAsia) from 12-14 June 2017. It is currently inviting organizations to submit abstracts for this important event. For the programme rundown see the conference website or send submission via email 2017hkconference@hkcss.org.hk. The deadline is 10 March 2017.

WE DECIDE Knowledge Gateway
During the Conference of the State Parties to the CRPD in 2016, UNFPA celebrated the launch of WE DECIDE: Young Persons with Disabilities: Equal Rights and a Life Free of Violence”. Work within this programmatic area is progressing, UNFPA will share the resources at the CoSP TK . In the meantime, many in the community have been using the WE DECIDE Knowledge Gatewayto share resources and information to benefit other members, especially individuals interested in promoting gender equality and social inclusion, ending gender based violence, and supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights of persons with disabilities.

Nominations for the 2017 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize
The Vaclav Havel Prize, which consists of a sum of €60 000, a trophy and a diploma, rewards outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond. It is open to nominations from any individual, NGO or institution working to defend human rights. The deadline for nominations for the 2017 edition of the Prize is 30 April 2017. The Award Ceremony will take place in the Assembly Chamber on 9 October 2017 during the 2017 Fourth part-session. Prize regulations and the nomination forms can be found on the Assembly’s website. Should you require further information, you can reach the Secretariat of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize by email hrprize.pace@coe.int or by phone + 33 3 90 21 45 20.

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