- October 4, 2016

Day two, HRC's Social Forum

Today, October 4th, the discussions and panels of the Social Forum 2016 continued into its second day at Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Persons with psychosocial disabilities and the CRPD

The day started with a side event to discuss 'persons with psychosocial disabilities and their rights under the CRPD '. This open debate was organised by the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), African Disability Forum (ADF) and Transforming Communities for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (TCI Asia), co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Brazil, with support from IDA. Read more here...

Strengthening Equality and Specific Measures

The first official session addressed 'Strengthening Equality and Specific Measures' and was moderator by Mr. Jose María Díaz Batanero, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, from International Telecommunications Union. The panelists were Ms. Lidia Pretorius, Chief Director, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Social Development of South Africa, Ms. Ana Lucía Arellano, Chair, Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS), and Ms. Esther Kyozira, National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda. Read more here...

Day two, Ana Lucia Arellano

Ana Lucia Arellano, RIADIS

Meaningful Participation and Empowerment

In the second part of the morning, the discussion focused on 'Meaningful Participation and Empowerment' , moderated by Ms. Rosangela Berman-Bieler, Senior Advisor on Children with Disability of the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The panelists included Mr. Robert Martin, People First New Zealand – Nga Tangata Tuatahi and recently elected member of the CRPD Committee; Ms. Gerel Dondovdorj, CEO of the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind; Mr. Pascal Benga Tonangoye, Magistrate at the Court of Auditors of Gabon; and Mr. Khalid Al Nuaimi, President of the Arab Union for the Blind.  Read more here...

Mr. Robert Martin

Robert Martin, CRPD Committee

Underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities

During the afternoon break between official sessions, there were two more side events. One discussion focused on 'Underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities' co-organised by the African Disability Forum, Pacific Disability Forum, World Federation of the Deafblind, World Federation of the Deaf, International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, International Federation of Hard of Hearing People; and co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Austria and Niger, with support from the IDA and OHCHRRead more here...

Ruth Warick during the Social Forum 2016

Right to independent living

Simultaneously, another side event focused on 'Interpretations of the right to independent living worldwide: towards a general Comment on Article 19'. The event was organised by the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and co-sponsored by the International Disability Alliance. Read more here...

Side event on Article 19 CRPD

Making Development Inclusive

The first theme of the afternoon official sessions was 'Making Development Inclusive', moderated by Ms. Lidia Pretorius, Chief Director, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Social Development of South Africa, with panelists Ms. Judith E. Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights of the U.S. Department of State contributing by video, Mr. Michael Njenga, Board Member, Pan African Network of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities, Ms. Priscile Geiser, Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium, and Ms. Rosangela Berman-Bieler, Senior Advisor on Children with Disability, UNICEF. Read more here...

Social Forum panel - Michael Njenga

Strengthening Accountability

The second theme of the afternoon was 'Strengthening Accountability'. The moderator was Mr. Stefan Trömel, Senior Disability Specialist, International Labor Organization (ILO) and panelists were Ms. Malena Pineda Ángeles, Chief of program persons with disabilities, National Human Rights Institution of Peru, Mr. Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission, Ms. Godliver Omondi, Senator of the State of Kenya and Mr. Geir Jensen, President of the World Federation of the DeafBlind. Read more here...

Geir Jensen

"Underrepresented groups of persons with autism, deafblindness, intellectual disabilities and others, are often left behind due to, among other key issues, lack of reasonable accommodation giving access to communication and information, tools for building the capacity and competence needed to be fully included and engaged with these mechanisms."

 - Geir Jensen, President of the World Federation of the DeafBlind

Tomorrow's discussions will include a Roundtable about 'Informing Policy', interactive dialogues on Realizing the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Implementation of Agenda 2030 under the CRPD: The Future We Want, and Summing Up, Conclusions and Closing Session. There will also be side events on:

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Further information can be found at

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Do not hesitate to contact us if further information is required: hrc2 [at]

  October 3, 2016 to October 5, 2016

Social Forum 2016, Palais des Nations, Geneva


  October 3, 2016 to October 5, 2016

Alongside the main events of the Human Rights Council's Social Forum 2016, IDA is co-organising a number of side events, in-between the main sessions, to...

3 October 2016, GENEVA

Today was the opening of the Human Rights Council's Social Forum 2016. This Forum is an annual interactive dialogue between representatives of civil society, UN Member States,...