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Let the World Know
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"Let the World Know"

Report of a Seminar on Human Rights and Disability
Almåsa Conference Centre (Stockholm, November 5-9, 2000)

Published by the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Disability
of the United Nations Commission for Social Development © 2001


Preface and Acknowledgements *

I Introduction *

II Background to the Seminar *

III Timing of the Seminar: An Opportune Moment *

IV Purpose of the International Seminar: From Rhetoric to Reality *

V Organization of the Seminar *

VI General Directions for Mainstreaming the Human Right of Persons with Disabilities *

VII Developing an Overall Structure for Reporting Violations of the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities *

VIII Understanding What Amounts to an Infringement of Human Rights *

IX Building a System for Dealing with Infringements of Human Rights *

X Making it work: Developing Instruments for Documenting Infringements of Human Rights: The Five Working Groups Report *

  1. Documenting Individual Cases *
  2. Documenting Legal Cases/Jurisprudence *
  3. Documenting the Media *
  4. Documenting legislation *
  5. Documenting Programmes, Services and Practices *

XI. Additional General Recommendations to Strengthen the Use of International Instruments on Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

XII Concluding Remarks: From little acorns great oaks grow *

ANNEX A: List of Participants (including observers, and support staff)

III. Timing of the Seminar: An Opportune Moment

It is in this context that this international seminar on human rights and disability was held. Three factors made it a particularly favourable time to begin a concentrated effort to profile infringements of human rights of persons with disabilities:

  • The recent recognition in theory and law of disability as a rights issue;
  • The recent promulgation of policies in many countries directed at strengthening the rights of persons with disabilities and eliminating discrimination at the national level; and
  • The increasing organization of the disability rights movement worldwide.

In the light of these three factors, this seminar provided a unique opportunity to design an effective way of reporting human rights infringements against persons with disabilities as well as to design guidelines for the reporting of such abuses.

The systematic collection of data provides evidence, for both the United Nations and governments, of the need for further attention directed towards eliminating these abuses and provides information to support the struggle of persons with disabilities to justice, equality, self-determination, dignity and worth in their societies. This also provides a way of exposing various forms of discrimination and violence to which persons with disabilities around the world continue to be exposed.

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