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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)

VIII. Understanding What Amounts to an Infringement of Human Rights

Although the international disability community has spoken of disability as a human rights issue for at least two-decades, not all persons with disabilities view discrimination and abuse in terms of international human rights instruments. For some people, discrimination and abuse have become normal, everyday occurrences that are part of their lives as persons with disabilities.

It is also important to note, however, that there is a danger in describing every act of differential or unfavourable treatment as an infringement of a human right. Apart from the fact that this is simply inaccurate, it raises the risk that there will be a backlash against supporting efforts to strengthen human rights. Wherever possible, it is suggested, as a guideline, that persons with disabilities only speak of human rights when such rights are contained in an international human rights instrument (for example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the six main United Nations Human Rights treaties).

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