Welcome to the August 2019 edition of the International Disability Alliance newsletter! 

As you will have noticed, we have revamped our newsletter to make it more accessible! Continue reading for the latest news and events from our members and the disability community. More details can be found through our newsletter website.

In this edition: 
  1. Highlights
  2. Treaty Body Review, Geneva
  3. Activities over the past weeks
  4. Upcoming Activities
  5. IDA Members
  6. UN System, Agencies & Mechanisms
  7. Others
  8. Vacancies & Consultancies
1. Highlights
  • Launch of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy. During the Conference of States Parties, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, announced the launch of the new UN Disability Inclusion Strategy. The Strategy outlines a way forward for including persons with disabilities within the work and operations of the UN and provides clear bench markers for measuring progress. Read more about this launch by clicking here.
  • Landmark Resolution by the UN Security Council. On 20 June 2019, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on the situation of person with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian crises. This landmark resolution is the first UN Security Council document to specifically address persons with disabilities. It is a clear political commitment towards mainstreaming disability across all UN pillars, including peace and security. Click here to read more about the resolution.
  • IDA Celebrates 20 Years. In 2019, the International Disability Alliance celebrates its 20th year of existence. Recognising the progress that has been made to date in the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities, IDA organised a side-event under the auspices of the 12th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD. Through the side-event, IDA took stock of its progress over the past 20 years, including its key achievements and highlights, while also recognising the shortcomings and the gaps in its work.
2. Treaty Body Review, Geneva
  • On July 1, TB-Net organized an NGO meeting to discuss a common approach to the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies. Read more about this meeting, including the CSO proposal and common position for the 2020 review process, click here to visit CCPR
  • Between 15-19 July the Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples met in Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to learn more about the session.
3. Activities over the past weeks
  • The 12th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD took place from 10 to 13 June 2019, at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. For the third year since the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), persons with disabilities and their representative organizations were meaningfully consulted and actively engaged in the preparation and formal proceedings of the Conference.   During the course of the Conference, IDA and its members organized, participated as speakers in or co-sponsored over 20 side-events.
  • From 2-4 July the 3rd Technical Workshop of the Inclusive Education Task Team was held in Brighton. This meeting built on the discussions held in Nepal in March of this year towards an evidence based, DPO led consensus position on CRPD compliant implementation of SDG 4. The Task Team also met with members of IDDC to build on these recommendations. The Task Team proudly reached a consensus position, and produced a summary validated by the IDA Board to submit to UNESCO as an IDA contribution to the upcoming Global Education Monitor report 2020, which focuses on inclusive education. 
  • A start-up workshop to launch the Inclusion Works consortium project was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 9-11, July 2019. This followed similar workshops that were held in Kenya and Uganda earlier in June. Specific attention was paid at all three workshops to ensure DPO participation. It is noteworthy that a separate slot was provided at these workshops for self-advocates from among persons with intellectual disabilities and for deaf-blind participants, to present on their issues. The Inclusion Works programme is a DFID funded programme that is working to increase access to waged employment for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. For more information about this programme, click here
  • The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) took place from 9-18 July 2018 at the UN headquarters in New York, USA. 47 countries delivered their country reports on SDG implementation. Out of the 47 voluntary national reviews, 34 included references to persons with disabilities. The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD) had 72 participants attending the HLPF. They delivered 4 interventions during the first week of HLPF, and 5 statements on behalf of other stakeholders during the voluntary national reviews during the Ministerial week. Click here to read more about HLPF 2019.
  • Between 22nd and 28th of July 2019 Module 1 Tanzania of the Bridge CRPD SDGs training initiative was held in the city of Dar-es-Salaam. The training brought together 15 participants drawn from diverse impairment groups and geographical locations with the United Republic of Tanzania. This Bridge was organised by the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People’s Organizations (SHIVYAWATA), African Disability Forum (ADF), International Disability Alliance (IDA) and CBM with support from Inclusion International and World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Click here to learn more about Bridge Tanzania.
  • The Disability Data Advocacy Working Group launched their June 2019 newsletter which highlights the extensive work of the first six months of the working group’s operation. View their newsletter by clicking here.
  • The recent disappointing judgement of the European Court of Human Rights STOIAN v ROMANIA, no 289/14 strikingly fails to protect the rights of a student with disabilities, Ştefan Stoain, a Romanian quadriplegic teenager, subject to years of bullying, discrimination and degrading conditions at his school.  IDA joins 8 disability organizations in condemning the Court's ruling, which misunderstands the right of inclusive education and non-discrimination, and neglects States' obligations arising from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Read the full case by clicking here.
  • The International Disability Alliance, along with Autism-Europe, Child Rights International Network, Disability Rights International, European Disability Forum, European Network on Independent Living, Inclusion Europe, Inclusion International, International Disability Alliance, International Federation of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, TASH and Validity Foundation, have endorsed a statement and key recommendations on the Rights to Family, recognized under international law. The signing disability rights, child rights and human rights organizations call on the UN General Assembly to include a number of recommendations in its forthcoming resolution on the rights of the children without parental care. Read the full statement and recommendations by clicking here.
4. Upcoming Activities
Check our webpage for the full calendar of events between now and December 2019. 
5. IDA Members
African Disability Forum
On July 3 the African Disability Forum held the African Workshop on Disability Human Rights and Sustainable Development in Niger.

European Disability Forum (EDF)
  • EDF has launched 7 short videos in correlations with the HLPF, highlighting how the implementation of the SDGs (7 Goals) will improve the lives of persons with disabilities. Check out the videos.
  • EDF was actively engaged in the 2019 European Development Days. EDF was involved in sessions and parallel meetings, including speaking on three different panels. Read more.
International Federation of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
On July 30, IF celebrated its 8th World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day. Check out this page for their celebratory launches and celebrations.
World Federation of the Deaf
The 2019 Global Congress of WFD was held in Paris, France between July 23rd and 27th.

World Federation of the Deafblind
WFDB held a strategic planning workshop in Brighton, UK at the end of June 2019; this included discussions on the way forward following the release of the first Global Report on the situation of persons with deafblindness.
World Network of Users and Survivors
In October WNUSP will be engaging in the Second Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
6. UN System, Agencies & Mechanisms 
  • UN Women held the UN Women Webinar on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities on July 24th. The first webinar in this series focused on challenges and solutions to inclusion, focusing on the gaps and barriers that prevent the full and effective participation and leadership of women and girls with disabilities across the humanitarian – development continuum. They also discussed that by addressing gaps in alliances, partnerships and funding opportunities can help enable full and effective participation. Click here to visit the UN Women’s main website for more information.
  • Between August 20th and 23rd the UNCHR held regional webinars related to the Global Refugee Forum which is taking place 17-18 December 2019 in Geneva. These webinars focused on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Global Compact on Refugees, and ways to engage and contribute to the Global Refugee Forum. Pledges, good practices and feedback are being collected until September 4th, these responses will be shared during two important meetings taking place the week of September 9th. For more information about the Global Refugee Forum please visit the UNHCR website by clicking here.
7. Others
CBM published the Guidelines on Best Practice for Persons Living with Deafblindness on Helen Keller Day 2019. They are currently available for downloading in English and Spanish.
8. Vacancies and consultancies
The International Disability Alliance is currently recruiting for a number of full time vacancies and consultancies. Learn more and apply through our careers page

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