9/30/2008

What can CRPD mean for Bapu Trust?


Last weekend I participated at the Bapu Trustee and Staff Retreat. The meeting took place in a hill station, one hour drive from Pune on the Pune-Mumbai highway.

The retreat started with a session held by Amita and myself on CRPD. We adopted a bottom up approach, attempting at illustrating how CRPD reflects everyday work experiences of Bapu Trust.



Bapu Work Ethics and CRPD

Amita Dhanda

Gábor Gombos


  • The first international human rights treaty in the new Millennium.
  • Why was it needed?

- The rights enshrined in previous treaties are not accessible to persons with disabilities (pwd).

- The lack of reasonable accommodation, even in the absence of intention, results in social exclusion for pwd.

  • What is the advantage of international law?

- Pressure of the international community.

- The advantages of international cooperation.

- Larger movement backing.

- Obligates states parties to develop, execute and monitor legislations, policies, programmes.

  • Negotiating history

- Adopted within five years – a UN record.

- Unprecedented participation and contribution by civil society with the leadership of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO).

- Record number of signatures at the opening.

  • Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

  • CRPD’s image of a human being

- interdependent

- autonomous with support and reasonable accommodation

- both same and different

- contribute to human diversity

  • CRPD is a comprehensive human rights instrument covering civil-political (e.g. liberty, freedom from torture, integrity, participation) and economic-social-cultural (e.g. education, right to work) as well as developmental rights.
  • What does CRPD mean for us in India?

- Impact of binding International Law on Indian law and policy

- Guiding Force for Change of Indian Law and Policy

  • Despite its progressive character CRPD too remote from our work lives

- Limited bearing on the legal dimension of our work

  • Relevance of this forward looking instrument to Bapu’s Work

- Right to participation and Awareness Raising

- Concept of Reasonable Accommodation

- Legal Capacity and Support

  • Awareness Raising

States Parties undertake to adopt immediate, effective and appropriate measures:

(a) To raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and to foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities;

(b) To combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age, in all areas of life;

(c) To promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities.

  • Awareness Raising at Bapu

- Relationship between internal work culture and social advocacy

- Presence of user –survivor

- Perception towards and perception of user-survivors

- Interpersonal Relations

- Service provision

- Administration

  • CRPD: The Right to Participation

In the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities, States Parties shall closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations.

  • Right to Participation at Bapu

- Relationship between participation and awareness raising

- Various Models of Participation

- each person involved in decisions affecting them

- all persons to understand the mental health advocacy positions in Bapu

- persons with disabilities to be actively consulted in the formation of all Bapu policies

  • CRPD and Reasonable Accommodation

- Non Discrimination means that persons with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with others

- It also means that general policies are modified and altered to accommodate the specific needs of particular persons with disabilities

- This customisation of general policies is called reasonable accommodation

  • Reasonable Accommodation at Bapu

- Concept of Flexible Time

- Idea of Safe Spaces

- Giving Value to Varied Perceptions

- Insight these Accommodations provide to general policy

  • CRPD : Legal Capacity and Support

- All persons with disabilities have both capacity for rights and capacity to act

- Realization of capacity to act may require support

- Support to be provided in an empowering and non threatening manner

  • Capacity and Support at Bapu

- Support Mechanisms Available in Different Parts of the World

- Provisioning of Support in Bapu

- Developing of Suitable Designs for Support



1 comment:

esongate said...

Wish I was there for the Bapu Retreat.

Don't mean to sound cliché but your blog has become my best mental health classroom and am enjoying every bit of it! And it’s been an honor working with you.

Few stray thoughts from your CRPD paper ... we speak of legal capacities of those with psychosocial disabilities. What will be the percentage of India’s population who will actually be aware of such legal capacities? How about the 80% of its population, in many remote corners of India, who are still deprived of their basic fundamental rights? And worst still, are those who are unaware of the existence of such rights!? As such, can we consider CRPD as a comprehensive human rights instrument for change? I feel we first need to touch the grass root level (colored by diverse culture, religion, history, etc), create a sense of ‘self worth’ and accommodation. Then inculcate legal capacities to people. Then, perhaps, welcome International Law.

Thanks!
Elizabeth Songate