- August 26, 2021

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) supports the work of organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) by focusing on innovative and effective approaches to employment rights of persons with disabilities and other crosscutting issues.

The launch meeting in Bangladesh of the National OPD Advisory Committee (NOAC) was held in July 2021. The NOAC was set up in March with 19 members representing the 18 OPDs working with the Inclusion Works program and Access Bangladesh Foundation. The objective of the NOAC is to create greater synergies between the Inclusion Works program and the larger disability movement. Members of NOAC are persons with disabilities representing a diversity of groups including Down syndrome and persons with deafblindness. While attempts were made to achieve gender balance, only five out of the 19 members are women with disabilities. Efforts will continue to get more voices of women on board.

Shafiqul Islam (Country Director, ADD International BCO), Amrita Rejina Rozario (Country Director, Sightsavers BCO), Albert Mollah (Executive Director, Access Bangladesh Foundation) and Arifur Rahman (Chief Executive, YPSA) attended the inaugural session and delivered the welcome speech.

After the inaugural session, NOAC members elected Mohua Paul as Chairperson, and formed a sub-committee comprising 9 members to develop the NOAC Terms of Reference (ToR).

During the NOAC meeting, members had a session to discuss the ongoing process of updating the CRPD Parallel Report that was developed by the Bangladeshi disability movement in 2018 (the national coalition which started work on the parallel report in 2013 was converted to the CRPD Platform in 2018). The NOAC decided to become a member of the CRPD Platform Bangladesh which is leading the process of the parallel report. The inputs of the NOAC were accepted by the CRPD Platform, and the NOAC has been given membership. This is a positive development and is expected to create greater collaboration within the national OPD movement in Bangladesh.

The sub-committee met on 26 July to develop the ToRs. Among other things, it was decided that the NOAC will focus on employment rights of persons with disabilities and other crosscutting issues such as education, legal capacity, accessibility. All decisions of the sub-committee will be placed before the NOAC for approval.

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Country: Bangladesh

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