- April 11, 2019


  1. Highlights
  2. Treaty bodies review, Geneva
  3. Activities in the past weeks
  4. Upcoming activities
  5. IDA members
  6. UN System, Agencies and Mechanism
  7. Others
  8. Job offers


  • All the commitments made at the Global Disability Summit are now available on an accessible portal on the website of the International Disability Alliance. You can search by stakeholder, theme, or keyword to find the commitments you are interested in. Also available on the portal are supporting documentation, such as the Charter for Change, and the List of all Stakeholders who signed the Charter for Change. Access the portal here.
  • The IDA Board meeting was held from 7-10 April 2019 in Madrid, Spain. During this meeting, IDA Board members also had the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez. During the meeting, IDA recognised the partnership between the Government of Spain and organisations of persons with disabilities, including ONCE and CERMI. 
  • The 4th IDA Programme Committee meeting was held from 1-4 April 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Over the four days the Programme Committee reviewed programmatic developments, discuss the IDA Strategic Framework for 2020-2023 currently under formulation. On Days 3 and 4 the IDA Programme Committee met with representatives from the International Disability and Development Consortium members and the Disability Rights Fund, to review and discuss strategic collaborations between DPOs and development partners towards achieving the SDGs for all persons with disabilities. More details here.
  • IDA, in partnership with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Team held a workshop to support the validation and finalisation of the IASC Guidelines on Inclusive Humanitarian Action for Persons with Disabilities from 8-11 April, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. More details here.


  • The 21st Session of the CRPD Committee was held from 11 March to 5 April, 2019 during which it reviewed Cuba, the Niger, Norway, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Turkey and Vanuatu. The concluding observations can be found here. It also initiated the second cycle of review under the simplified reporting procedure by adopting list of issues prior to reporting on Belgium, Cook Islands, Czech Republic and Denmark. The Committee discussed matters related to the process of the future General Comment on Article 11.  The 21st session was immediately followed by the CRPD Committee’s 11th pre-session from 8 to 11 April, 2019 during which it adopted the list of issues on Albania, Bangladesh, Estonia, Greece, India, Jamaica, Kuwait, and Myanmar.
  • IDA participated at the annual interactive debate at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council on 6 March, 2019. The debate was focused on Article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on habitation and rehabilitation.  The opening statement was given H.E Michel Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the session was chaired by H.E. Coly Seck, President of the Human Rights Council. Among the panellists, Lauro Purcil spoke as a representative of the International Disability Alliance. Read more details here.


  • IDA and IDDC participated in the 9th IAEG-SDGs meeting at UN-ESCWA in Beirut, Lebanon. During the meeting, IDA and IDDC conveyed key advocacy messages, including the importance of using the Washington Group short set of questions and WG/UNICEF Child Functioning Module, and the importance of bringing civil society, statisticians, and policymakers together for evidence-based policymaking. This latter message was reinforced several times by many actors at the meeting (e.g. UNSD, Ghana, ILO, UK, and Cambodia). IDA and IDDC also gave two official presentations: (1) on the disability data advocacy working group and (2) perspectives of a data user. A number of countries and UN Agencies included disaggregation by disability in their interventions, as well as the importance of using the WG-SS, but also indicated the challenges of collecting data. UNSD highlighted persons with disabilities as one of two good examples of policy priorities of disaggregated data included in an official background document at the 50th session of the Statistical Commission. The new IAEG co-chair (Sweden, the other co-chair is Tanzania) requested that the stakeholders compile a shadow/spotlight report on their engagement with the IAEG as stakeholders with recommendations for the future.
  • The second HLPF newsletter was issued in March and contained information regarding webinars, inputs for the official submissions, VNRs, participating in the regional sustainable development forums, among others. Read the newsletter here.
  • Webinar on ‘Key messages to be delivered at HLPF 2019 on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities’ was held on 13 March, 2019. The SGPwD has prepared a draft of the official submission to the HLPF. The document contains five chapters in line with the Goals under review, outlining the current situation and challenges faced by persons with disabilities and provide relevant recommendations to the Member States on how to achieve these Goals. At the webinar, prominent speakers introduced each chapter. Sian Tesni introduced the chapter on Goal 4 (Education), Nathan Rowe introduced the chapter on Goal 8 (Employment), Elizabeth Lockwood introduced the chapter on Goal 10 (Inequalities), Venkatesh Balakrishna and Mary Keogh introduced the chapter on Goal 13 (Climate Change) and Jose Maria Viera introduced the chapter on Goal 16.
  • The 3rd webinar in the Disability Data Series titled ‘Country experiences on disability data collection’  was held on 27 March, 2019. Speakers included Dr. Ola Abu Alghaib of the  Leonard Cheshire Disability; Dr. Manfred Mörchen and Olmedo Zambrano of CBM International; and Dr. Islay Mactaggart of the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • IDA, CBM and Humanity & Inclusion are collaborating on a Bridge CRPD-SDGs Global Training on CRPD Article 11 – Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies. A call was sent out for Bridge alumni and humanitarian actors to apply to take part in this Module 3. More details can be found here.




  • The 6th session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held from 13-17 May, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. It will convene under the theme “Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies”.
  • The 4th UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) will be held on 14-15 May, 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
  • The Bridge Tanzania Module 1 will be held 6-16 May, 2019 (TBC).


  • The Disability Summit, Argentina will be held from 6-8 June, 2019 in Buenos Aires. More details here.
  • The 12th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD will be held at the UN headquarters in New York from 11-13 June, 2019. More details here.
  • The Women Deliver Conference – the world’s largest conference on gender equality and health rights and well-being of girls and women will be held from 3-6 June, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.
  • The Bridge Module 3 on Article 11 is scheduled to be held from 6-13 June, 2019 (tbc).


  • What's coming up at the High-Level Political Forum 2019? The 2019 High-level Political Forum will highlight the Sustainable Development Goals 4, 8, 10, 13, 16, 17 around the theme of 'Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’. Fifty-one countries will conduct Voluntary National Reviews during the last three days of the session. Learn more about the HLPF here. To know about the participation and engagement of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities here.
  • A meeting of the IDA Inclusive Education Flagship will be held in Brighton, UK from 4-6 July, 2019.


  • The 22nd session of the CRPD Committee will be held from 22 August to 20 September, 2019.


  • The High Level Political Forum- SDGs Summit will be held at the UN Headquarters in new York from 24-25 September, 2019.
  • The 74th session of the UN General Assembly will take place from 17-30 September, 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York.


  • The IDA Board meeting will be held from 2-6 November, 2019 in Seoul (TBC).


 Down Syndrome International

  • To commemorate World Down Syndrome on 21 March, 2019, Down Syndrome International organised a series of events, activities and campaigns, including a side-event during the session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at Palais des Nations in Geneva where self-advocates spoke about employment. Read more about the activities and events here.
    European Disability Forum
  • The European Disability Forum (EDF) organised a Disability Intergroup event titled ‘Do not take my spot – the European Disability Parking card’ on 18 March, 2019 at Brussels, hosted by MEP Olga Sehnalová, MEP Helga Stevens, and MEP Ádám Kósa. The event will include speakers from national authorities, users of the Cards, and European policymakers. Read here for more details.
  • On the occasion of International Women’s Day, EDF launched a new monthly newsletter called ‘EDF Women’s Voice’. Read more and subscribe here. It also published a position paper on sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities.
  • Over the past month President of the European Disability Forum, Yannis Vardakastanis met with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party lead candidate for the European Parliament Elections and presented them with key demands from the disability movement. Both leaders have pledged their support to EDF’s campaign to uphold the democratic rights of persons with disabilities and has committed to defend disability rights. More details here and here.
  • EDF welcomed the approval of the European Accessibility Act, a landmark agreement that will ensure that many products and services are more accessible to persons with disabilities. However, it expressed concerns that it will still not make EU (institutions and single market) fully accessible and excludes many essential areas such as transport, built environment and household appliances. Read the EDF press release here.

International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

  • IF has launched its new membership guide, based on the membership structures approved at the last IF General Assembly in Madrid. This document is also a guide for those who want to become a partner of IF, taking advantage of all benefits that the membership offers. Read the membership guide here.


  • On 11-12 March, 2019, RIADIS organised a workshop for revision of the draft of the SDGs-CRPD regional report in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This workshop was intended to discuss and analyse the draft report and to receive feedback and contribution from DPO representatives, government officials, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders. Read more about the workshop here.

World Federation of the Deaf

  • At the recent board meeting of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in Paraguay, it reviewed bid proposals from countries wishing to host the 4th International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf in 2021. Based on the review, the National Association of Deaf Thailand has been selected to host this conference. More information will be provided soon by the National Association of the Deaf in Thailand.
  • WFD has decided to create a sub-theme for each day of the International Week of the Deaf 2019. The overall theme for 2019 is Sign Language Rights for All! More details here.

 World Federation of the Deafblind

  • WFDB organised a workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal on 17-18 March, 2019. The conversation was articulated around the presentation of the first Global report on the situation of persons with deafblindness published in 2018 by WFDB in cooperation with Sense International. The experiences and perspectives of persons with deafblindness from South Asian countries confirmed that despite recent progress, persons with deafblindness remain at the margins of the disability movement and disability policy. Read more about the workshop here.

World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

  • The World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) held the 3rd technical workshop on amplifying voices of persons with psychosocial disabilities from 24-27 March, 2019 in  Kenya. This was organised in collaboration with IDA and in partnership with Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya (USP-K), supported by a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland. The workshop was a call to action for the full inclusion and participation of persons with psychosocial disabilities in determining their life journeys and for the end of discrimination and human rights violations perpetrated against them both in institutions and within the community. Read more details here.


  • Update on csw 63: IDA, along with Humanity and Inclusion/Making It Work, and co-sponsored by Urgent Action Fund - Africa and the Disability Rights Fund, organised a side-event titled ‘Centralising Women with Disabilities in Feminist Discourse’ on 11 March, 2019 at the side-lines of CSW 63. The session brought together women activists with disabilities, other women’s rights activists and a wide array of funders to share their experiences towards a disability-inclusive feminist future. Read about the side-event here.
  • IDA, along with Women Enabled International organised a dialogue and networking meeting of women with disabilities and allies on 13 March, 2019. The meeting welcomed all women and girls with disabilities attending the CSW63 and their allies to discuss among other things, how to increase representation of women with disabilities at CSW and other women’s rights spaces and engaging with the Beijing+25 review process.

IDA, along with the Disability Rights Fund and Humanity and Inclusion/Making It Work organised a parallel event titled ‘Diversity: Addressing intersectional priorities of women and girls with disabilities’ on 15 March, 2019 during CSW63. The session was opened by Bonnie Brayton, Director DAWN Canada and was moderated by Diane Bergeron, Vice President of International Affairs at CNIB. Speakers included Meenakshi Balasubramanian, Founder and Chief Executive, Equals, Centre for Promotion of Social Justice, India; Eza Nkaka, Acting Director, the National Rwanda Organization of Deaf Women, Rwanda; Mathilde Umuraza, Board member, UNABU Rwanda; Jigid Dulamsuren, Board Member World Federation of the Deaf, Mongolia; and Pratima Gurung, Founder, Indigenous Women With Disabilities Network, Nepal.


  • Syracuse University: The J&K Wonderland Foundation and Syracuse University College of Law are partnering to offer a full scholarship to qualified candidates to pursue a master of laws (LLM) degree with a concentration in international, comparative, and disability law. Preference will be given to qualified candidates with hearing impairment from China and Taiwan. Interested candidates should submit an application with supporting materials online through the web-based application here. An ADA accessible form can be found here. Read the application call in English and Chinese.
  • Atlas Corps, a United States-based non-profit organisation seeks to develop leaders, strengthen organisations and promote innovation through a 12-18 month full-time fellowship. If you are a U.S. based organisation, you can apply to be a host. Candidates from outside of the U.S. can also apply for a fellowship. More details here.


  • UNISDR is seeking a Specialist, Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities to support the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Accessibility focal point towards the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.  The expected duration of the work is 15 days between 1 April to 31 May, 2019, where it is expected that this expert participates at the 2019 Global Platform in Geneva from 11- 17 May, 2019. The deadline to apply is 22 March, 2019. Read more and apply here.
  • The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is looking for an unpaid intern to support the work of the Senior Advisor to the 2030 Agenda leading up to the High-Level Political Forum in July 2019. Read more and apply.
  • Atscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, is seeking a Programme Officer to join its Director in managing the daily operations and first catalytic initiatives of its initial strategic phase. Application deadline is 19 April, 2019. Read more and apply.

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