Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3295

Search results for: United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

3295 Strengthening the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Gulf Cooperation Council: Shafallah Foundation as a Model

Authors: Osman Mohamed


Over the past two decades, the global interest in the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) has increased that resulted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPWDs). In this regard, the Gulf States have witnessed remarkable efforts towards strengthening the rights of persons with disabilities, including enactment of laws and establishment of specialized government councils for the Persons with Disabilities. This study aims to highlight the efforts of Shafallah Foundation in strengthening the rights of persons with disabilities as a model for the Gulf States. The researcher will conduct interviews with officials at Shafallah Foundation, some persons with disabilities who have benefited from the Foundation's programmes, officials from government agencies related to Persons with disabilities. The study is expected to reveal the role of Shafallah Foundation in implementing the UNCRPWDs through its programmes and activities as well as an overview of the situation of the rights of PWDs in the Gulf States. The study is important for stakeholders, decision-makers, policy-makers, academics, and the disability’s organizations.

Keywords: GCC, Gulf Cooperation Council, Shafallah Foundation, UNCRPWDs, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs, persons with disabilities

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3294 Access to Justice for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in Indonesia: Case and Problem in Indonesian Criminal Justice System

Authors: Fines Fatimah, SH. MH.


Indonesia is one of the countries that has ratified the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). The ratification of this convention brings consequences on the adjustment of national legislation with the UNCRPD convention, where this ratification at the same time is a measure in the eyes of the international community that a state party could be consistent with the issues and problems of disability. Persons with disabilities often have little access to justice when they are forced to deal with the criminal justice system. Pursuit of justice through litigation are often not in their favor, therefore without any awareness of law enforcement/awareness of disability will further complicate access to justice for persons with disabilities. Under Article 13 of the UNCRPD, it appeared that the convention requires ratifying states to guarantee equal opportunity and treatment in justice for persons with disabilities. The States should also ensure that any judicial rules must be adapted to the circumstances of persons with disabilities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all stages of the trial court and, for example, as a witness. Finally, the state must provide training to understand these persons with disabilities (for those who work in the judiciary institution such as police or prison officials). Further, this paper aims to describe problem faced by persons with intellectual disabilities to access justice in Indonesian Criminal Justice System. This paper tries to find and propose the alternative solutions to promote the quality of law enforcement in Indonesia, especially for persons with intellectual disabilities.

Keywords: access to justice, Indonesian criminal justice system, intellectual disability, ratifying states

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3293 Social Space or the Art of Belonging: The Socio-Spatial Approach in the Field of Residential Facilities for Persons with Disabilities

Authors: Sarah Reker


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides the basis of this study. For all countries which have ratified the convention since its entry into force in 2007, the effective implementation of the requirements often leads to considerable challenges. Furthermore, missing indicators make it difficult to measure progress. Therefore, the aim of the research project is to contribute to analyze the consequences of the implementation process on the inclusion and exclusion conditions for people with disabilities in Germany. Disabled People’s Organisations and other associations consider the social space to be relevant for the successful implementation of the CRPD. Against this background, the research project wants to focus on the relationship between a barrier-free access to the social space and the “full and effective participation and inclusion” (Art. 3) of persons with disabilities. The theoretical basis of the study is the sociological theory of social space (“Sozialraumtheorie”).

Keywords: decentralisation, qualitative research, residential facilities, social space

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3292 Electoral Reforms and Voting Participation of Persons with Disabilities in 2019 General Elections in Nigeria

Authors: Afeez Kolawole Shittu


Democracy as practiced across the globe is sustained with the increase participation of all eligible voters irrespective of class, race, colour, and disabilities. However, there is a perception within the contemporary African society that people with disability (PWDs) belongs to charity and welfare. This is exacerbated with little understanding among African counties including Nigeria that persons with disability have fundamental rights inevitably rooted in the constitution. This significant viewpoint has continued to militate against the social inclusion of persons with disabilities in various aspects of societal lives including their political participation It is instructive to note that the political right of PWDs has been protected by various international conventions. Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights and Dignities for Persons with Disability (CRPD) guaranteed the participation of persons with disability in the political process. Domesticating and ratification of this right has been a challenge for many African countries including Nigeria. Against the backdrop, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the body saddled with the responsibility of conducting elections in Nigeria provided forum for the participation of persons with disability in election through implementations of electoral act. Section 56 (1) and (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) provide for voting participation of persons with disability. This study examines the implementation of the electoral act and how it impacts the voting participation of persons with disability vis-à-vis other challenges affecting the participation of PWDs in electoral process in Nigeria’s 2019 general election. This paper draws on mixed method in sourcing relevant information from the respondents. Interview will be conducted among INEC officials, Civil Society Organisations, Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD). Questionnaire and Focus Group Discussion will be held among different forms of PWDs. The data will be analysed using appropriate descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, as well as thematic content analysis. The study will enlighten understanding on the awareness of the political rights of PWDs as well as improving their electoral participation for sustainable democracy in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

Keywords: electoral reforms, voting participation, persons with disabilities

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3291 Steps toward the Support Model of Decision-Making in Hungary: The Impact of the Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the Hungarian National Legislation

Authors: Szilvia Halmos


Hungary was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter: CRPD). Consequently, Hungary assumed an obligation under international law to review the national law in the light of the Article 12 of the CRPD requiring the States parties to guarantee the equality of persons with disabilities in terms of legal capacity, and to replace the regimes of substitute decision-making by the instruments of supported decision-making. This article is often characterized as one of the key norms of the CRPD, since the legal autonomy of the persons with disabilities is an essential precondition of their participation in the social life on an equal basis with others, envisaged by the social paradigm of disability. This paper examines the impact of the CRPD on the relevant Hungarian national legal norms, with special focus on the relevant rules of the recently codified Civil Code. The employed research methodologies include (1) the specification of the implementation requirements imposed by the Article 12 of the CRPD, (2) the determination of the indicators of the appropriate implementation, (3) the critical analysis of compliance of the relevant Hungarian legal regulation with the indicators, (4) with respect to the relevant case law of the Hungarian Constitutional Court and ordinary courts, the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Rights of Persons with Disabilities and (5) to the available empirical figures on the functioning of substitute and supported decision-making regimes. It will be established that the new Civil Code has made large steps toward the equality of persons with disabilities in terms of legal capacity and the support model of decision-making by the introduction of some specific instruments of supported decision-making and the restriction of the application of guardianship. Nevertheless, the regulation currently in effect fails to represent some crucial principles of the Article 12 of the CRPD, such as the non-discrimination of persons with psycho-social disabilities, the support of the articulation of the will and preferences of the individual instead of his/her best interest in the course of decision-making. The changes in the practice of the substitute and the support model brought about by the new legal norms can also be assessed as significant, however, so far unsatisfactory. The number of registered supporters is rather low, and the preconditions of the effective functioning of the support (e.g. the proper training of the supporters) are not ensured.

Keywords: Article 12 of the UN CRPD, Hungarian law on legal capacity, persons with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities, supported decision-making

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3290 Realizing the Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities in Nigeria: A Case Study of Four Lagos State Prisons

Authors: Jacob Bogart, Adaobi Egboka


Nigeria signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2010, which was heralded as a much-needed step towards protecting the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). However, even with such progress, incarcerated PWDs have been left behind. The current legal framework in Nigeria does not consider the particular challenges PWDs face in prison nor make provisions to address them, despite the need for such reforms. Indeed, given the closed and restricted nature of prisons, and the violence that results from overcrowding, lack of supervision, and poor facilities, prisoners with disabilities often face significant challenges while incarcerated. While every prisoner is affected by these issues, PWDs are disproportionately harmed by them due to the nature of their disability. A study of four prisons in Lagos State, Nigeria was carried out by interviewing prisoners with disabilities, prison officials, advocates, and academics. The study found that for prisoners with physical disabilities, inaccessible prison facilities and a lack of mobility, hearing, or seeing assistance can often cause them to be dependent on the mercy of the other inmates for assistance in performing such basic functions as using the restroom, going to church, or washing themselves. Prison officials do not assist these PWDs or provide them with aids, such as crutches or a cane. Relatedly, prisoners with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) often are not removed to health care facilities, despite a law to that effect, and are left to languish in prisons without the mental health care treatment they need. This presentation argues that reforms addressing the rights of PWDs must consider and make provisions for prisoners with disabilities, such as ensuring that prison facilities are accessible, providing PWDs with mobility, seeing or hearing aids as needed, and conducting mental health screenings for persons awaiting trial immediately upon entering the prison. These reforms, among others, are necessary first steps toward realizing the rights of prisoners with disabilities in Nigeria.

Keywords: disability rights, human rights, Lagos, Nigeria, prisoners with disabilities

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3289 Department of Social Development/Japan International Cooperation Agency's Journey from South African Community to Southern African Region

Authors: Daisuke Sagiya, Ren Kamioka


South Africa has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 30th November 2007. In line with this, the Department of Social Development (DSD) revised the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD), and the Cabinet approved it on 9th December 2015. The South African government is striving towards the elimination of poverty and inequality in line with UNCRPD and WPRPD. However, there are minimal programmes and services that have been provided to persons with disabilities in the rural community. In order to address current discriminative practices, disunity and limited self-representation in rural community, DSD in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is implementing the 'Project for the Promotion of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Disability Mainstreaming' from May 2016 to May 2020. The project is targeting rural community as the project sites, namely 1) Collins Chabane municipality, Vhembe district, Limpopo and 2) Maluti-a-Phofung municipality, Thabo Mofutsanyana district, Free State. The project aims at developing good practices on Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID) at the project sites which will be documented as a guideline and applied in other provinces in South Africa and neighbouring countries (Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique). In cooperation with provincial and district DSD and local government, the project is currently implementing various community activities, for example: Establishment of Self-Help Group (SHG) of persons with disabilities and Peer Counselling in the villages, and will conduct Disability Equality Training (DET) and accessibility workshop in order to enhance the CBID in the project sites. In order to universalise good practices on CBID, the authors will explain lessons learned from the project by utilising the theories of disability and development studies and community psychology such as social model of disability, twin-track approach, empowerment theory, sense of community, helper therapy principle, etc. And the authors conclude that in order to realise social participation of persons with disabilities in rural community, CBID is a strong tool and persons with disabilities must play central roles in all spheres of CBID activities.

Keywords: community-based inclusive development, disability mainstreaming, empowerment of persons with disabilities, self-help group

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3288 Compatibility of Disabilities for a Single Workplace through Mobile Technology: A Case Study in Brazilian Industries

Authors: Felyppe Blum Goncalves, Juliana Sebastiany


In line with Brazilian legislation on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the world of work, known as the 'quota law' (Law 8213/91) and in accordance with the prerogatives of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights of people with disabilities, which was ratified by Brazil through Federal Decree No. 6.949 of August 25, 2009, the SESI National Department, through Working Groups, structured the product Affordable Industry. This methodology aims to prepare the industries for the adequate process of inclusion of people with disabilities, as well as the development of an organizational culture that values and respects human diversity. All industries in Brazil with 100 or more employees must comply with current legislation, but due to the lack of information and guidance on the subject, they end up having difficulties in this process. The methodology brings solutions for companies through the professional qualification of the disabled person, preparation of managers, training of human resources teams and employees. It also advocates the survey of the architectural accessibility of the factory and the identification of the possibilities of inclusion of people with disabilities, through the compatibility between work and job requirements, preserving safety, health, and quality of life.

Keywords: inclusion, app, disability, management

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3287 The Sexuality of People with Physical Disabilities: A Qualitative Feminist Perspective of Carer's Points of View

Authors: Etsuko Sakairi


In 2016 Japan started to enforce domestic legislation in the form of the Act of Elimination of Discrimination against Persons with Disability, along with ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2014. However, it is not clear what kind of situations would be considered cases of discrimination in relation to issues of sexuality according to this legislation. Furthermore, in March 2016, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) made a recommendation to the Japanese government to conduct a study of the forced sterilization of women under the Eugenic Protection Act. This research is carried out against this background in which the experiences of people with disabilities have often been restricted by caregivers and family members—as evidenced by the high number of eugenics surgeries performed on people with disabilities without their consent. This research contributes to this topic by presenting voices and perspectives of key people, especially focusing on the voices of carers who are working with people with physical disabilities in a Non-Western country, Japan. Furthermore, since 90% of the research on the topic of sexuality of people with disabilities is conducted in Western countries, the voices from Non-Western countries in this regard are greatly lacking. In the part of the research presented here, the researcher has employed a feminist disability theory to understand the circumstances surrounding people with physical disabilities. She has gathered voices from 58 carers by using an on-line questionnaire (55) and by conducting face-to-face interviews (3). In this presentation, the researcher will introduce experiences and thoughts regarding sexuality and people with disabilities by using carers’ own words. One of the major findings was carers’ concern about a boundary issue. Although each carer has had unique experiences depending on their professional or personal relationship with people with physical disabilities, many of them shared some similar viewpoints. This included a concern that assisting with the meeting of some forms of sexual needs 9e.g. assisted masturbation) would result in the possibility of transgressing the boundary between the carer and the person with physical disability. Most of the carer did not have any opportunity to receive any trainings regarding to sexuality of people with disabilities. Furthermore, most of the carers conceptualized that ‘Keeping a sexual dignity of people with disabilities’ means practicing a ‘Principle of same sex assistance’. The researcher hopes that this presentation provides an opportunity for audiences to look back at their own community and to think about what sexuality of people with physical disabilities means to their carers as well as to look back at their own practice in relation to this issue.

Keywords: Carer, Japan, physical disabilities, sexuality

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3286 Employment of Persons with Disabilities in Georgia: Challenges and Perspectives

Authors: Tamar Makharadze, Anastasia Kitiashvili, Irine Zhvania, Tamar Abashidze


After ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by the Parliament of Georgia in 2013, ensuring equal access to education and employment for people with disabilities has become one of the priorities of the government. The current research has analyzed the attitudes of people with disabilities, employers and society towards various challenges that employment of persons with disabilities faces in Georgia. The study has been carried out in the capital city and three towns in West and East Georgia. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods have been used. Employers’ attitudes have been studied by analyzing research data from six focus groups and 12 in-depth interviews. Views of persons with disabilities have been analyzed relied on data from eight focus groups and 14 in-depth interviews. The quantitative study covered 490 surveyed respondents from four cities in Georgia. The research was carried out with the employees of companies selected based on the Simple Random Sample; in each company, based on the size of the company 7–10 employees were surveyed. A survey was conducted using a specially developed structured questionnaire. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS (21.0). The research was carried out during June-August 2015. The research data shows that both qualitative and quantitative research participants view employment of persons with disabilities positively; however persons with severe intellectual disabilities and mental problems are viewed as less workable and desired at workplaces. The respondents support the idea of employment of persons with disabilities at an open labour market; at the same time idea of a development of sheltered workshops is also supported. The vast majority of research participants believe that employers should be rather encouraged to hire persons with disabilities than force them to do so. For employers it is important to have the state assistance in adjusting working place to the needs of employee with disabilities. Some tax benefits for employers having employees with disabilities also are seen as encouraging employment of persons with disabilities. Both employers and persons with disabilities believe that development of job coaching will help persons with disabilities to find and maintain a job at the open market. Majority of survey respondents think that the main reasons discouraging employment of persons with disabilities in Georgia are: poor socioeconomic background and high level of unemployment in the country, absence of related state programs and existed stigma towards persons with disabilities within the society. To conclude it can be said that both employers and persons with disabilities expect initiative from the government – development of the programs and services focusing on employment of persons with disabilities that will be rather encouraging and supporting than punishing and forcing. Relied on survey data it can be said that people have positive attitudes to see persons with disabilities at workplaces, educational institutions and public places. This creates a good background for extensive and consistent work towards social inclusion of persons with disabilities in Georgia.

Keywords: supported employment, job coaching, employment of persons with disabilities in Georgia, social inclusion

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3285 Social Workers' Perspectives on Muslim Parents with Intellectual Disabilities

Authors: Ayelet Gur


Background: Parents with intellectual disability are of great interest to social service professionals. Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities aims to ensure that persons with disabilities can create a family by providing adequate supports. The aim of the current investigation was to portray families with parents with intellectual disabilities within Muslim- Arab society in Israel. Method: Qualitative method using semi-structured interviews with nine-teen Muslim Israeli social workers was employed. Thematic analysis was used to identify major themes. Results: Families with parents with intellectual disability are not a rare phenomenon in the Arab society. The common type is of marriage between a man with intellectual disability and a woman without disability. Findings indicated two main motives for the arranged marriage of a man with intellectual disability: the extended family's concerns about his future and their desire for the family continuity. The non-disabled wives' motives for marrying men with intellectual disabilities revolved around their lack of other opportunities to create a family and their desire to leave their parents' household and live independently. Those women were described as partly or fully aware of their husbands' disability prior to the marriage. The family life of those families were described in relation to the fathers' involvement in family life and relation to the wives' high burden and in many cases, acceptance of their life situation. Conclusions: Findings are discussed with respect to religious values on disability, arranged marriage and the status of Muslim women. Services and supports for parents with intellectual disabilities should be developed with respect to the cultural values and norms.

Keywords: Arab society in Israel, intellectual and developmental disability, parents with intellectual disability, social work

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3284 Israeli Households Caring for Children and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: An Explorative Study

Authors: Ayelet Gur


Background: In recent years we are witnessing a welcome trend in which more children/persons with disabilities are living at home with their families and within their communities. This trend is related to various policy innovations as the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities that reflect a shift from the medical-institutional model to a human rights approach. We also witness the emergence of family centered approaches that perceive the family and not just the individual with the disability as a worthy target of policy planning, implementation and evaluation efforts. The current investigation aims to explore economic, psychological and social factors among households of families of children or adults with intellectual disabilities in Israel and to present policy recommendation. Methods: A national sample of 301 households was recruited through the education and employment settings of persons with intellectual disability. The main caregiver of the person with the disability (a parent) was interviewed. Measurements included the income and expense surveys; assets and debts questionnaire; the questionnaire on resources and stress; the social involvement questionnaire and Personal Wellbeing Index. Results: Findings indicate significant gaps in financial circumstances between households of families of children with intellectual disabilities and households of the general Israeli society. Households of families of children with intellectual disabilities report lower income and higher expenditures and loans than the general society. They experience difficulties in saving and coping with unexpected expenses. Caregivers (the parents) experience high stress, low social participation, low financial support from family, friend and non-governmental organizations and decreased well-being. They are highly dependent on social security allowances which constituted 40% of the household's income. Conclusions: Households' dependency on social security allowances may seem contradictory to the encouragement of persons with intellectual disabilities to favor independent living in light of the human rights approach to disability. New policy should aim at reducing caregivers' stress and enhance their social participation and support, with special emphasis on families of lower socio-economic status. Finally, there is a need to continue monitoring the economic and psycho-social needs of households of families of children with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities.

Keywords: disability policy, family policy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, Israel, households study, parents of children with disabilities

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3283 Disagreement among the United Nations Human Rights Bodies over the Legality of Deprivation of Liberty on the Grounds of Mental Disability

Authors: Ravan Samadov


Mentally disabled people are the most discriminated against among other disabled people and face much stronger negative attitudes across many cultures. The most complex and severe form of exclusion of these people is deprivation of liberty on the grounds of their disability. This problem was for many years overlooked to a great extent by the core human rights instruments. However, the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted in 2006, is considered a potential tool to successfully fill the gap. It is especially vital for the developing countries with the vast majority of disabled people of the world and the CRPD is presumed to be able to trigger drastic positive changes. Article 14 of the mentioned human rights treaty has brought into the international forum a new notion, as prohibits deprivation of liberty on the grounds of disability. It is to be understood as an absolute prohibition of deprivation of liberty on the grounds of disability, including mental disability, which manifests in the form of non-consensual psychiatric hospitalisation. The interpretation by the CRPD Committee indicates that this prohibition well embraces all types of non-consensual psychiatric hospitalisation – whether it is based on illness, impairment or disability. This prohibition also extends to such justifications as ‘dangerousness’, ‘need for treatment’ and ‘diminished capacity’. Moreover, providing due substantive and/or procedural safeguards does not render any legitimacy to application of deprivation of liberty on the grounds of mental disability. Logically, this new prohibition form was to be duly considered by different UN human rights bodies, and was subsequently to bring changes to their practices. However, the analyses of post-CRPD work of those bodies allows for asserting the contrary, as they have continued displaying the position which recognises deprivation of liberty on the grounds of disability to be legitimate. While such a position could be justified in the pre-CRPD time as stemming from the silence of human rights documents about it, the continuation of this course after the CRPD entered into force may call the integrity and coherence of the UN human rights treaty system into question. The non-coherent approaches of different UN bodies to this novelty give grounds for misinterpretation thereof, and hinder its due implementation by the States Parties. The paper will discuss the nature of the mentioned new prohibition and the controversial approaches to that notion by different UN human rights bodies.

Keywords: CRPD, deprivation of liberty, mental disability, non-consensual psychiatric hospitalisation, UN bodies

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3282 Structuring the Role of Indonesia's Dilemma Position in ASEAN to Combat Human Trafficking

Authors: Febi Eka Putri, Prabowo Anggorono


Human Trafficking has become a threat in the global phenomenon, including Indonesia as a country adopting democracy to uphold the human rights value. Indonesia is classified as a source of trafficking in persons which dominate by women and children for sexual exploitation and forced labor purposes. In this case, Indonesia has committed to combat trafficking in persons by enacted domestic law to criminalize all types of human trafficking in domestic and international level. Tracing to the efforts, we cannot just simplify it, however, in 2016 Indonesia has placed as a tier 2 country because the government does not fully achieve the minimum standard by U. S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act due to only making efforts as progress. While as a part of ASEAN member, Indonesia has signed ASEAN Human Rights Declaration but when it comes to Human Trafficking issue, there is only few ASEAN member who has ratified ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons, in particular Women and Children such as Singapore, Cambodia, and Thailand. This brings the evidence to structuring the role of Indonesia to combat human trafficking.

Keywords: Indonesia, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), human trafficking, Tier 2 country

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3281 Child Marriages in Africa: Using a Rights-Based Approach to Protect the Girl-Child in Nigeria

Authors: Foluke Abimbola


The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child has been signed and ratified by several countries due to the concern about various abuses and crimes committed against children both locally and internationally. It is a shame that in view of the peculiar hardships being experienced by children today, the natural right to childhood has to be protected by a vast array of laws and international conventions. 194 countries have so far acceded to and ratified the convention on the Rights of a Child while some countries such as Nigeria have enacted the convention as a domestic law, yet child abuse is still rampant not only in Nigeria but all over the world. In Nigeria, the Child Rights Act was passed into law in 2003, with its provisions similar to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child. Despite the age of marriage provided in the Nigerian Child’s Rights Act 2003, many communities still practice child marriages to the detriment of the girl-child. Cases where these children have to withdraw from school as a result of these unripe marriages abound. Unfortunately, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 appears to indirectly support early marriages for girls in section 29 (4) where it states that a woman who is married is deemed to be of full age whereas ‘full age’ as a general term in the Constitution is from 18 years old and above. Section 29 (4) may thus be interpreted to mean that a girl of 12 years old, if married, is deemed to be of ‘full-age.’ In view of these discrepancies which continue to justify this unwholesome practice, this paper shall proffer solutions to this unlawful act and make recommendations to existing institutions, using a rights-based approach, on how to prevent and/or substantially reduce this practice. A comparative analysis with other African countries will be adopted in order to conduct a research for effective policies that may be implemented for the protection of these girls. Thus, this paper will further examine the issue of child marriage which is still quite rampant in African countries particularly in Nigeria which also affects the girl-child’s right to an education. Such children are in need of special protection and this paper will recommend ways in which state institutions, particularly in Nigeria, may be able to introduce policies to curb incidences of child marriage and child sexual abuse while proffering strategies for the prevention of these crimes.

Keywords: child abuse, child marriages, child rights, constitutions, child rights, the girl-child

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3280 Challenges in Providing Protection to the Conflict-Affected Refugee Children in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of the 1951 Refugee Convention

Authors: Faiz Bakhsh, Tahira Yasmeen


The Afghan refugee children in Pakistan are considered as the most vulnerable persons in danger of being abused and treated badly as compared to the minimum criteria of the protection of refugee children under 1951 refugee convention. This paper explores the impact of the 1951 refugee convention on the protection of refugee children, affected by the armed conflict in Afghanistan, residing in refugee camps in Pakistan. Despite, protection available under Refugee Convention, there exist millions of refugees in the world, including a huge portion of women and children, that remain unprotected, and their protection remains a challenging task for the world community. This study investigates the status and number of refugees in Pakistan, especially children; protection and assistance of refugees under Refugee Convention; protection of the rights of refugee children in Pakistan; and implementation of the rules of Refugee Convention relating refugee children in Pakistan and measures for the protection of refugee children in Pakistan. This socio-legal study utilizes a qualitative research approach and applies mixed methods of data collection. The primary data is collected through the interpretation of the legal framework available for the protection of refugees as well as domestic laws of Pakistan. The secondary data is collected through previous studies available on the same topic. The result of this study indicates that lack of proper implementation of the rules, of the Refugee Convention, relating protection of refugee children cause sufferings to refugee children including the provision of basic health, nutrition, family life, education and protection from child abuse. Pakistan needs a comprehensive domestic legal framework for the protection of refugees, especially refugee children. Moreover, the government of Pakistan with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) must prioritize the protection of Afghan refugee children as per standard criteria provided by the refugee convention 1951.

Keywords: refugee children, refugee convention, armed conflict, Pakistan

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3279 Parental Separation and 'the Best Interests of the Child' at International Law: Guidance for Nation States in the 21st Century

Authors: Cassandra Seery


During the twentieth century, the notion of child rights at the international level began with the League of Nations’ Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1924, culminating in the development and adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (‘the Convention’) in 1989. A key foundation of child rights lies in the development of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle and its subsequent incorporation into domestic legislation across the globe. This principle has become a key concept in child rights protection and has become a widely recognized principle in the protection of child rights. However, despite its status as the primary operating standard in child and family law and its ‘deepening hold in domestic and international instruments’, the meaning of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle has been criticised as open-ended and vague. This paper explores the evolution and development of the principle in the context of parental separation at international law throughout the 21st century and identifies opportunities for the Nation States to further improve legislative responses in associated child protection cases. An extensive review of relevant United Nations documentation (including instruments, resolutions and comments, jurisprudence, reports, guidelines and policies, training materials and so forth) explores: (i) what progress has been made to further develop the principle at the international level with regard to parental separation; and (ii) what developments participating the Nation States should consider as part of future legal and social policy reforms in this space. It will highlight opportunities for improvement and explore the benefit and relevance of international approaches for the Nation States moving forward.

Keywords: international human rights, best interests of the child, legal and social policy, child rights

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3278 Creating Entrepreneurs through Contribution of Individuals and Corporations: An Insight on Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh

Authors: Saptarshi Dhar, Tahira Farzana


In Bangladesh, particularly in rural areas, persons with disabilities are generally isolated from the mainstream and are pushed to the margins of society. They are seen as an individual problem, not as a social responsibility. As a result, persons with disabilities face challenges to actively participate in social and economic activities. The country is experiencing a steady economic and per capita growth over the past few years and entrepreneurial opportunities are also increasing. However, involvement of persons with disabilities in entrepreneurship is yet to increase. The aim of this paper is to explore the issue of entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities through contribution of individuals and corporations in the context of social responsibility. The paper is exploratory in nature and is approached through a three-month research project 'Shwanirbhor' run by the authors in Pakshi area of Pabna District in Bangladesh. The authors collected data through semi structured questionnaire, interviews and focus group discussions. Through the project, persons with disabilities were provided with financial capital (collected through contribution of individuals and corporations), business plans and advisory assistance on a need basis to help them start entrepreneurial ventures. The findings of the study indicate that in terms of contribution toward a social cause, individuals and corporations have positive attitude and are willing to offer monetary and nonmonetary assistance. When provided with entrepreneurial opportunity, persons with disabilities showed motivation in joining entrepreneurship to improve their economic standing and to be financially independent. In addition to that, the study also found that factors such as social inclusion and acceptance, economic empowerment, breaking the social and family barrier are also the reasons that drive persons with disabilities into embracing entrepreneurship. Moreover, while starting and running the entrepreneurial activities, they face constraints that range from personal, environmental, operational and infrastructural to informational barriers. The paper also proposes a strategy framework for entrepreneurship creation in Bangladesh which could be supportive for policy development for persons with disabilities.

Keywords: Bangladesh, entrepreneurship, persons with disabilities (PWD), social responsibility

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3277 Women with Disabilities: A Study of Contributions of Sexual and Reproductive Rights for Theology

Authors: Luciana Steffen


People with disabilities are often neglected in the exercise of their sexuality, facing several prejudices and discrimination in this area. For women with disabilities, the negligence is even major. Studies that relate sexual and reproductive rights with the experience of women with disabilities are rare, and in the field of Theology, practically nonexistent in Brazil. The aim of this work is to reflect on the relationship between women with disabilities, sexual and reproductive rights and Theology, according to a feminist perspective. The work is a literature review and involves the areas of Gender Studies, Disability Studies, Feminist Studies and Theology. In the article it will be addressed the relations between disability, sexual and reproductive rights, feminism, as well as the relations with the area of Theology, reflecting on these themes toward a fairer and more inclusive understanding of feminism, sexuality and women with disabilities. To reflect on sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities, it is important to reflect on religious concepts about the body, sexuality, reproduction and gender roles, because they are all connected. So, a critical analysis of traditional theological values taking into consideration the dimensions of sexuality and women with disability is important for a more liberating and inclusive understand about sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities. Theology should help the other areas in the understanding that all people have the right to live their lives with completeness, dignity and respect, so women with disabilities must have the opportunity of making their own choices on the fields of sexuality and reproduction.

Keywords: gender, disability, sexual and reproductive rights, theology

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3276 Inclusion Advances of Disabled People in Higher Education: Possible Alignment with the Brazilian Statute of the Person with Disabilities

Authors: Maria Cristina Tommaso, Maria Das Graças L. Silva, Carlos Jose Pacheco


Have the advances of the Brazilian legislation reflected or have been consonant with the inclusion of PwD in higher education? In 1990 the World Declaration on Education for All, a document organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), stated that the basic learning needs of people with disabilities, as they were called, required special attention. Since then, legislation in signatory countries such as Brazil has made considerable progress in guaranteeing, in a gradual and increasing manner, the rights of persons with disabilities to education. Principles, policies, and practices of special educational needs were created and guided action at the regional, national and international levels on the structure of action in Special Education such as administration, recruitment of educators and community involvement. Brazilian Education Law No. 3.284 of 2003 ensures inclusion of people with disabilities in Brazilian higher education institutions and also in 2015 the Law 13,146/2015 - Brazilian Law on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (Statute of the Person with Disabilities) regulates the inclusion of PwD by the guarantee of their rights. This study analyses data related to people with disability inclusion in High Education in the south region of Rio de Janeiro State - Brazil during the period between 2008 and 2018, based in its correlation with the changes in the Brazilian legislation in the last ten years that were subjected by PwD inclusion processes in the Brazilian High Education Systems. The region studied is composed by sixteen cities and this research refers to the largest one, Volta Redonda that represents 25 percent of the total regional population. The PwD reception process had the dicing data at the Volta Redonda University Center with 35 percent of high education students in this territorial area. The research methodology analyzed the changes occurring in the legislation about the inclusion of people with disability in High Education in the last ten years and its impacts on the samples of this study during the period between 2008 and 2018. It was verified an expressive increasing of the number of PwD students, from two in 2008 to 190 PwD students in 2018. The data conclusions are presented in quantitative terms and the aim of this study was to verify the effectiveness of the PwD inclusion in High Education, allowing visibility of this social group. This study verified that the fundamental human rights guarantees have a strong relation to the advances of legislation and the State as a guarantor instance of the rights of the people with disability and must be considered a mean of consolidation of their education opportunities isonomy. The recognition of full rights and the inclusion of people with disabilities requires the efforts of those who have decision-making power. This study aimed to demonstrate that legislative evolution is an effective instrument in the social integration of people with disabilities. The study confirms the fundamental role of the state in guaranteeing human rights and demonstrates that legislation not only protects the interests of vulnerable social groups, but can also, and this is perhaps its main mission, to change behavior patterns and provoke the social transformation necessary to the reduction of inequality of opportunity.

Keywords: high education, inclusion, legislation, people with disability

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3275 Human Security through Human Rights in the Contemporary World

Authors: Shilpa Bagade Poharkar


The basis for traditional notion of security was the use of force to preserve vital interest which based on either realism or power politics. The modern approach to security extends beyond the traditional notions of security which focus on issues as development and respect for human rights. In global politics, the issue of human security plays a vital role in most of the policy matter. In modern era, the protection of human rights is now recognized as one of the main functions of any legitimate modern state. The research paper will explore the relationship between human rights and security. United Nations is facing major challenges like rampant poverty, refugee outflows, human trafficking, displacement, conflicts, terrorism, intra-inter ethnic conflicts, proliferation of small arms, genocide, piracy, climate change, health issues and so on. The methodology is observed in this paper is doctrinaire which includes analytical and descriptive comparative method. The hypothesis of the paper is the relationship between human rights and a goal of United Nations to attain peace and security. Although previous research has been done in this field but this research paper will try to find out the challenges in the human security through human rights in the contemporary world and will provide measures for it. The study will focus on the following research questions: What are the issues and challenges United Nations facing while advancing human security through human rights? What measures the international community would take for ensuring the protection of human rights while protecting state security and contribute in the attainment of goals of United Nations?

Keywords: human rights, human security, peace, security, United Nations

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3274 The Deprivation of Human Rights Experienced by African Children with Disabilities

Authors: Anna Wiltshire, Rebecca Markham


Over the last decade, a growing body of evidence has indicated that children with disabilities are often amongst the most excluded and vulnerable in society. The World Bank estimates that 20% of those living in poverty in developing countries are disabled which means that those with the least bear the greatest burden. Furthermore, children with disabilities in Africa have to face a multitude of difficulties ranging from the physical to the psychological. Misconceptions and cultural beliefs are used to justify violence against, or complete shunning of these individuals and their families. In addition, discrimination can prevent access to both education and health services, further compromising these individuals. All children, irrespective of their disability should be able to enjoy human rights without discrimination, but this is often not the case. This poster explores how and why children with disabilities in Africa are subject to violations of their human rights, and suggests ways of addressing these problems.

Keywords: Africa, children, disability, discrimination, human rights

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3273 Empowering Persons with Disabilities in Indonesia: Translating the Disability Law into Practice

Authors: Marthella Rivera Roidatua


Since the release of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, disability became a mainstreamed global issue. Many developed countries have shown the continuous effort to improve their disability employment policy, for example, the US and the UK with their integrated support system through disability benefits. Relative little recent research on developing country is available. Surprisingly, Indonesia, just enacted the Law No.8/2016 on Disability that bravely highlighted on integrating disabled people into the workforce. It shows a positive progress shifting traditional perspective to what Tom Shakespeare’s concept of a social model of disability. But, the main question is how can this law support the disabled people to access and maintain paid work. Thus, besides the earlier literature reviews, interviews with leading sectors, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Manpower, was conducted to examine government’s attitude towards the disabled worker. Insights from two local social enterprises on disability were also engaged in building better perspective. The various source of data was triangulated then analysed with a thematic approach. Results were encouraging the Indonesian government to have a better collaboration with other impactful local organisations in promoting the disability employment. In the end, this paper also recommends the government to make a reasonable adjustment and practical guideline for companies in hiring disabled.

Keywords: disability, employment, policy, Indonesia, collaboration, guidelines

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3272 Inclusive Practices in Physical Education: A Survey of Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes and Self-Efficacy in the Context of Teachers' Training

Authors: Teresa M. Odipo


Inclusive physical education and an inclusive educational approach in German schools have received much attention in recent years due to the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities proposals, which came into force in Germany in 2009. The aim of inclusive PE is to include children with disabilities and able bodied children, based on the idea, that all children should attend school together. While PE mostly took place in a heterogeneous environment, introducing children with all kinds of disabilities posed more challenges to the teachers, when children with disabilities were included. Therefore it is important that the educational approach should include pre-service teachers’ (PST) self-efficacy for and their attitudes towards inclusive practices. The PSTs’ self-efficacy for inclusive practices is one of the strongest predictors of the success of the inclusion reforms introduced in 2009, in order to improve PSTs’ ability to handle these very new challenges. PE stands out because the very nature of sport involves the body which means that all children, especially those with special needs should be treated in an appropriate manner. Up till now, it has been mostly English-speaking countries that have been assessed for inclusive practices in PE. Due to the lack of research in Germany, there is a strong need to question PSTs’ prepared-ness. This paper presents results from the 2016 survey conducted on around 100 PSTs by the German University of Sports in Cologne and opens up new directions within PSTs’ education, concerning their attitudes and self-efficacy towards inclusive PE. These new aspects will be included in the construction of new learning and teaching tools to improve pre-service teachers’ education for inclusive Physical Education.

Keywords: attitudes, inclusive physical education, pre-service teachers, self-efficacy

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3271 Trafficking of Women in Assam: The Untold Violation of Women's Human Rights

Authors: Mridula Devi


Trafficking of women is a slur on human dignity and a shameful act to human civilization and development. Trafficking of women is one of worst brazen abuses which violate the women’s human rights. In India, more particularly in Assam, human trafficking and infringement of human rights of individual includes mainly the women and girl child of the State. Trafficking in North East region of India, more particularly in Assam occurs in two different ways – one is the internal trafficking of women and girl child from conflict affected rural areas of Assam for domestic work and prostitution. Secondly, there is trafficking of women to other south-East Asiatic countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bangkok, Myanmar (Burma) for various purposes such as drug trafficking, labor, bar girl and prostitution.Historically, trafficking in human beings is associated with slavery and bonded or forced labor. Since the period of Roman Civilization, there was the practice of traffic in persons in the form of slave trade among the nations. With the rise of new imperialism, slavery had become an integral part of the colonial system of European Countries. With time, it almost became synonymous with prostitution or commercial sexual exploitation. Finally, the United Nation adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Prostitution of others, 1949 by the G.A.Res.No.-317(iv). The Convention totally denounces the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution. However, it is important to note that, now a days trafficking is not confined to commercial sexual exploitation of women and children alone. It has myriad forms and the number of victims has been steadily on the rise over the past few decades. In Assam, it takes place through and for marriage, sexual exploitation, begging, organ trading, militancy conflicts, drug padding and smuggling, labour, adoption, entertainment, and sports. In this paper, empirical methodology has been used. The study is based on primary and secondary sources. Data’s are collected from different books, publications, newspaper, journals etc. For empirical analysis, some random samples are collected and systematized for better result. India suffers from the ignominy of being one of the biggest hubs of women trafficking in the world. Over the years, Assam: the north east part of India has been bearing the brunt of the rapidly rising evil of trafficking of women which threaten the life, dignity and human rights of women. Though different laws are adopted at international and national level to restore trafficking, still the menace of trafficking of women in Assam is not decreased, rather it increased. This causes a serious violation of women’s human right in Assam. Human trafficking or women’s trafficking is a serious crime against society. To curb this in Assam it is required to take some effective and dedicated measure at state level as well as national and international level.

Keywords: Assam, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, India

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3270 Development of a Method to Prepare In-School Tactile Guide Maps for Visually Impaired School Children

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, M. Kawano, H. Fujimoto, Y. Tanaka, M. Sawada, S. Oouchi, T. Kaneko, K. Kanamori


As part of reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities in Japan, which has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, tactile guide maps are necessary. Such maps can enable visually impaired children to attend schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses. However, it takes many years to be able to use a tactile guide map without difficulty. Thus, information support, in which audio information is added in addition to tactile information, is required. In the present research, a method to prepare an in-school tactile guide map with an additional audio reading function was developed. This map can enable visually impaired school children attending schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses.

Keywords: accessible design, visually impaired, braille, tactile map, in-school tactile guide map

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3269 Making Haste Slowly: South Africa's Transition from a Medical to a Social Model regarding Persons with Disabilities

Authors: Leoni Van Der Merwe


Historically, in South Africa, disability has been viewed as a dilemma of the individual. The discourse surrounding the definition of disability and applicable theories are as fluid as the differing needs of persons with disabilities within society. In 1997, the Office of the Deputy President published the White Paper on the Integrated National Disability Strategy (WPINDS) which sought to integrate disability issues in all governmental development strategies, planning and programs as well as to solidify the South African government’s stance that disability was to be considered according to the social model and not the, previously utilized, medical model of disability. The models of disability are conceptual frameworks for understanding disability and can provide some insight into why certain attitudes exist and how they are reinforced in society. Although the WPINDS was regarded as a critical milestone in the history of the disability rights struggle in South Africa; it has taken approximately twenty years for the publication of a similar document taking into account South Africa’s changing social, economic, political and technological dispensation. December 2015 marked the approval of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD) which seeks to update the WPINDS, integrate principles contained in international law instruments and endorse a mainstreaming trajectory for realizing the rights of persons with disabilities. While the WPINDS and the WPRPD were published two decades apart, both documents contain an emphasis on a transition from the medical model to the social model. Whereas, the medical model presupposes that disability is mainly a health and welfare matter and is focused on an individualistic and dependency-based approach; the social model requires a paradigm shift in the manner in which disability is constructed so as to highlight the shortcomings of society in respect of disability and to bring to the fore the capabilities of persons with disabilities. The social model has led to unmatched success in changing the perceptions surrounding disability. This article seeks to investigate the progress made in the implementation of the social model in South Africa by taking into account the effect of the diverse political and cultural landscape in promoting the historically entrenched medical model and the rise of disability activism prior to the new democratic dispensation as well as legislation, case law, policy documents and barriers in respect of persons with disabilities that are pervasive in South African society. The research paper will conclude that although numerous interventions have been identified and implemented to promote the consideration of disability within a social construct in South Africa, such interventions require increased national and international collaboration, resources and pace to ensure that the efforts made lead to sustainable results. For persons with disabilities, what remains to be seen is whether the proliferation of activism by interest groups, social awareness as well as the development of policy documents, legislation and case law will serve as the impetus to dissipate the view that disability is burden to be carried solely on the shoulders of the person with the disability.

Keywords: disability, medical model, social model, societal barriers, South Africa

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3268 Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment in Nigeria: A Time for Legislative Intervention

Authors: Kolawole Oyekan


Torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is one of the issues dealt with by the United Nations in its development of human rights standard. Torture and other ill -treatments is banned at all times in all places including in times of war. There is no justification for torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under any law in Nigeria. All statutes; local, regional and international on human rights prohibits all forms of degrading treatment. This paper examines the definition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and the prevalence of confessional statements obtain through torture by security agencies during the interrogation of crime suspects and are mostly relied upon during trial even in cases involving capital punishment. The paper further reviews the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 which prohibits torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Presently, the Act is applicable only to the federal Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Consequently, the paper concludes that the Act should be adopted as a matter of urgency by the 36 states of the Federation of Nigeria and in addition, cogent steps must be taken to ensure that the provisions of the Act are strictly complied with in order to eliminate torture, cruel and inhuman degrading treatment in Nigeria.

Keywords: confessional statement, human rights, torture, United Nations

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3267 Calling Persons with Disability as Divine: Exploring and Critiquing Meanings of Divyang (The One with a Divine Limb) in the Indian Context

Authors: Vinay Suhalka


In India, the official nomenclature used by the State for persons with disability is divyang (literally, the one with a divine limb), a word coming from the Sanskrit language. Disability thus gets portrayed as divine, at least in the welfare sector from where it flows down even to the popular imagination where it gets equated to divinity. This paper looks at reference to persons with disabilities as divyangs and goes on to discusses what such usage for an already marginalized group achieves and misses out. The issue of nomenclature and language has always been a contested one when it comes to disability. At the same time, there is also an issue of who determines these labels for the persons with disability. Nomenclature and language used for disability can have real consequences for the population of persons with disability as it may empower or disempower them. Thus, this paper looks at the issue of what it means for persons with disabilities as ‘exceptionally gifted’ and hence divyang. Language can be a powerful tool to communicate meanings and messages associated with a term. When the persons with disabilities as a group are described as ‘exceptionally gifted, talented and the source of inspiration’, it essentially stereotypes and marginalizes them by putting a burden of performance that all of them ought to be achievers, and it is only then that they would be assimilated in the larger society. This paper also argues that such a situation creates a ‘double bind’ where the person is always trying to match up to the labels (the disabled as ‘achiever, overcomer, inspirational’) created by somebody else and looks at self through the eyes of others. This conceptual paper also presents an overview of disability labels while simultaneously looking at projecting disability as divinity which has the potential to wrongly portray the lives of persons with disability in India due to the official usage of the term. It also explores the question of visibility of disability since the idea of divyang implicitly assumes that all disabilities are visible. In reality, however, it may not be the case simply because all forms of disabilities are not visible, people may choose not to visibilize their disabilities if they can and pass as able-bodied, fearing the stigma that surrounds disability. Finally, it argues for an increased focus on understanding the everyday lived realities of those with disability in order to regard it as an important form of difference which could be a potential resource for the society.

Keywords: persons with disability, labels, language use, divinity

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3266 Person-Centered Thinking as a Fundamental Approach to Improve Quality of Life

Authors: Christiane H. Kellner, Sarah Reker


The UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Germany also ratified, postulates the necessity of user-centred design, especially when it comes to evaluating the individual needs and wishes of all citizens. Therefore, a multidimensional approach is required. Based on this insight, the structure of the town-like centre in Schönbrunn - a large residential complex and service provider for persons with disabilities in the outskirts of Munich - will be remodelled to open up the community to all people as well as transform social space. This strategy should lead to more equal opportunities and open the way for a much more diverse community. The research project “Index for participation development and quality of life for persons with disabilities” (TeLe-Index, 2014-2016), which is anchored at the Technische Universität München in Munich and at the Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn supports this transformation process called “Vision 2030”. In this context, we have provided academic supervision and support for three projects (the construction of a new school, inclusive housing for children and teenagers with disabilities and the professionalization of employees using person-centred planning). Since we cannot present all the issues of the umbrella-project within the conference framework, we will be focusing on one sub-project more in-depth, namely “The Person-Centred Think Tank” [Arbeitskreis Personenzentriertes Denken; PZD]. In the context of person-centred thinking (PCT), persons with disabilities are encouraged to (re)gain or retain control of their lives through the development of new choice options and the validation of individual lifestyles. PCT should thus foster and support both participation and quality of life. The project aims to establish PCT as a fundamental approach for both employees and persons with disabilities in the institution through in-house training for the staff and, subsequently, training for users. Hence, for the academic support and supervision team, the questions arising from this venture can be summed up as follows: (1) has PCT already gained a foothold at the Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn? And (2) how does it affect the interaction with persons with disabilities and how does it influence the latter’s everyday life? According to the holistic approach described above, the target groups for this study are both the staff and the users of the institution. Initially, we planned to implement the group discussion method for both target-groups. However, in the course of a pretest with persons with intellectual disabilities, it became clear that this type of interview, with hardly any external structuring, provided only limited feedback. In contrast, when the discussions were moderated, there was more interaction and dialogue between the interlocutors. Therefore, for this target-group, we introduced structured group interviews. The insights we have obtained until now will enable us to present the intermediary results of our evaluation. We analysed and evaluated the group interviews and discussions with the help of qualitative content analysis according to Mayring in order to obtain information about users’ quality of life. We sorted out the statements relating to quality of life obtained during the group interviews into three dimensions: subjective wellbeing, self-determination and participation. Nevertheless, the majority of statements were related to subjective wellbeing and self-determination. Thus, especially the limited feedback on participation clearly demonstrates that the lives of most users do not take place beyond the confines of the institution. A number of statements highlighted the fact that PCT is anchored in the everyday interactions within the groups. However, the implementation and fostering of PCT on a broader level could not be detected and thus remain further aims of the project. The additional interviews we have planned should validate the results obtained until now and open up new perspectives.

Keywords: person-centered thinking, research with persons with disabilities, residential complex and service provider, participation, self-determination.

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