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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

 INTERNATIONAL NORMS
AND STANDARDS RELATING TO DISABILITY

Part III. The Regional Human Rights System. 5/6 previousTable of Contentsnext

4. Asia

Index

INTRODUCTION
PART I. National Frameworks for the Protection of Rights of Persons with Disabilities
PART II. The International Human Rights System
PART III. The Regional Human Rights System
1. Europe
1.1 The Council of Europe - instruments
1.2 The Council of Europe - remedies under the European conventions
1.3 The Economic Commission fo Europe
1.4 The European Union
2. The Americas
2.1 The Inter American Convention on human Rights
2.2 The Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities
2.3 The Inter American Commission on Human Rights
2.4 The Inter American Court of human Rights
3. Africa
3.1 African Human Rights Instruments
3.2 African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
3.3 Africa Decade of Disabled Persons (2000-2009)
4. Asia
4.1 Regional seminars and meetings
4.2 Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities (1993-2002)
5. Other Regional Organizations
5.1 The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
5.2 The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
5.3 The Economic Commission for Africa
5.4 The Economic Commission for Latin America
PART IV. Towards a Rights Based Perspective on Disability
PART V. Rights of Special Groups with Disabilities

4.1 Regional Seminars and Meetings

No particular instruments on disability have been adopted in Asia, but important workshops have been organised within Asia, such as the United Nations Workshop for the Asian-Pacific Region on Human Rights Issues, Jakarta, 26-28 January 1993. In 1999, the Interregional Seminar and Symposium on International Norms and Standards Relating to Disability was held in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The Interregional Seminar and Symposium brought together policy makers, practitioners and representatives of the non-governmental community to exchange views on international norms and standards relating to disability and to develop recommendations for the further equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Interregional Seminar and Symposium built upon the meeting of international experts held in December 1998 at Boalt Hall Law School, University of California at Berkeley. The Interregional Seminar and Symposium was divided into three clusters. Cluster one focused international norms and standards relating to disability; Cluster two focused on capacity building to promote and monitor the implementation of norms and standards for persons with disabilities; Cluster three addressed the different approaches to the definition of disability.

Cluster one acknowledged the importance of international disability rights law in designing strategies to advance disability rights in the domestic sphere and to interpret broad treaty obligations relevant to persons with disabilities. Cluster two focused on importance of training in human rights advocacy among disability rights NGO's. Cluster Three concentrated the different legal definitions of disability and how these definitions can serve different purposes. For example, the medical model will be useful in the context of clinical care, while this model may be inadequate in advancing the civil rights of persons with disabilities. The Interregional Seminar provided a further opportunity for experts from fifty countries to exchange ideas on current law reforms in disability issues.

Regional meetings were also held in relation to the elaboration of a new convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, in preparation for the second session of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (Second Session, New York, 16-27 June 2003). These were the Expert Group Meeting and Seminar on an International Convention to Protect and Promote the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities in Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand, 2-4 June 2003), the Arab regional meeting on norms and standards related to development and the rights of persons with disabilities in Beirut (Beirut, Republic of Lebanon, 27-29 May 2003), and "Promoting the Rights of People with Disabilities: Towards a New UN Convention", organised by the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, the British Council and the National Human Rights Commission of India (New Delhi, India 26-30 May 2003).

4.2 Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities (1993-2002)

In April 1992, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific proclaimed the decade (1993-2002) the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons. This regional decade of disabled persons aimed to help to promote the human rights of disabled persons in a region which has probably the largest number of the world's disabled persons. The Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific Region and the Agenda for Action for the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002 contain some of the major topics of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.


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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development