- December 13, 2016

Ten years ago today, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was agreed by the UN General Assembly, ushering in a new era of inclusion

Today, December 13th 2016, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the landmark UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 172 Member States have now ratified the convention, and momentum is continuing to grow for its full ratification and implementation. There are more ratifications to go, including of the CRPD Optional Protocol, so please continue supporting our call for universal ratification #CRPDnow

IDA's Executive Director Vladimir Cuk and Dominic Haslam of the International Disability and Development Consortium, write in the Huffington Post about the progress made through the CRPD, and draw on reflections of 2006 from across the disability rights community.

Read the article

VIDEO: A Decade of Breakthroughs for Disability Rights

A Decade of Breakthroughs for Disability Rights

A Decade of Breakthroughs for Disability Rights by Open Society Foundations, featuring Diane Richler and Connie Laurin-Bowie of Inclusion International, and Vladimir Cuk.

IDA has been supporting the #CRPD10 campaign, along with OHCHR and other partners throughout the year, in recognition of the anniversary year.More on #CRPD10


Members of the CRPD Committee talk about how impact of the convention and the challenges that still remain.

A Day For All

Detail from 'I Decide = I Am' exhibition

IDA also joined celebrations for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd, in events in Geneva and New York, including the 'I Decide = I Am' exhibition launch and the #ADay4All interactive campaign with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and other partners, to celebrate human diversity. 

More on December 3rd

Vladimir Cuk recieving the G3ict Digital Accessibility Leadership Award from Axel Leblois

During the celebrations for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in New York, IDA's Executive Director Vladimir Cuk was presented with the G3ict, Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, Digital Accessibility Leadership Award.

Social Forum 2016

Colin Allen at the opening session of the Social Forum 2016

In October, the Human Rights Council hosted the 2016 Social Forum. This interactive dialogue, between representatives of civil society, UN Member States, intergovernmental organizations, academics and other stakeholders, addressed the theme of the 'promotion and full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities in the context of the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'.

Throughout the Forum, its official sessions and side events, IDA Members were active and effective in presenting their perspectives and expertise on the rights of persons with disabilities, inclusive sustainable development, and moving ahead with the full ratification and implementation of the CRPD. DPOs also took the opportunity to meet with UN Missions and Agencies directly, making the SForum an opportunity for bilateral, direct and in-depth discussion as well as for broad open debate.

More on the Social Forum

Democracy Forum 2016

Luisa Tinai and Ovidiu Tuduruta at the Democracy Forum

In November, this year’s United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law was dedicated to ‘Widening the Democratic Space: the role of youth in public decision-making’.
The International Disability Alliance, thanks to a project supported by the UNFPA, had the pleasure to bring two of our Members' youth representatives: Luisa Tinai from the Pacific Disability Forum, and Ovidiu Tuduruta from the European Disability Forum. 

More on the Democracy Forum

BRIDGE West Africa: CRPD-SDG training

Bridge Ghana Participants

Also in November, the first module of the BRIDGE CRPD-SDG Eastern-Western Africa training took place Ghana. It was organised by the International Disability Alliance, the African Disability Forum, and the International Disability and Development Consortium with the support of CBM, Sightsavers, DPOD, Australian DFAT, Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations.

The seven-day module brought together an inclusive group of 31 participants from 10 different countries and from across disability constituencies, including persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with deafblindness. The focus of the first module as to build a common, comprehensive and inclusive understanding of the CRPD in development contexts, and links with the SDGs.

More on BRIDGE

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017

Stakeholder Group at the HLPF 2016

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed at the United Nations in 2015, and global progress towards achieving them is reviewed each year at a meeting of governments in New York - the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, or 'HLPF'. Now is your chance to be a part of it.

Vladimir Cuk wrote for the civil society coalition, Together 2030, blog with Rodrigo Messias of nrg4SD, about the opportunities to participate at the HLPF.

Read the blog here

We are asking for disability rights experts and advocates to contribute to the global review process, drawing on work relating to sustainable development. Participation of persons with disabilities in the 2016 HLPF made an important impact, and ensured that the inclusion and rights of persons with disabilities were addressed by governments throughout the Forum. In order to ensure a strong level of meaningful participation at the 2017 HLPF, it is necessary to start preparations now. The theme for the HLPF 2017 is 'Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world'.

Get involved here

Bengt Lindqvist 1936-2016

Bengt Lindqvist

The International Disability Alliance is reflecting on the life and contributions of Bengt Lindqvist, who died on December 3rd 2016, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. He played an extraordinary role in the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities around the world.

Read IDA's tribute


Thank you for reading, and our best wishes for the holidays and new year.


Vladimir Cuk
Executive Director of the International Disability AllianceEmail us at Contact [at] for more information

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