- November 15, 2018


  1. Highlights
  2. Treaty Bodies Review, Geneva 2017-2018
  3. Activities in the Past Weeks
  4. Upcoming Activities
  5. IDA Members
  6. UN System, Agencies and Mechanism
  7. GLAD
  8. Others


  • The Board of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) met in Athens from 29 October to 2 November 2018. This was followed by the meeting of the IDA Programme Committee from 3-6 November. 


  • Since 2015, the IDA-IDDC Bridge CRPD-SDGs training initiative has made great strides in building the capacity of disability rights advocates across the world to advocate for their rights and accelerate changes in their respective communities, countries and regions.  “Bridge is growing into new phases,” said Vladimir Cuk, the IDA Executive Director. “We have built strong teams in English and increasingly in French and Spanish speaking nations. Now, we are also giving priority to other regions in Arabic and Portuguese speaking countries, and Russian. This is to ensure an increased number of disability rights advocates influencing public policy in their languages.”   Up until June 2018, there have been 5 regional and 2 national Bridge cycles, each one including two training modules that have so far been conducted.  This Bridge initiative has brought, through the training, 261 participants and facilitators together so far, from 81 countries, of them 49.5% are women. For further information and upcoming cycles click here.


  • The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities for Sustainable Development are conducting a survey on the availability of disability data and whether it is used for influencing national policies and how to further connect national and global advocacy efforts. Complete the survey here.


  • The official readout of the Global Disability Summit held in July 2018 can be found online here. The final summary of the Summit can be found here.




  • The CRPD Committee has officially published on its website the upcoming country reviews to take place in its 21st session (11 March -5 April 2019) and 11th Pre-sessional working group (8 -12 April, 2019). DPOs and CSOs can make submissions "as early as possible and up to three weeks before the opening of the session". For any additional information about the States to be reviewed or about the CRPD Committee, you may visit their website.  You can also contact the IDA Treat Body Unit: Silvia Quan, squan [at] and Juan Ignacio Perez Bello, jiperezbello [at]


  • The  Committee against Torture (CAT Committee) opens its 65th session (12 November - 7 December 2018) during which it will review Canada, Guatemala, Maldives, Netherlands, Peru and Viet Nam. The public meetings are being webcast live by the UN Office of Geneva. For further information, please visit the Committee's website and consult their programme of work CAT Committee's programme of work. Additional information can be found here.


  • IDA conducted a follow-up mission to Kenya with the participation of CRPD Committee Member Martin Babu Mwegsiwa from 1-9 November, 2018. The purpose of the mission was to exchange with all relevant stakeholders; including State officials, human rights bodies and organisations of persons with disabilities, on the main steps taken forward and the challenges that lay still ahead for the implementation of the CRPD and the CRPD Committee Concluding Observations for Kenya in 2015. Click here for more details.
  • International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) organized the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative Training of Trainers (ToT) Module B in Dubai from 17-26 October, 2018, with support from the World Blind Union, TCI Asia-Pacific, SIghtsavers, ADD International, Bridging the Gap Project - Austria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). In addition to the training, the Bridge trainees participated in the UN World Data Forum that was held from 22-24 October, 2018. More details here.
  • In efforts to amplify the voices of persons with psychosocial disabilities in the East Africa region for them to advocate within a human rights framework in line with the CRPD and the SDGs the first ever technical workshop in Eastern African was held from 12-14 November, 2018 in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop titled ‘Technical workshop to amplify voices of persons with psychosocial disabilities in East Africa – Towards Just and Inclusive Societies’ was organized by the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), with the collaboration of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), and supported by Kenyan counterparts in the Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya (USP-K), and the International Disability Alliance (IDA). This workshop is financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Read the complete article here.
  • The in-country workshops under the UKAid Connect project ‘Inclusion Works’, focusing on livelihoods, were held in Uganda (10-12 October 2018), Kenya (15-17 October 2018), Bangladesh (28-30 October 2018), and Nigeria (12-14 November 2018).  IDA members participated in all of these workshops. There will now be a meeting of the Consortium in London on 10 December, 2018.
  • The in country workshops for the Disability Inclusive Development grant under the consortium being led by Sightsavers were held follows: Kenya, 17-18 October 2018;  Bangladesh, 31 October – 1 November 2018; Nigeria, 14-15 November 2018; and Tanzania (14-16 November 2018). IDA representatives participated in the Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Bangladesh workshops.
  • The UK hosted the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit in London (9-10 October 2018). This summit was meant to “bring together the world's political leaders, innovators, experts by experience, policy makers and civil society to share the most effective and innovative approaches to mental health and psychosocial disabilities”. IDA is concerned that despite acknowledgment of the CRPD, discussions are still guided by an underlying medical model, with serious threats to the rights of persons with disabilities. Michael Njenga from the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry attended the summit. 



  • BRIDGE CRPD-SDGs UGANDA: The second cycle of the national Bridge CRPD-SDGs training is being held from 13-19 November, 2018. The training is being organised by ADF, in partnership with CBM, IDDC and IDA, supported by a grant from DFID and the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) in the UK.
  • HLPF 2019 WEBINAR SERIES ‘DATA WEBINAR’: A webinar on the overview of the recent global advocacy efforts on disability data will be held on 14 November, 2018 at 10.00 am EST (New York time). Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director of IDA and Elizabeth Lockwood, CBM Representative at the United Nations will be addressing the webinar. The objective is toprovide an overview of current global advocacy efforts to collect disability data and promote the disaggregation of data by disability, using the Washington Group Short Set of questions. Click here to register.
  • UKAC and DID WORKSHOP: In-country design workshops of the Disability Inclusive Development project will be held in Nepal from 19-21 November 2018 in Tanzania (7-8 November) and in Nigeria (14-15  November both for DiD and UKAid Connect).  


  • DID WORKSHOP: In-country design workshop of the Disability Inclusive Development project will be held in Jordan from 3-5 December. For the Jordan workshop, 3-5 December, Ibrahim Abdallah of AOPD will be representing IDA.
  • GENDER FLAGSHIP: The first workshop of the IDA Gender Flagship will be held in Cairo from 7-9 December 2018. This meeting will be a strategic meeting to identify and evaluate opportunities to promote the empowerment, leadership and inclusion of women and girls with disabilities. UN Agencies such as UN Women and UNFPA are invited to present and discuss their activities to include women and girls with disabilities.
  • UKAID CONNECT WORKSHOP: The UKAid Connect Consortium meeting will be held in London on 10 December, 2018. Priscille Geiser from IDA will attend this meeting.
  • Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative for the MENA region will be held from 13-19 December, 2018 in Cairo. 
  • LAUNCH OF THE IDA GLOBAL SURVEY: The IDA Global Survey on tracking DPO participation in development programmes and policies will be launched on December 3, 2018. The survey will be available in 6 languages and in International Sign. This is the first such survey to track DPO perception of their participation and will eventually contribute towards a DPO participation index.
  • IASC CONSULTATIONS: The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Team will organize a workshop with humanitarian actors in Brussels on 6-7 December, 2018 as part of the process of developing guidelines on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. The IASC Task Team will also hold its meeting on 10-11 December in Geneva.
  • ARIA FORMULA MEETING:  IDA is working closely with Permanent Mission of Poland to organize an informal meeting of the Security Council (Arria Formula meeting) on persons with disabilities in peace and conflict in December, which will result in a presidential statement of the Security Council including actions the SC can take to include persons with disabilities in its work. 


  • IDA Secretariat team meeting is scheduled for the week of the 7 January 2019
  • Global workshop on SDG monitoring in Geneva or Brussels: A workshop for DPOs involved in national or regional SDG reports from the CRPD perspective is scheduled for the last week of January in either Geneva or Brussels.


  • The 2nd Technical Workshop of the Education Flagship will be held in Nepal the week of March 11, 2019.


  • 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.



  • Webinar 4 on the SDGs: How to Engage in the Regional Forum in Africa and Arab Regions was organised on 24 October, 2018. Speakers discussed the work done in Africa and the Arab regions in relation to the Regional Forums for Sustainable Development.
    This webinar is the fourth in the series aiming to discuss the regional coordination mechanisms for persons with disabilities and their participation at the Regional Sustainable Development Forums. The webinars are part of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and Department for International Development (DFID) Catalyst programme. For more information about the programme click here.
  • EDF has expressed its disappointment at the provisional agreement reached by EU institutions on the European Accessibility Act as it mainly covers digital accessibility and leaves out the real world environment where persons with disabilities live. EDF will now analyse the agreement and issue a statement on the next steps of the campaign. For details, please click here.
  • Disability Intergroup Event: “Making the Digital Single Market Accessible for Persons with Disabilities”. EDF is hosting this event on 22 November, 2018 to discuss how the Web Accessibility Directive, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and the European Electronic Communication Code truly make the EU advance on accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies for persons with disabilities. The discussion will be followed by the EDF-Oracle e-Accessibility Scholarship award ceremony. Register here for the event.
  • EDF’s newsletter puts a special spotlight on all the latest developments on new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, e-books, accessible websites and much more, and how they impact persons with disabilities. Read the newsletter here.
  • The 4th session of the Bridging the Gap II Webinar based training cycle was held on 30 October, 2018. The topic of discussion was Inclusive and Accessible Project Cycle Management. The webinar cycle is addressed to three target groups of the project, namely: development practitioners, national institutions of the partner countries of Bridging the Gap II, and national organisations of persons with disabilities. For additional details in English, Spanish and French languages.
  • Open event of the Disability Intergroup: Making the European Disability Card a reality on 28 November 2018. In 2015 the European Commission launched a pilot project implementing the European Disability Card in 8 Member States (Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Slovenia). Funding was available for setting up the Card and the distribution system as well as awareness-raising. This event will try to answer questions such as how is the new Card received, is it easily available and what can it be used for, among others. The goal is to investigate an expansion of the pilot project to make it into a truly European initiative. National authorities as well as Disabled Persons’ Organisations and Cardholders will be able to express their views. Register here.


  • Early Bird registration for WFD Members for the XVII World Congress of WFD in Paris, France ends on 15 January, 2019. Read more here
  • The WFD Secretariat is now seeking bids from WFD Ordinary Members interested to host the 4th WFD Conference in 2021 and XIX WFD Congress in 2023. Deadline to send bids is 20 January, 2019. More details here.


  • The 7th World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day was on 25 October, 2018. This year the day was marked by the #mySBHlife social media campaign for which IF collected more than 60 testimonies from people living with SBH and their families. Read more on this in the IF newsletter.


  • A Technical Workshop on Inequality and Persons with Deafblindness: At risk of exclusion from CRPD and SDGs implementation will be held in Uganda from 22-23 November. Building on the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training initiative just prior to this workshop, it will discuss dissemination and utilization of the WFDB Global report as a monitoring and advocacy tool aims to provide DPOs by and for persons with deafblindness a common foundation for their advocacy. Read more here.


  • REGISTRATION FOR CSW63: CSW63 registration for NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is open online via the United Nations INDICO registration system until 27 January, 2019. Please click here to register for CSW63.To better prepare participants for CSW63, the Orientation Committee has created a new set of videos to be released every Friday until January.

  • NGO CSW/NY CALL FOR APPLICATION FOR WOMAN OF DISTINCTION AWARD: The call for the annual Woman of Distinction Award given away to a women in recognition of her leadership in the struggle for gender equality, human rights, and women’s empowerment is now oepn. The awardee gives the Keynote Address at the Consultation Day, the launch of the CSW63 Forum. Please email names of nominees with supporting documents (letter of nomination, curriculum vitae) to woda [at] by 30 November, 2018.
  • ALTERNATIVES TO COERCION IN MENTAL HEALTH SETTINGS LITERATURE REVIEW LAUNCHED:  A systematic review examining ways of avoiding and ending coercive practices to ensure people experiencing mental health crises are treated with dignity has been recently launched. The review was commissioned by the United Nations Office in Geneva. It will inform a report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Disabilities. Read the review here. The review was prepared by Professor Bernadette McSherry, Dr Piers Gooding, Ms Flick Grey and Ms Cath Roper.


  • GLAD NETWORK JOINT STATEMENT ON DATA DISAGGREGATED BY DISABILITY: The GLAD Network presented a joint statement on data disaggregation at the UN World Data Forum in Dubai. This statement reflects the approach agreed upon by GLAD members through the Strategic Plan 2018-2020 and was endorsed by the GLAD Network. This reiterates GLAD’s support of the Washington Set of Questions. Read the statement here.


  • UNITED STATES DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH: October marks the annual occurrence of Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) in the U.S., where organisations nationwide work to educate the public on the value and necessity of a workforce that includes people with disabilities, as well as the challenges faced by this group when trying to find a place in the modern workforce. Allsup Employment Services is one such organisation. To read more about Allsup, click here.
  • TCI ASIA-PACIFIC #WHATWENEED CAMPAIGN: The #WhatWENeed campaign focusses on the need for full CRPD compliance on the inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities and for more inclusive and responsive communities. It also draws attention to the harms caused be globalizing psychiatry. Read the blogs here.
  • NATURAL DISASTERS AND PEOPLE WITH PSYCHOSOCIAL DISABILITIES: In many countries, persons with psychosocial disabilities are held in lock up the situation, within what is loosely called social care institutions. When disaster strikes they are unable to escape, seek support, or be noticeable during rescue operations. They are the forgotten people in disasters, not coming within the data systems. In light of the recent earthquake in Indonesia, TCI Asia-Pacific is looking to connect with aid agencies, DPOs and others who may be involved in rescue work in Indonesia at this moment; and to right away share information about people and organizations who can help get more information, who are working in the frontline of rescue ops and rehabilitation. They are also seeking support for a visit by TCI Asia Pacific team to Indonesia to make a rapid assessment of the situation. For more information please e-mail at: tciasia.secretariat [at]
  • IFES LAUNCHES ELECTIONS ACCESS OBSERVATION TOOLKIT: Election access observations are a great way to build political leadership skills of DPOs and to give election management bodies concrete, evidence-based recommendations for improving access. The tool can be downloaded here.
  • PUBLIC HEARING ON DRAFT ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION: The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, and the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination jointly convened a hearing titled “Protecting the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities with regard to involuntary measures in psychiatry” at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on 9 October, 2018. The public hearing addressed the draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention which departs from the standards of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by seeking to regulate involuntary treatment and placement instead of prohibiting it. More information about the campaign can be found here and on Twitter. To see the program, please click here and here.
  • NOMINATIONS FOR SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE’S CIVIL SOCIETY GLOBAL REFERENCE GROUP: Nominations for Spotlight Initiative’s Civil Society Global Reference Group (CS-GRG) are now open. All nominations must be sent by 22 November, 2018 to sonya.thimmaiah [at] Key criteria for membership include significant experience and expertise in eliminating violence against women and girls, and in women’s rights and gender equality and human rights more broadly, as well as meaningful representation of intersectionality and diversity of communities/constituencies. The CS-GRG is the primary institutional mechanism of the Spotlight Initiative at the global level to harness civil society expertise. It comprises around 15 pre-eminent global experts and will have a dual responsibility — to advise the Initiative and advocate and partner with it for the realization of its objectives.
  • CALL FOR APPLICATION FOR WOMEN’S INSTITUTE ON LEADERSHIP AND DISABILITY (WILD): Mobility International USA is calling for application for its 9th International Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) program to be held in Eugene, Oregon, USA from 13 July- 3 August, 2019. Deadline to apply: 30 November, 2018. Please visit this website, for more information and the application. 
  • CONFERENCE: The 19th Annual Multiple Perspective on Access, Inclusion & Disability: The Journey from Noblesse Oblige to Social Justice will be held from 8-9 April, 2019 at The Ohio State University’s Columbus campus. More details here.
  • CALL FOR GOOD PRACTICES: The new Making it Work Call for Good Practices on the elimination of discrimination and violence against women and girls with disabilities in Africa is now open. Deadline for submission is 16 November, 2018. For additional information in English and  French. The questionnaire in English and French.

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