- February 13, 2018


  1. Highlights
  2. Treaty bodies review, Geneva 2017-2018
  3. UN system, agencies and mechanism
  4. Activities in the past weeks
  5. Upcoming activities
  6. IDA members
  7. Others
  8. Job Offers



  • The Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network met for its second meeting from 31 January to 2 February 2018, in Helsinki, Finland. The meeting was jointly organised by GLAD co-chairs, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and IDA, and was hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Abilis Foundation. The overall aim of the meeting was to further develop a firm, coherent and practical commitment to disability-inclusive development and humanitarian action in line with CRPD, through meaningful engagement with Organisations of Persons with Disability (DPOs), and capitalizing on the collective voice, role and resources of GLAD Network members. Reflecting on DPO engagement, the Network agreed to continue to amplify the voices of DPOs through their increased representation in all major platforms. Members also commit that their capacity building work is done in collaboration with DPOs and persons with disabilities. The meeting was also the opportunity to launch the new online platform for the GLAD Network. Aligning with its goals, the Network agreed that its success will be in sharing knowledge and joint advocacy through consistent messages on disability-inclusive development and humanitarian action. The online knowledge-sharing platform will be used to support the goals of the network and its geographically dispersed members. More information about day 1 and day 2, 3 of the meeting available on GLAD network’s website.


    • TREATY BODIES: An updated calendar of the treaty bodies reviews can be downloaded here.
    • CRPD: The CRPD Committee will hold its 19th session from 14 February 2018 to 9 March 2018. It will be followed by the CRPD committee 9th pre-sessional working group from 12-16 March 2018.  The Committee will examine the following countries: Haiti, Nepal, Oman, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Slovenia, Sudan (States Parties Reports) and Costa Rica, New Zealand, Paraguay, Republic of Korea (Lists of Issues Prior To Reporting). In this framework, IDA will support the participation of DPO representatives from Sudan, Nepal, Oman, the Russian Federation and Haiti. Registration to attend the public meetings is open until 9 March 2018. More information and instructions here.  (download the informative note issued by the CRPD Secretariat). To follow the 19th  Session of the CRPD, please visit the CRPD page which has been created on IDA’s website.



    • The Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SR), Catalina Devandas, is currently preparing a study on the right of persons with disabilities to the highest attainable standard of health. In this framework, the SR has launched a questionnaire (click here to download the English version. Also available in French and Spanish). All inputs in accessible formats (Word), in English, French or Spanish, are welcome. Submissions should be sent by e-mail to the address sr.disability [at] no later than 30 March 2018


    • The independent expert on the enjoyment of human rights for persons with albinism will be consulting with civil society groups on a strategy for implementing the regional action plan (RAP) endorsed by the African Commission on Human and people’s Rights in May 2017. Due to limited resources, attention would be paid to groups with multinational operational capacity as well as those smaller groups and individuals who have engaged actively on the issue including through sending reports to the expert’s mandate among other commendable advocacy initiatives. To advance the regional action plan, a google group was created. To store your good work permanently and to reach a wider audience, join this group by clicking here and click “New Topic” to begin your discussion and attach documents. If you have any issues, contact the administrator (actiononalbinism [at]
    • The independent expert recently concluded the first country visit of its mandate to Fiji. It is reported that Fiji has one of the highest estimates of persons with albinism in the world. Click here to read the statement of its findings. The full report of the country visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2019. 
    • On 21- 22 September 2017, was held an expert workshop on Witchcraft and Human Rights at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. The objective of the meeting was to enable greater understanding of witchcraft related beliefs and practices, and their impact on the enjoyment of human rights, in order to prevent further abuses from taking place. The event gathered over a hundred participants, including UN Experts, academics and members of the civil society who presented on the violence associated with witchcraft beliefs and practices and on the impact on groups in vulnerable situations, such as persons with albinism. In addition, survivors of such practices also shared their experience.  More information available on OHCHR’s website.  An outcome document containing the substantive discussion as well as a synthesis of recommendations will be produced and ready for distribution by March 2018. 


    • At the request of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, UN-NGLS facilitated a civil society consultation from October to December 2017 to discuss the ongoing review of the UN development system, open to representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, philanthropy, academia, and social entrepreneurs. This was the official channel for these stakeholders to provide analysis of the findings of the Secretary-General’s June 2017 report and submit proposals to inform the ongoing process of repositioning of the UN development system, particularly related to activity at the country level, ahead of the Secretary-General’s second report. The stakeholder consultation summary report includes the following reference to persons with disabilities: "A UN system-wide task force should be formed to provide policy guidance, including at the country level, toward efforts to enhance the implementation and integration of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a key for achieving the SDGs for persons with disabilities." [Please keep in mind this is a civil society recommendation which has not been included in the Secretary General report]. The full stakeholder consultation summary report can be found here.


    • The Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development will be held from 25 – 27 March 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme will be "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies in Asia and the Pacific." The Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development 2018 will be a forum for civil society organizations to work together and consolidate their positions and recommendations for a regional sustainable development agenda. Asia-Pacific CSOs from different sectors and countries will explore common ground and actions, develop common messages and coordinate strategies for more effective participation in the national, regional and global intergovernmental processes on sustainable development. The UNESCAP issued a call for Civil Society Organisations to apply to participate and to engage in this meeting (click here to read the call for applications). Limited funding opportunity will be provided. Deadline to apply is 18 February 2018.


    • The UN has developed a survey to improve accessibility at the UN Headquarters. Click here to complete the survey (available in English and French) on your accessibility experiences at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the survey is to learn what barriers you have encountered in terms of accessibility or if you have witnessed others experience any accessibility barriers to full and equal participation in activities at the United Nations Headquarters.


    • UNOG is hosting a meeting on 15 February 2018, from 15:30 to 17:00, in Room XII (12), at the Palais des Nations. The objective of the meeting is to update NGO representatives on relevant developments since the last meeting in October 2017 and to discuss the UN priorities and activities for 2018. All NGO representatives in possession of a valid grounds pass will be able to participate. Please ensure that 2018 annual accreditation of your NGO representatives is finalized by following the procedure available on UNOG’s website.   You are kindly invited to confirm participation by 12 February 2018 to the NGO Liaison Unit at UNOG, by email at ungeneva.ngoliaison [at] Interpretation will be provided in French and English.



    • PDF, in partnership with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Team on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action and IDA (co-chair of the Task Team), held a two-day regional multi-stakeholder workshop for the Pacific to input into the development of the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. The consultation was held on 24 –25 January 2018 in Nadi, Fiji. The event brought together a wide range of 60 experts that have complementary knowledge such as: humanitarian workers with general or sectoral expertise necessary to ensure relevance of the guidelines; disability in humanitarian action experts; governments; and DPOs (click here to view the list of participants). A detailed report on the outcomes of the consultation is now available on IDA’s website.


    • The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) entitled "Advancing the 2030 Agenda: Interlinkages and Common Themes at the HLPF 2018" was organized by UN-DESA in New York on 25-26 January 2018. The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities was represented by Jose Maria Viera, World Blind Union. The following key messages were delivered on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities:
    • Urgent call to UN member states and UN system to collect data desegregated by disability using as a baseline the Washington Group short set of questions; 
    • Urgent call to raise awareness of producers working on SDGs to make their models accessible. For instance, distinguished researchers and scholars presented different models to measure SDGs implementation however those were not accessible. Or, for example, the data collected was not fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
    • The need to include disability as a crosscutting issue. There was almost no reference to persons with disabilities during the different sessions of the meeting.
    • Special call to include persons with disabilities in DRR and humanitarian emergences programs.
    • The need to incorporate a human rights perspective in the SDGs framework. The interlinkages between SDGs and UNCRPD.
    • The need to promote Civil society consultation when implementing the SDGs.
    • The need to connect the global and the national level when implementing and monitoring the SDGs.
    • The need to consider cities and human settlements inclusive, safe and resilient. Cities and human settlements must be seen as environments / systems were other rights such as health, education, cultural life, sport etc. can be enjoyed by all.


    • The Group of Friends to the CRPD hosted a lunch meeting on 30 January 2018, at the Permanent Mission of Mexico, in New York, USA. The meeting titled “Promoting gender balance, quality and independence in the nomination and elections processes for the CRPD committee” was co-sponsored by IDA, IDDC and GQUAL Campaign. The aim of the event was to promote gender balance, quality and independence in the nomination and elections processes for the CRPD Committee. It counted with the participation of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms Catalina Devandas, and gathered representatives of the Permanent Missions to the UN of the States of the Group of Friends to the CRPD. As part of the panel, Silvia Quan made a strong point, among others, on the need to develop mechanisms and processes, both at the national and international level, to publicly assess and scrutinize candidates profile, and to clearly set assessment guidance to ensure that candidates meet the relevant criteria required by the Convention. More information available on IDA’s website.
    • The European Union, the People's Republic of China and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs co-hosted the side-event on persons with disabilities “Realising equal rights and inclusive development” on 31 January 2018, at the UN Headquarters in New York. The event was attended by high level speakers and gathered representatives from States’ missions to the UN, UN agencies and civil society representatives. The meeting sought to explore the progress made in realizing equal rights and inclusive development of persons with disabilities and the challenges laying ahead for SDGs-CRPD implementation. IDA participated at the panel discussion that followed. Silvia Quan, representing IDA, stressed on Article 4.3 of the CRPD that requires States to closely consult and actively involve persons with disabilities, through their representatives organisations, elaborating on key related elements such as timely and accessible information and funding to ensure organisations can participate effectively.  More information available on IDA’s website.


    • The 2018 Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 5-9 February 2018. The event co-chaired by OCHA and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) provides a unique forum for humanitarian networks and partnerships to meet and address key humanitarian issues.  IDA participated in two sessions: “Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action: Impact and Expectations”, and “Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in humanitarian action (guidelines): next steps”. More information available on IDA’s website.



    • GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT 2018: The 5TH Global Mental Health Conference is being held from 8 - 9 February 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The focus of this year’s Summit, themed “Leaving No One Behind”, aligns the Summit agenda with the SDGs and emphasize that mental health forms a vital component in achieving the SDGs. The event will also be the opportunity to found the Global Mental Health Peer Network. Jolijn Santegoeds and Annie Robb will be representing WNUSP at the conference. More information on the conference is available on the Movement for Global Mental Health’s website.
    • IDA-IDDC BRIDGE TRAINING OF TRAINERS: From 11 to 16 February 2018 will take place IDA-IDDC BRIDGE CRPD-SDG Training of Trainers 2018 Module A in Geneva, Switzerland. The Training is organised by IDA with financial support from DFID, Ford Foundation, DRAF, TCI Asia and the Art 11 Initiative (IDA, CBM and HI). The trainees include 15 leaders with disabilities from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Sessions cover topics such as CRPD compliance, key issues in a CRPD training, equality and non-discrimination, equal recognition before the law and inclusive facilitation, among others. The training will have a strong focus on the Article 11 of the CRPD on Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies and will support preparation of trainers for future BRIDGE CRPD-SDG cycles. During the week, trainees from around of the world will have also the opportunity to meet representative of Humanitarian and Human Rights organisations working on the Art 11, including Red Cross, ISDR, OCHA and UNHCR, as well as to meet DPOs from Haiti following the CRPS Cttee review. Agenda and list of participants will be available soon at IDAs webpage.
    • VOLUNTARY NATIONAL REVIEW (VNR) WEBINAR: The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities will hold its first open platform to discuss participation in the VNRs on 21 February 2019 from 9:00 to 10:00 EST. During the webinar, guest presenters will introduce how to engage in the VNRs at the national level provide examples from Ireland, Senegal and Switzerland, which are undergoing reviews in 2018. We will also have presentations from experiences of reviews in 2017. The Stakeholder Group encourages everyone to join the webinar and engage in an interactive dialogue. Please register here.  The webinar will be accessible with International Sign and captioning.
    • COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN: The 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) will take place from 12-23 March 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA.  The priority of this year’s event is: “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”. Ms. Robinah ALAMBUYA will attend CSW62 in New York, to speak at the side event entitled: “Advocacy on the margins: Women with disabilities addressing violence at the grassroots level” on 22 March 2018, as well as conduct meetings with UNWomen connected to the Flagship Programme Initiatives (FPIs).


    • COMMONWEALTH SUMMIT: The People's Forum at the Commonwealth Summit will be held on 16-18 April 2018, in London, United Kingdom. The mainstream forums will offer an opportunity for Commonwealth dialogue and provide a platform for wider debate of some of the key issues and challenges, in advance of discussions by leaders at CHOGM. Click here to register for the Summit.
    • BRIDGE UGANDA: The first cycle ofthe national BRIDGE CRPD-SDG training in Uganda will be held from 12-19 April 2018. The training is organised by ADF, in partnership with CBM, IDDC and IDA, supported by a grant from the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) in the UK.


    • 2018 Helen Keller World Conference: The 11th Helen Keller World Conference will take place on 19-27 June 2018 in Benidorm, Spain. With the main topic: “Our rights; Our Voice; We lead the Way”, the 11th HKWC 2018 will focus on strengthening human rights, democracy and equality through full and equal inclusion of persons with deafblindness in all aspects of the global, regional, national and local society in which we live. Registration forms are available for download on WFDB’s website.
    • COSP: The 11th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD will take place on 12-14 June 2018, at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. Among other agenda items, the session will expect to feature an election of 9 members of the CRPD Committee.


    • 2018 UK DISABILITY SUMMIT: IDA will be co-hosting the first UK global disability summit with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) on 24 July 2018.


    • CRPD: The 20th Session of the CRPD committee will place from 20 August 2018 to 7 September 2017, in Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.


    • UN WORLD DATA FORUM: The UN World Data Forum 2018 will take place in Dubai, UAE from 22-24 October 2018. The event will bring together data leaders from diverse stakeholder groups, including national and international statistical systems, academia, business community and civil society. The aim of the forum is to exchange ideas, showcase innovations, identify solutions, discuss future strategies, and provide mutual learning opportunities on a wide variety of topics. More information available on the website of the UN World Data Forum.

    The United Nations Statistics Division (UN World Data Forum Secretariat) informed the Programme Committee of the conference invited anyone interested to submit proposals for sessions to be considered for inclusion in the programme. The deadline for submission is 31 January 2018. Proposed programme will be approved by the UN Statistical Commission’s High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building (HLG-PCCB). The Programme Committee or the HLG-PCCB may request revisions to some proposals. All applicants will be informed about the status of their application by 31 March 2018.



    • The National Organization of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia, has published a position paper on children with disabilities in the Republic of Serbia. EDF has supported the development of this report, which has been developed as part of EDF’s project on Children with Disabilities in the Western Balkans and Turkey, in partnership with UNICEF and financed by the EC. Click here to read the report on children with disabilities in the Republic of Serbia.
    • The 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities (EPPD) was held on 6 December 2017 in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. All documents and resolutions related to the EPPD can be found on EDF website at this page. This includes the EDF Manifesto in view of the European elections 2019, the resolution on the European Disability Strategy 2020-2030 and the Emergency Resolution on the European Accessibility Act. Furthermore, the statements made by various delegates during the plenary debate can also be found on the webpage. Finally, at the link above, you will be able to find in the following days the whole transcription of the event by the speech-to-text provider.


    • Inclusion International is hosting its 17th World Congress, Learn, Inspire, Lead, in partnership with Inclusion Europe and sponsored by Royal Mencap Society. The Congress will take place in Birmingham, UK from 30 May – 1 June 2018. Speakers will include Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State from the Department of International Development and Robert Martin from the UN CRPD Committee.  Sessions highlight and list of speakers are available on the 2018 World Congress’s website.  Click here to register.


    • IF will hold its annual international conference in South-East Asia, from 10-12 August 2018 in New Delhi, India. The theme of this year’s conference is Making the Invisible Visible - Building South-East Asian networks to protect the rights of children and adults born with lifelong disabilities. Focus will be on people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and other birth defects who are deprived of proper medical care and guidance, and their families. To learn more about the conference, sign up to the mailing list hereMore information available on IF’s website. 
    • IF’s proposal for a four-year agreement (2018-2021) to support European networks in the area of rights of persons with disabilities was approved by the European Commission. More information available on IF’s website. 

    7. OTHERS

    • INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR EVIDENCE IN DISABILITY: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medecine is launching a 3- week online course on Global Health and Disability on 26 February 2018. It is suited to anyone with an interest in health and disability, from low or high income settings. More details and registration here. 
    • RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARD: The Right Livelihood Award is an award to honour and support courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems. Four recipients are chosen each year by an international jury after extensive research work. Nomination process is now open for the Applications 2018 award. If you want to propose a candidate please follow these guidelines. The deadline for submitting a nomination is 1 March 2018.
    • A2I: A Bangladesh social development organization YPSA, with overall support from a2i’s Service Innovation Fund, developed an ‘Accessible Dictionary’ for visually impaired. It is Bangladesh’s first Bangla-to-Bangla, Bangla-to-English, English-to-Bangla, English-to-English dictionary developed exclusively for the visually impaired and blind persons. It is available in both web and mobile app formats.
    • HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Human Rights Watch published its new report entitled: I Needed Help, Instead I Was Punished: Abuse and Neglect of Prisoners with Disabilities in Australia”. The report examines how prisoners with disabilities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, are at serious risk of bullying, harassment, violence, and abuse from fellow prisoners and staff. Prisoners with psychosocial disabilities – mental health conditions – or cognitive disabilities in particular can spend days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years locked up alone in detention or safety units.


    • INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR SPINA BIFIDA AND HYDROCEPHALUS: IF is looking for an experienced Office Manager for its office in Brussels to organize and coordinate administration duties and office procedures. Deadline for applications is 4 February 2018. More information available on IF’s website.
    • MENTAL HEALTH EUROPE: Mental Health Europe is recruiting a policy manager specialised in EU policy and human rights to lead its advocacy work in the field of mental health and human rights. The position is based in Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for application is 11 February 2018. More information available here.
    • OHCHR: The OHCHR is recruiting a CRPD-SDGs consultant to produce both a policy guidelines on implementation of the SDGs under CRPD standards (in line with the CRPD and interpretation developed by the CRPD Committee), and a matrix linking CRPD human rights indicators with SDGs policy guidelines. Deadline for application is 3 February 2018. More information available here.
    • UNDP: UNDP Kuwait is looking for a consultant “Supporting the development of web accessibility guidelines & strategy at Kuwait”. Application deadline is 20 February 2018. Description with application instructions here.

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