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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)

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.

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