Philippine PWD Sector Celebrates the UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs

Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is inviting all families with autism, SPED schools, therapy centers and all PWDs supporters to join in celebrating the rights of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) on May 12, 2008. The celebration also coincides with the commemoration at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

The following is the program of activities for the May 12 (Monday) celebration at SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City

6:00 AM – Assembly and Registration at the SMX Parking Area

7:00 AM – Holy Mass at the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life

8:30 AM – Unity March from SMX Parking Area to the SM MOA Music Hall

10:00 AM – Program at the Music Hall

* Special schools and therapy centers need to bring their respective banners.
* All ASP contingents will wear the Angels Walk t-shirt or any green shirt for proper identification.

Here is some background information on this event.

“Throughout history, persons with disabilities have been viewed as individuals who require societal protection and evoke sympathy rather than respect. This convention is a major step toward changing the perception of disability and ensures that societies recognize that all people must be provided with the opportunities to live life to their fullest potential, whatever that may be.

The purpose of the convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities. It covers a number of key areas such as accessibility, personal mobility, health, education, employment, habilitation and rehabilitation, participation in political life, and equality and non-discrimination. The convention marks a shift in thinking about disability from a social welfare concern, to a human rights issue, which acknowledges that societal barriers and prejudices are themselves disabling.”

The Philippines was listed as the 23rd nation that ratified the UN CRPD!!

“By ratifying a convention, and after the treaty comes into force, a country accepts its legal obligation under the treaty and will adopt implementing legislation. Other human rights treaties, such as conventions on the rights of children and women, have had a major effect in addressing rights violations.”

That means Philippines now “will be obligated to introduce measures that promote the human rights of persons with disabilities without discrimination. These measures would include anti-discrimination legislation, eliminate laws and practices that discriminate against persons with disabilities, and consider persons with disabilities when adopting new policies and programmes. Other measures include making services, goods, and facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.

Once the Convention enters into force, a Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will monitor its implementation. Countries (like the Philippines), need to report regularly on their progress to the Committee. An optional protocol allows citizens in those countries that choose to ratify the protocol the possibility of launching an individual complaint to the Committee if there are no more national options left.”

For more information about the CRPD, please go to www.un.org/disabilities/

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