APF holds virtual dialogue on people with disabilities and the role of NHRIs
Graphic: Participants during the APF Virtual Dialogue
The dialogue provided an opportunity for valuable exchange between APF members on the role of NHRIs and the rights of people with disabilities.
The APF, in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission of India, hosted a virtual dialogue on the role of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities.
Across the Asia Pacific, an estimated 400 million people live with a disability. Many live in poverty and suffer prejudice, discrimination, and exclusion. COVID-19 and climate change have also exacerbated structural barriers for people with disabilities.
The virtual dialogue, held on 18 July, provided an opportunity for APF members to share their experiences and best practices in addressing many of these challenges.
The event was the third in the APF Virtual Dialogue Series, which brings together NHRIs from across the region to share how they have worked to promote and protect human rights during COVID-19 and to discuss opportunities for collaboration.
“We were delighted to host the dialogue in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission of India, which has taken a very strong leadership role on people with disabilities,” said Pip Dargan, APF Principal Adviser on Capacity Assessments and International Engagement, who facilitated the event.
“For example, the NHRC was actively involved in UN negotiations on the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which resulted in the historic, and the first, explicit inclusion of NHRIs in a UN Convention.”
Graphic: Representatives of the NHRC during the APF Virtual Dialogue
In his welcoming remarks, NHRC Member Mr. Rajiv Jain shared how the Indian Commission has continued to champion the rights of people with disabilities, including advocating for the participation for all in public and political life.
Other presentations during the session included:
- Dr. Ben Gauntlett from the Australian Human Rights Commission, discussed the Commission’s disability rights work, including its IncludeAbility project which aims to increase meaningful employment opportunities for people with disability.
- Ms Sarah Abidah Hamzah from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia shared how the Commission has worked to improve access to places of worship for people with disabilities. As part of the APF Digital Storytelling Small Grants Program, the Commission produced a digital story ‘I want to pray’ which highlights the challenges that people with disabilities can face when practicing their religion.
- Ms Sandra Moniaga, Commmissioner at the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) shared how NHRIs can work to strengthen the rights of people with disabilities. Komnas HAM collaborates with partners and disabled persons' organisations to promote human rights.
- Justice M.M Kumar, NHRC Member, spoke on the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), in enhancing the accessibility for people with disabilities, with a focus on the regulatory responsibilities of governments and the private sector on the development and use of AI.
Watch the full length recording of the APF Virtual Dialogue: People with disabilities and the role of National Human Rights Institutions, hosted by the APF in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission of India.
The APF thanks all participants for their insights and contributions to the dialogue.
The next event in the APF Virtual Dialogue Series will be held on 26 August 2022, in partnership with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. The theme of the dialogue will be the right to employment with a focus on pay equity. Further details will be available soon.
Follow the APF Virtual Dialogue Series on social media: #APFDialogueSeries
Date: 20 July 2022
- Participants during the APF Virtual Dialogue - APF
- Representatives of the NHRC during the APF Virtual Dialogue - National Human Rights Commission of India