Let the World Know
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XII Concluding Remarks: From little acorns great oaks grow *
As Dr. Bengt Lindqvist reminded the participants at the opening of the seminar, there is a real chance now to bring the infringement of the human rights of persons with disabilities to the world stage. The doors of the human rights system are open and there are no barriers to using international human rights norms and standards for persons with disabilities. The world is waiting for a response from the disability field.
Anuradha Mohit (India) reflected the thoughts of many of the participants in recognizing the need for the work:
There has been a need for an instrument for a long time. We have had no way for the individual to raise an abuse of his or her rights internationally.
Joshua Malinga (Zimbabwe) ended the seminar by recognizing that the participants, including the six international non-government organizations, that make up the panel of experts that consult with the Special Rapporteur left "united as a voice" in having made a strong start in having guidelines and a strategy for exposing human rights abuses at all levels. He said:
This seminar injects a new spirit to go forward with our work, to expose violations of human rights of our people throughout the world. It has provided us with new knowledge, new ideas, and new plans to do the work.
The many recommendations and ideas from this seminar provide direction for moving forward. When Dr. Lindqvist planted an oak tree at Almåsa in Sweden, in recognition of the work of the seminar, he reminded us that it is from little acorns that great oaks grow. The roots of justice are secured in honouring the human rights of persons with disabilities.