Development and human rights for all

List of side-events to the 6th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD, 17-19 July 2013

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PDF version: List of side-events to COSP6 

16 July

Time: 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 4
Title:  Civil Society Forum
Organizer:  Co-ordinated by International Disability Alliance with the support of DPI, DRF, GPDD, HRW, IDDC and RI
Co-Sponsors:   PM of Australia, Bulgaria, Mexico and New Zealand, and UN DESA

17 July

Time: 8.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m.
Venue: UNICEF House
Title:  Measuring Disability
Organizer:  UNICEF
Speakers:  TBC
Details: Considering the difficulties in accurately measuring the prevalence of disability around the globe, this event will focus on the crucial topic of developing and exploring different methods of measuring disability. This topic should be of great interest to parties attending the Convention. Light breakfast will be served. A room with medium occupancy is kindly requested.  

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room E
Title:  Persons with Disabilities' role in Developing Accessible Environments
Organizer:  PM of Israel
Co-Sponsors:   Israel’s Commission for Equal Rights for Persons with Disability, and the International Disability Alliance (IDA)
Speakers:  Yannis Vardakstanis, President, International Disability Alliance; Ahiya Kamara, Israeli Commissioner for equal rights for persons of disabilities; Emanuele Sapienza, Policy Specialist and Social Inclusion Coordinator, UNDP and Coordinator, Technical Secretariat, UNPRPD; Klaus Lachwitz, President, Inclusion International;
Details: Accessibility is a cornerstone of equality and inclusion. Persons with Disabilities and their organizations are working around the world to create accessible environments. The panel will discuss different ways in which persons with disabilities advance accessibility processes globally, through activism and litigation, community work and consultation in legislation processes. It will address the challenges they face and exchange best practices in the creation of accessible environments. The panel will also include the screening of a short film about a campaign to implement accessibility regulations in Israeli communities.
Post-event Summary: Moderated by Ms. Karina Chupina, this event centered on the ways in which people with disabilities and their organizations advance accessibility. IDA's Chair, Yannis Vardakastanis, focused on enforcement of laws on accessibility. Ahiya Kamara, the Israeli Commissioner for Equal Rights for persons with disabilities, presented Israeli implementation of new accessibility regulation. Emanuele Sapienza, of UNDP, emphasized that accessibility is a cross-cutting issue that should be placed within the context of human rights. Inclusion International's President, Klaus Lachwitz, emphasized the need for communication between and within communities of those with intellectual disabilities. Zvi Shorer, an entrepreneur, presented his project on making Petra, Jordan, accessible. The event concluded with a call for dialogue on the personal and policy level.

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 4
Title:  Intersectionality between the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention against Torture with relation to persons with disabilities
Organizer:  Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of UN: María Soledad Cisternas Reyes; Chairperson of the Committee against Torture of UN: Claudio Grossman
Co-Sponsors:   Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations
Speakers:  Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN; Claudio Grossman, Chairperson of the Committee against Torture, UN; Malcolm Evans, Chairperson of the Sub Committee for the Prevention of Torture, UN (to confirm); Theresia Degener, Vice Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN; Felice  Gaer, Vice – Chairperson of the Committee against Torture, UN; Juan Méndez, Rapporteur on Torture Human Rights Council, UN (to confirm); Moderator: OHCHR/ Facundo Chavez – Leonardo Castihlo.
Details: Conduct an analysis of regulations to identify cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment suffered by persons as a result of their disability, especially of an intellectual and/or psycho-social disability. The aim is to promote environments and behaviours that prevent these violations and the adoption of measures to eradicate them on the legal grounds set forth in the UNCRPD and UNCAT.
Presentation: Theresia Degener

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  Economic empowerment of persons with disabilities: where are we now and the way forward post-2015
Organizer:  PM of Austria and UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Co-Sponsors:  PM of Finland, PM of New Zealand, PM of Thailand and with the support of Essl Foundation and World Future Council.
Speakers:  Opening Remarks and Moderation - H.E. Jim McLay, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of New Zealand; Speakers: Facundo Chavez, Disability Adviser, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Stig Langvad, Member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Zero Project: Michael Fembek, Programme Manager, Essl Foundation, and Ingrid Heindorf, Human Rights Officer, World Future Council, Monthian Buntan, Member of the Senate of Thailand and
Secretary-General of the Thai Blind Peoples’ Foundation, Board Member, International Disability Alliance
Details: The discussion will focus on ways to include the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 agenda in light of the forthcoming High-level Meeting on Disability and Development and beyond, with a focus on promoting decent work opportunities and ensuring the realization of employment rights (Article 27 of the CRPD) as essential means to achieve economic empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Websites:  For Flyer, see:;
Post-event summary: The side-event which featured presentations by OHCHR, CRPD Committee members, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council about their Zero Project, and IDA, focused on economic empowerment and the creation of decent work opportunities for persons with disabilities. Work and employment are a condition for living independently and having an autonomous life and increased efforts are necessary for a barrier-free access of persons with disabilities to the open labour market. The Event provided a forum to exchange experiences and best practices in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in particular the realization of employment rights. Noticing that the consideration of persons with disabilities had largely been absent in the MDG discussions, participants furthermore underlined the need to mainstream disability in the development agenda towards  2015 and beyond with a balanced perspective from human rights and development .

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 7
Title:  Social protection and empowerment of persons with disabilities
Organizer:  PM of Kenya
Speakers:  Cecilia Mbaka - Deputy Director, Ministry of Gender and Social Development, and Samuel Kabue -  Secretary, Disabled Peoples’ International
Details: Panel discussions and video presentation on the “National Fund for People with Disabilities” a model in place in Africa and in line with the theme on social protection and empowerment of people with disabilities.

Time: 3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  Accessible for All: Examples from Russia, the US, and Europe
Organizer:  Human Rights Watch
Speakers:  Mikhail Novikov, Director, Program on Employment for People with Disabilities, Perspektiva – Regional Society of Disabled People (Moscow); Karina Chupina, Expert Consultant for the Council of Europe, President of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People; Andrea Mazzarino, ACLS Public Fellow, Europe & Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
Details: The panelists discussed the range of challenges and best practices in building a more accessible and inclusive society for all, using examples from Russia and Europe. The experts focused on access to employment, healthcare, physical infrastructure and transportation. Recommendations included raising awareness through federal enforcement mechanisms to prevent the ongoing discrimination and stigma against persons with disabilities, empowering persons with disabilities by informing persons with disabilities of their rights, and establishing a committee of accessibility experts – including persons with disabilities themselves – to monitor compliance of local infrastructure projects. 

Time: 3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room E
Title:  Destinations for all
Organizer:  Kéroul
Co-Sponsors:   UN World Tourism Organization, European Network for Accessible Tourism, International Organization of Social Tourism, European Network for Accessible Tourism
Speakers:  André Boisclair, Québec Delegate General in New York, Yves Gentil, Destination Québec, André Leclerc, CEO Kéroul, Isabelle Ducharme, Chairperson of the board of Kéroul, Alain Carbonneau, JPdL International
Details: This Summit, to be held in Montréal from October 19-22, 2014, aims to establish a world partnership and a common international strategy to develop universal accessibility to infrastructures and tourism services, including transport services, and the availability of information on accessible destinations.
Post-event summary: The World Summit DESTINATIONS FOR ALL will support the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities by: a) Making a decisive push forward on the determination of a set of international standards with regards to accessible tourism and transportation; b) Highlighting the economic benefits for destinations to be fully inclusive; c) Establishing a world partnership and strategy to develop universal accessibility for tourism and transportation services, and to increase the availability of information on destinations’ accessibility. The World Tourism Organization, the International Social Tourism Organisation, and the European Network for Accessible Tourism, are some of the organizations involved in this Summit to be held in Montréal, October 19-22 2014. For information:

Time: 4.45 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  Transforming communities for Inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities
Organizer:  World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry; Disabled People's International
Co-Sponsors:   BAPU Trust (India) and Nepal Mental Health Foundation Stichting Mindrights, Netherlands
Speakers:  Moosa Salie, Chair, WNUSP; Jagannath Lamichhane, Director, Nepal Mental Health Foundation; and Jolijn Santegoeds, Founder, Stichting Mindrights Netherlands
Details: Barriers to Inclusion - legal frameworks (the institutional context, legislations, need for de-instutionalisation in some countries); Facilitatory factors - Concluding observations, proactive judgments, de-institutionalisation not required in some countries, development context; Examples of good practices - from world wide; Summing up on advocacy for the future; and Eindhoven Model – Alternative to psychiatry.

Time: 4.45 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room E
Title:  ICTs for disability-inclusive development efforts
Organizer:  ITU, Broadband Commission, G3ICT, International Disability Alliance, Microsoft, Foundation and UNESCO
Speakers:  Axel Leblois, G3ICT, International Disability Alliance, Gary Fowlie, International Telecommunication Union, James Thurston, Microsoft, Foundation, UNESCO
Details: The Broadband Commission for Digital Development, G3ICT, IDA, ITU, Microsoft, the Foundation and UNESCO have recently carried out a global consultation the contribution of ICTs to advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts. The panellists will discuss the findings of this consultation, which include a proposal of key priority areas of action to be undertaken by each stakeholder. CART services will be available.

Time: 6.00 to 8.00 p.m.
Venue: UNICEF House , Labouisse Hall, 3 UN Plaza (44th st between 1st and 2nd  Ave)
Title:  Film screening of "Colegas" (Buddies)
Organizer:  UNICEF, PM of Brazil, Gatacine Films
Details: “Buddies” tells the story of three young people who love movies and decide to run away to fulfill their dreams. The fact that the main actors have Down syndrome is just a small detail that is forgotten as soon as the viewer embarks on their adventures. Brazilian filmmaker, Marcelo Galvão, managed to create a very entertaining movie that is about inclusion, without focusing on disabilities. The film pays tribute to Galvão's uncle, Marcio, who had Down syndrome.
Please note that participants must be registered on site. Space is limited. Please arrive before 6PM to ensure your seat. Please RSVP to

18 July

Time: 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
Venue: Conference Room E
Title:  Mental Disabilities: A Mental Health Perspective
Organizer: International Psychoanalytical Association
Co-Sponsors:   NGO Committee on Mental Health, Weill Cornell Medical College
Speakers:  Rosangela Berman Bieler, Chief, Disability Section, UNICEF; John Walkup MD, Director, Child Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College; Vivian Pender MD, Main Representative to the UN, International Psychoanalytical Association, Past Chair, NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY
Details: Mental disabilities are frequently invisible and can accompany a physical disability, thus adding to lack of awareness. Further exclusion and discrimination can lead to stigma and abuse. Many mental disabilities begin in childhood however new early intervention techniques can decrease distress and potentially alter future outcomes. This panel will provide research findings, clinical studies and data that will educate and inform the participants and hopefully lessen the burden of a mental disability on the individual and the family.

Time: 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  The most accessible office building in the world – the UN CRPD as a showcase in the built environment.
Organizer:  Disabled Peoples Organization Denmark and Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration
Speakers:  Hanne Stig Andersen, Head of Department Stig Langvad, Chairman of Disabled Peoples Organization Denmark, member of the CRPD-Committee
Details: It is possible to build accessible and live up to high standards concerning universal design, climate, energy, work environment and innovation to lower prices than similar buildings. DPOD shows the result and talks about considerations, choices, processes and output.  The Government speaks on national actions on accessible environments.
Website: and

Time: 11.45 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room E
Title:  Promoting Disability-Inclusive ICT Policies for Education
Organizer:  G3ict – Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs
Co-Sponsors:  UNESCO, Disabled People's International (DPI), Microsoft
Speakers:  Introductory remarks: Axel Leblois, Executive Director, G3ict; Welcome remarks: Suzanne Bilello, Senior Public Information and Liaison Officer, UNESCO Office in New York and Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg, Programme Specialist, Universal Access and Preservation Section, Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO (via video conference from Paris); Presentation of model policy “"Inclusive ICTs for Education": Amanda Watkins, Assistant Director - Project Implementation, European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education; Discussion: Javed Abidi, Chairperson, Disabled People's International (DPI) and Vice Chair, International Disability Alliance (IDA); James Thurston, Director – International Accessibility Policy, Microsoft; Susan Mazrui, Director, Public Policy, AT&T; Pratik Patel, Founder and CEO, EZFire.
Details: A review of success factors for the development and implementation by States Parties of policies promoting inclusive information and communication technologies for persons with disabilities leveraging the framework of the CRPD.  The panel will discuss, as an example, the model policy on "Inclusive ICTs for Education," jointly developed in 2013 by UNESCO and G3ict.

Time: 11.45 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  Disability and indigenous peoples: an ongoing challenge
Organizer:  Government of Chile
Co-Sponsors:   Permanent Mission of Chile to UN, National Service for Disability; Coordinator Unit for Indigenous Issues (UCAI), Ministry of Social development; office of the Presidential Commissioner to Easter island, Ministry of Interior; National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI).
Speakers: Representatives of Chilean indigenous peoples: Mr. David Carvajal, member of the Community Quilquil, mapuche; Ms. Antonia Ika, member of the organization  Ka Aha Ra Ia, Rapa Nui people; Representatives of the Government of Chile: Ambassador Octavio Errázuriz, Permanent Representative of Chile to UN; Mr. Oscar  Mellado, Deputy Director of National Service for Disability (SENADIS); Mr. Andrés Cortés, Coordinator Unity of Indigenous Affairs, Ministry of Social Development; Ms. Ana Millanao, Adviser, Office of the Presidential Commissioner for Easter Island, Ministry of Interior; UN representatives: Ms. María Soledad Cisternas, chair of the UN Committee of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Goal: To carry out a reflection in relation to disability and indigenous peoples, as an opportunity to reach sustainable development with a human rights approach. To discuss about public policies which promote the social inclusion of persons with disabilities who belong to indigenous peoples.
Website:  /

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room E
Title:  Voices of Youth with Disabilities from the Global South
Organizer:  Disabled People’s International
Co-Sponsors:   SCRPD/DESA, UNICEF, MphasiS F1 Foundation
Speakers:  Javed Abidi (Chairperson, DPI) ; Meenu Bhambhani, MphasiS ; Abia Akram, Coordinator – DPI’s Global Network of Youth with Disabilities.
Details: The side event will attempt to discourse on why we have not been able to get more and more young leaders with disabilities at the forefront and showcase a few examples where youth with disabilities, especially those from the Global South have been able to make their mark.

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 4
Title:  Looking ahead: How can development assistance be more disability inclusive?
Organizer:  Disability Rights Fund (DRF)
Co-Sponsors:   Missions of Australia, Norway, United States, Germany, Pacific Disability Forum
Speakers:  Chaired by Peter Versegi (Minister Counsellor, Australia);  Diana Samarasan (Executive Director, DRF);  Ms. Ann Marit Sæbønes – Senior Advisor, Ministry of Children & Social Inclusion (Norway); Ms. Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, Coordinator of the Office for Disability & Inclusive Development, USAID (US);  Mr. Sascha Reebs, Desk Officer for Social Protection and Persons with Disabilities, Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (Germany); and Mr. Setareki Macanawai (Chief Executive Officer Pacific Disability Forum).
Details: This event will highlight opportunities for disability-inclusive development to be anchored in the processes of bilateral development agencies.  The Disability Rights Fund’s publication, Beyond Charity: A Donor’s Guide to Inclusion, will be used as a framework for progressing this discussion.

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  The interface between ageing and disability
Organizer:  Eng. Aja Eze Foundation
Co-Sponsors:   Mission of El Salvador, UNDESA
Speakers:  Speakers include Mr. Fred Doulton (DESA), Ms. Maria Soledad Cisternas, President of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, among others.
Details: Explore the interface between the implementation of the CRPD and ageing, since ageing has a major influence on disability, as older persons become frailer and extremely vulnerable to physical and mental conditions.

Time: 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 7
Title:  Strategies for access to education for children and young people with disabilities: The case of China
Organizer:  Human Rights Watch
Speakers:  Moderator: Stig Langvad, CRPD Committee Member
Speakers: Diane Richler,  Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation International Fellow; Helen McCabe, Project Coordinator and Inclusion specialist for China and South East Asia, Perkins International; Sophie Richardson, China Director, Human Rights Watch
Post-event summary: The panel discussed concrete strategies on how to address barriers to education experienced by children and young people with disabilities, using the case study of China. As highlighted in a recent Human Rights Watch report, “As long as they let us stay in class”,, children with disabilities are denied admission, and not provided the accommodations they need. The speakers discussed recommendations on how to move from segregated special schools to an inclusive education system such as establishing “one system” of education for all, creating a support system of specialized trainers to assist teachers in mainstream schools, and peer tutoring.

Time: 3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  Specific Strategies For The Inclusion Of Universal Design And Accessibility In A Post 2015 Disability And Development Agenda
Organizer:  Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES)
Speakers:  Mukhtar Al Shibani, GAATES President, and Andres Balczar, GAATES Communications and Project Coordinator
Details: GAATES will present as a workshop, Specific Strategies for the Inclusion of Universal Design and Accessibility In a Post 2015 Disability and Development Agenda.  The strategies are based on the GAATES submissions to the UN Online consultation on Disability and Development, and presentations from GAATES Country Representative around the world.

Time: 4.45 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  The Right to Decide = true empowerment and participation of people with intellectual disabilities
Organizer:  Inclusion International
Speakers:  Klaus Lachwitz, President, Inclusion International; Nagase Osamu, II Council Member, Japan; Vanessa Dos Santos, South Africa; TBC, Global South and the Americas
Details: Having the right to make decisions is critical for ensuring that people with intellectual disabilities are truly empowered and able to have control over their own lives.  Significant barriers – specifically legal frameworks and community-based practices – hinder economic security and employment opportunities.  This session will discuss empowerment through the right to decide.  

Time: 6.15 p.m. to 7.45 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 4
Title:  The Other Film Festival - International Disability Cinema
Organizer:  Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
Co-Sponsors:   Arts Access Victoria
Speakers:  Rick Randall, Festival Director, The Other Film Festival, Arts Access Victoria
Sophie Sherriff, Associate Director, The Other Film Festival, Arts Access Victoria
Details: The Other Film Festival screens compelling international cinema about the lived experience of disability. This side event will screen the best short films from the 2012 festival. All films will be captioned and audio described. Post screening discussion will be CART & ASL interpreted. “A good film lets you walk in another person’s shoes”

19 July

Time: 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  The Art of Engagement – An entertaining approach to building awareness
Organizer:  ABILITY Awareness
Co-Sponsors:  ABILITY Magazine, China Press for People with Disabilities, UN Department of Public Information
Speakers:  Dr. Yevgen Borodin, Research Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University; Geri Jewell, best known as Cousin Geri on the NBC sitcom, The Facts of Life; Dr. Charles Limb, Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, as well as Dan Keplinger, Jeffrey A. Brez's and Lia Martirosyan.
Details: Panelists will discuss and demonstrate how the implementation of music, theater, humor and various visual arts can stimulate powerful sensory messages to a typically resistant society. After short illustrations the panel will engage in audience participation.

Time: 11.45 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 5
Title:  Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship: Income Security Reforms to Advance Inclusion
Organizer:  Canadian Association for Community Living
Co-Sponsors:   Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Inclusion International, Government of Canada
Speakers:  Steve Estey, Council of Canadians with Disabilities; Laurie Larson, President, Canadian Association for Community Living; Michael Prince, Professor of Social Policy, University of Victoria; Klaus Lachwitz, President, Inclusion International; Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Association for Community Living.
Details: The CRPD calls on States Parties to reconfigure social, income and labour market policies to confront poverty.  With international examples, this session will report on a 5-year study led by DPOs with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to develop promising directions in income reform.