Dear Editor – The US based DRF supports Disabled Persons Organizations in the developing world to take the lead in advocating for the human rights of persons with disabilities at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
In 2012 the Association for People with Disabilities in the Solomon Islands (APDSI) received a grant of US$20,000 to facilitate a dialogue between persons with disabilities and the then Solomon Islands Government on the CRPD with the aim of building national support and concensus for ratification.
The Cook Islands has received several grants in recent years from the DRF organization but until the Solomon Island Government ratifies the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities it is my understanding the (APDSI) will not be eligible to receive any further grants.
As the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, reportedly said, prior to his New York visit last year, that the DCCG would consider ratifying the CPRD, I would please request that the government further pursue the aim of ratification to aid the APDS with further grants.
For general information, the DRF’s Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles are (and here I quote):
A world where persons with disabilities participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
DRF supports Disabled Persons Organizations in the developing world to take the lead in advocating for the human rights of persons with disabilities at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
DRF encourages and promotes, for ourselves and our partners, respect for the general principles stated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 3), as follows:
*Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons.
*Full and effective participation and inclusion in society.
*Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity.
*Equality of opportunity.
*Equality between men and women.
Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.
We also encourage and promote respect for these additional principles:
Learning and Change: Embracing an open approach to the work we are doing to advance rights of persons with disabilities. This requires learning from our actions, responding to needs as well as successes, and changing course when appropriate;
Partnerships: Encouraging the pursuit of a variety of partnerships as part of a strategy to increase capacity and advance rights;
Accountability: Committing to take responsibility for one’s actions, especially when in a position of power;
A Culture of Rights: Promoting rights-based policies and programs;
Sustainability: Recognizing the need for community-led processes that can be sustained long-term in an environmentally friendly manner;
Celebration: Remembering the importance of sharing positive experiences, reflecting on achievements, and celebrating the diversity around us.