- February 24, 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 (or co-sponsored) intellectual productions
  7. IDA members
  8. Other



  • IDA Secretariat is recruiting a Senior Human Rights Advisor to cover both the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly (c.f. Newsletter No. 15). The Senior Human Rights Advisor will be responsible for coordinating, providing technical expertise and advising IDA advocacy work to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the Human Rights Council and all related bodies, and at the UN General Assembly and Conference of State Parties to the CRPD (download the application pack). Applications must be submitted to recruitment [at] by 16 March 2018.


  • ADF in partnership with CBM, IDA, IDDC and their members, is organising a National BRIDGE CRPD-SDGs training cycle in Uganda for disability advocates from 12-19 April 2018. The training is supported by a grant from the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) of UK. A call for applications to participate in the training is now open to leaders and members of DPOs members of ADF, and IDA members and/or IDDC supported partners in Uganda (click here to read further information on this upcoming training and details on the application). Applications must be submitted to bridge.uganda2018 [at]  by 25 February 2018.


  • From 11 to 16 February 2018 took place IDA-IDDC BRIDGE CRPD-SDG Training of Trainers 2018 Module A in Geneva, Switzerland. The training was organised with financial support from DFID, Ford Foundation, DRAF, TCI Asia and the Art 11 Initiative (IDA, CBM and HI). The aim was to prepare future trainers to the upcoming BRIDGE CRPD-SDG modules, which are being organized in Uganda & Tanzania, South Asia, Portuguese speaking countries, and as well as the upcoming BRIDGE CRPD-SDG on Art 11 on situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies. The trainees included 10 leaders with disabilities from Africa, Latin America and Asia, including persons with albinism, psychosocial disabilities, autism, deaf people, including indigenous and youth representatives with disabilities (click here to download the list of participants). Sessions covered 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 (click here to download the programme). In addition, the training strongly focused on Article 11 of the CRPD on Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies. During the week, trainees from around of the world had 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 CRPD Committee review. More information available at IDA’s webpage.  



  • An updated calendar of the treaty bodies reviews can be downloaded here.


  • The CRPD Committee opened its 19th session (14 February 2018 - 9 March 2018) in which it examines 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). The Committee also plans to make advances with the draft General Comment on Article 5.  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. The 19th Session of the CRPD can also be followed on the CRPD page which has been created on IDA’s website. More information and instructions here.  (download the informative note issued by the CRPD Secretariat). Public sessions of the CRPD Committee, including State party reviews of Haiti, Nepal, Oman, Sudan, Slovenia, Seychelles and the Russian Federation, will be webcasted live by the United Nations Office of Geneva on UNTV according to the below schedule (all times indicated are Geneva local time- CET). Webcast will be provided in ENGLISH, International Sign, National Sign language and national language of the countries (ensured when language is a UN language):
      • Thursday 15 February 2018:   15.00 – Haiti
      • Friday 16 February 2018: 15.00 – Haiti
      • Monday 19 February 2018: 15:00 – Nepal
      • Tuesday 20 February 2018: 10:00 – Nepal; 15:00 - Oman​ 
      • Wednesday 21 February 2018: 10.00 – Oman; 15.00 – Sudan
      • Thursday 22 February 2018: 10:00 – Sudan; 15.00 – Slovenia
      • Friday 23 February 2018: 10:00 – Slovenia
      • Monday 26 February 2018: 15:00 – Seychelles
      • Tuesday 27 February 2018: 10:00 – Seychelles; 15:00 – Russian Federation​ 
      • Wednesday 28 February 2018: 10.00 - Russian Federation​ 

All States reports and public written contributions by organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as other documents relevant to States review processes are available at the website of the Committee on its 19th session and on its 9th pre-session.

  • CRPD:  Vladimir Cuk provided remarks on behalf of IDA at the Opening session of the 19th  Session of the Committee on the CRPD to be held from 14 February 2018 - 9 March 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. He noted appreciation of "the adopted decision to work on a new general comment on articles 4.3 and 33.3, and strongly encouraging the Committee to start its preparation. IDA and its member organizations highly values the efforts to enable and ensure the participation of persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in all decision-making processes related to this comment, particularly in those relating to matters that affect them."
  • The CRPD Committee Secretariat has sent a note verbale to States Parties to the CRPD and updated its website on the 2018 CRPD Committee elections process, initiating officially the call for nominations of candidates (see here).  States Parties have until 12 April 2018 to nominate a candidate if they wish to do so. IDA would like to commend the Committee and its Secretariat for developing a compulsory form, within the official procedure, that requires more targeted and relevant information of nominees vis-à-vis of their background and expertise on the rights of persons with disabilities. Relevant stakeholders, including States Parties and organisations of persons with disabilities, can therefore better assess the qualifications of nominees prior to elections.  IDA would like to recall that, under Articles 4.3 and 34.3 of the CRPD, States must consult and actively involve organizations of persons with disabilities prior to nominating a candidate.Furthermore, this consultation needs to be undertaken also prior to deciding the candidates for whom to vote. In this sense, IDA encourages organizations of persons with disabilities at the national level to request compliance with States' obligations under the CRPD in connection to nomination and elections procedures for CRPD Committee membership (read IDA's Guidance document for elections 2018 in English and Spanish).

    More information on IDA actions on elections so far, together with other key partners, is available on IDA’s website (Promoting Quality, Independence and Diversity in Treaty Body Membership”; "IDA & GQual Campaign Joint Statement on Gender Equality on CRPD Committee Membership"; "IDA, IDDC and GQUAL present at a States’ Group of Friends to the CRPD meeting to promote gender balance, quality and independence in nomination and election processes for CRPD Committee")


The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women opened its 69th  session (19 Feb 2018 - 09 Mar 2018)  in which it will be reviewing Chile, Fiji, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Suriname. The public meetings will be webcast live by the UN Office of Geneva on UNTV according to the schedule below (all GVA time). Most likely, UN Web TV will provide webcast in English and in a second UN language, according to each country.

  • Tuesday 20 February 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 –  Malaysia
  • Wednesday 21 February 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 – Chile 
  • Thursday 22 February 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 – Republic of Korea
  • Friday 23 February 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 – Fiji
  • Tuesday 27 February 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 – Saudi Arabia
  • Wednesday 28 February 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 – Suriname
  • Thursday 1 March 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 – Luxembourg (Consideration of report submitted under the simplified reporting procedure)
  • Friday 2 March 2018: 10h00-13h00 & 15h00-17h00 –Marshall Islands



  • The Secretariat of the Human Rights Council transmits, on behalf of the President and the Bureau, a revised proposal on strengthening the Council and reducing the number of regular session Council meetings in 2018 (read here). An informal consultation to exchange views on the proposal will be held on Monday 19 February at 3 p.m in Room XXI at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland.


  • A bi-annual civil society briefing was held on 15 February 2018, at Palais des Nations, in Geneva. Click here to read the opening remarks of Mr. Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.


  • VOLUNTARY NATIONAL REVIEW (VNR) WEBINAR: The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities held its first open platform to discuss participation in the VNRs on 21 February 2019. During the webinar, guest presenters introduced how to engage in the VNRs at the national level, providing examples from Ireland, Senegal and Switzerland, which are undergoing reviews in 2018. Presentations included also experiences of reviews in 2017. Recording is available with International Sign Interpretation on IDA’s website.



  • ZERO PROJECT REPORT AND CONFERENCE: The 2018 Zero Project conference will be held from 21 to 23 February 2018 in Vienna. The conference will seek to connect guests from many different sectors of society so that they can share and discuss ideas and concepts related to accessibility that really work. IDA Secretary-General will represent IDA at the Conference. The Conference can be followed live on the Zero Project’s website. The 2018 Zero Project report on the topic of accessibility has been published. Among others, it presents the projects, programmes, products and services which made it through the long and detailed research, nomination and voting process, which help accessibility in many aspects of life, including the built environment, ICT, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and more (click here to read it).
  • BEIRUT ADVOCACY WEEK:  A series of meetings will be held in Beirut late February-early March 2018, in the frame of the Beirut Advocacy Week. While more information on each event will be provided at a later stage, please see below the suggested dates:
    • 27 February - 2 March: DFID Programme Committee Meeting
    • 2 - 3 March: Combined BRIDGE CRPD-SDG Art11 and BRIDGE CRPD-SDG MENA Region technical workshop
    • 4 - 5 March Individual workshop days for BRIDGE CRPD-SDG Art11 and BRIDGE CRPD-SDG MENA Region 
    • 6 - 7 March: IASC Task Team MENA Region Consultation 
  • MAKING IT WORK GENDER AND DISABILITY FORUM: The Second Gender and Disability Forum will be held in Nairobi from 5-9 March 2018. The Forum will be made of two components: the Workshop for Good Practice Holders (5-9 March 2018), and the Regional Roundtable “Better addressing the intersectionality of gender and disability in Africa: regional opportunities” (9 March 2018) (read the concept note of the event). The event, co-sponsored by HI and DRF, will gather women with disabilities engaged in implementation of good practices in reducing violence against women and girls with disabilities from African countries. Fatma Wangare, from African Disability Forum and Yetnebersh Nigussie, from Light for the World, will co-chair the roundtable. More information available here.
  • 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 of WNUSP 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).
  • INITIAL TECHNICAL WORKSHOP OF THE IDA FLAGSHIP INITIATIVE ON EDUCATION: Inclusion International is organizing an Initial Technical Workshop of the IDA flagship initiative on education in partnership with IDA. The workshop will be held in London from 12-14 March 2018 and will gather external experts and contributors. The aim of the workshop is to elaborate consensus perspective based on evidence of DPOs on how best to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4/article 24 for all children with disabilities by 2030.


  • 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. IDA Secretariat is looking at whether the Common Wealth can fund the participation of some DPOs. Click here to register for the Summit. 
  • BRIDGE UGANDA: The first cycle of the 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.
  • IAEG- SDGs: The 7th Meeting of the IAEG- SDGs will take place on 10-12 April 2018 in Vienna, Austria. The meeting will be hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). There will be a Members meeting taking place during the first day (9 April) and a Plenary Session taking place during the following three days (10 - 12 April). The aims or the meeting are: to review the tier classification, to discuss the implementation of the guidelines on data flows and global data reporting and the development of a document on best practices in global data reporting, to review proposals for additional indicators, to discuss progress made on the work stream on data disaggregation, and to share experiences on implementing monitoring of the SDGs. More information on the meeting available here.


  • 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.


  • CRPD-OPTIONAL PROTOCOL: To date, the CRPD Committee has dealt with 21 communications under the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, adopting its views and addressing diverse issues, including the right to equality and non-discrimination (Article 5), the right to liberty and security of the person (Article 14), the right to vote (Article 29), among many others. These views constitute an important part of the CRPD Committee jurisprudence that provides standards to interpret the Articles of the CRPD. IDA has been following up on the views adopted by the Committee, by producing summaries to facilitate access to this information. Recently, IDA has finalised the summaries of the 7 views adopted by the CRPD Committee in 2017, during sessions 17th and 18th. Click here to access the summary.



  • EDF and CERMI Women’s Foundation have released a comprehensive report which raises awareness on how to prevent and end forced sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities. It explains the negative consequences of forced sterilisation on the enjoyment of all human rights for all women and girls with disabilities. It highlights the close relationship between this practice and the deprivation of legal capacity, and describes the current situation in Europe and beyond. Finally, it gives an overview of the current human rights standards and jurisprudence on the topic. Click here to download the Report on ending forced sterilisation.
  • EDF launched its European Disability Card initiative in eight EU Member States in 2017 as part of a pilot project of the European Commission. Frank Sioen, EDF member organisation ENIL, tested the Disability Card and wrote a report about its practical use. He concluded that it is not that easy to make use of it and that the project still needs some improvements. The report is available on the ENIL website.
  • European Disability Forum and the Belgian Disability Forum are holding a conference on “the Sustainable Development Goals” on 3 March 2018, at 9AM in Brussels, Belgium.  During the conference will be launched EDF second Human Rights report. This new report is called: “ The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs: A European Perspective to respect, protect and fulfil the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. To register, complete the form downloadable here. More information on the program is available on EDF’s website.


  • The 17th World Congress of Inclusion International, Learn, Inspire, Lead, will take place in Birmingham, UK from 30 May – 1 June 2018.  The Congress is hosted in partnership with Inclusion Europe and sponsored by Royal Mencap Society. The Congress will gather people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and the disability and development community. Click here to register. More information is available on the World Congress 2018’s website.
  • Inclusion International developed global resources to helps its networks in using the CRPD and other international instruments to make change. Through its Catalyst on Inclusive Education and its self-advocacy platform, Empower Us, it is providing its global networks with the tools and skills to bring about change at a local, national and regional level. In 2018, it will also introduce Family Voices for Inclusion, a platform designed to provide members with tools to support families and foster family leadership. The platform will be launched at the 2018 World Congress.


  • INSIGHTS FROM AFRICA: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON DISABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT: Leonard Cheshire Disability and partners are holding a 2-day conference entitled: “Insights from Africa: new perspectives on disability and development”. The event will showcase findings from Leonard Cheshire Disability’s three year ESRC/DFID-funded research project ‘Bridging the Gap: Examining Disability and Development in Four African Countries’, as well as consider the impact of these findings for policy and practice, nationally and regionally. The first day will be a high-level dialogue and is for representatives from government, United Nations, academia, national research partners, donors, private sector and practitioners. The second day will be a smaller, much more focused event for national research partners, academics, technical experts and practitioners. Additional event and agenda details can be found on the conference webpage. Click here to register for the first day of the conference on 12 March 2018. Click here to register for the second day of the conference on 13 March 2018.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY TOOLKIT: Women Enabled International has developed a new, innovative resource—the accountABILITY Toolkit—to facilitate this participation, advance women’s rights, and hold States accountable to their human rights obligations. The toolkit will be launched at the 62th CSW Session held from 12-23 March 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. Women Enabled International will hold a side event on 14 March 2018 to introduce the three briefing papers that comprise the Toolkit. The event entitled: “AccountABILITY: Advancing the Rights of Historically Excluded Women and Girls”, will be held at 12:30pm at 4 W 43rd Street, Gallery Room, New York City.  Contact info [at] to join the side event and get a copy of the accountABILITY Toolkit.
  • UNICEF: UNICEF has developed a 3-part Inclusive Communication Module. The content is divided into three chapters of 15-20 minutes each, and contains examples from over 30 country offices. More information available here.

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