The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution that established the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 13 December 2006. CRPD aim to “protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” Based on this principle “Nothing about us without us” UNCRPD highlight the importance of direct representation of persons with disabilities. This is a general principle that runs throughout the Convention and a self-standing right; this year the journey has reached 10 year. It is time to put words into action.
Marking the 10 years since its adoption, the Convention has been one of the most quickly ratified of all the international human right treaties and, to date, more than 160 States have ratified it. It is the first international Human Rights legally binding document — governments legally required to follow — specifically protecting the rights of persons with disabilities by adopting a single set of binding norms and by creating a specific body to monitor respect for their human rights. Yet huge challenges remain in achieving the full enjoyment of rights by all persons with disabilities. One billion people, 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. It means women, children and men with disabilities. This situation need a significant shift of paradigm.
The lack of data and information on the situation of persons with disabilities at all level contributes to the invisibility of persons with disabilities in official statistics. In Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) the lack of disability data presents an obstacle to ensure no one left behind in the event of disaster. Better data will provide a better understanding disaster risk as stated on Priority 1 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). Disaggregated data by gender, age, and disability allows all DRR actors to enact a comprehensive and yet inclusive risk asessment, DRR policy planning and practices.
The UN General Assembly has stressed in several resolutions — for example ECOSOC resolution “2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme” and General Assembly Resolution — the importance of improving disability data and statistics. These data should be internationally comparable, it means need to be relevant to all stakeholders and ensure the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities; and should be collected in line with international standards. The Washington Group on Disability Statistics, a group which operated under the aegis of the UN Statistical Commission, have developed an internationally comparable set of questions for census and surveys that provide feasible data about disability. The questions is easy to understand and use for surveyor and, the comparability and reliability of disability data with expectation will improve not only the comparability but also reliability.
The collected disaggregated data will be useful to make Disaster Risk Reduction to be Disability Inclusive and ensure the right choices and action are being made. At the moment, there are 32 countries that use the Washington Group for their census and the questions provides understanding that helps DRR better grasp the environment of persons with disabilities, and the severe disruption created during a disaster in the environment.
The disruption to the environment further limits an individual’s functioning, increase that person’s disability. All spheres of life of persons with disabilities is entitled to the full spectrum of human rights, to live free form stereotypes prejudices, harmful practices and stigma. The time is now to make disability visible, and for other States to address lack of data of persons with disabilities in their country.
Article provided by: Anggiasari Puji Aryati
Communication Coordinator DiDRRN