Doha International Conference on Disability and Development Concludes with 11 Recommendations
The Doha International Conference on Disability and Development was held on 7-8 December 2019, under the guidance and patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder of Qatar Foundation for Social Work and its affiliated civil society centers.
The conference’s landmark outcome – the Doha Declaration – forms a core reference point internationally for policy development about human rights and sustainable development in the context of disability.
The Doha Declaration concludes with the following recommendations:
1- Combat structural barriers causing the exclusion of persons with disabilities, with a noteworthy emphasis on discriminatory laws and policies, fragmentation of services, lack of accessibility to physical and visual environments, lack of access to assistive technology and to rehabilitation and lack of measures to promote independent living of persons with disabilities.
2- Establish large scale awareness raising campaigns promoting disability rights, using the voice of persons with disabilities as a key driver to nudge the community, reducing discrimination, negative attitudes and stigma which hinders the social participation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that SDGs strategies at the national levels consciously take into account the need for cultural transformation.
3- Mainstream disability in the implementation of all SDGs, including the development of national strategies, policies and action plans are nationally addressed and aligned with the UNCRPD commitments.
4- Promote full and active participation and representation of all persons with disabilities in societies and in all policies and programs. All duty-bearers must prioritize the representation of all persons with disabilities as leaders, active citizens and active agents of change in the community, country, and international level, thus reaffirming the principle of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’. Encourage governments, civil society and others to innovate with new methods of co-production of policies.
5- Ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the education system by promoting an inclusive education system, including disability friendly environment and facilities as well as assistive technologies.
6- Emphasize a comprehensive approach to disability in health policymaking, going beyond the medical approach and narrative to the overall wellbeing of persons with disabilities. Promote reproductive rights and accessibility to reproductive health services to persons with disabilities ensuring that they have the same needs, securing their full potential and recognizing their rights.
7- Acknowledge the role of families in the wellbeing of persons with disabilities and empower family members, emphasizing UNCRPD commitment on providing persons with disabilities and their family members the necessary protection and support to enable families to contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities.
8- Invest in monitoring and evaluation of progress towards SDGs for persons with disabilities. Reliable and comparable and high-quality research is needed to better understand the lived experience of persons with disabilities and the nature of the challenges they face.
9- Strengthen the means of implementation and monitoring of the SDGs for persons with disabilities.
10- Welcome and encourage the active participation of the private sector as a key partner in realizing the UNCRPD and SDGs.
11- Prioritize accessibility to address and eliminate barriers in the physical, digital and social environment of the cities, to match the requirements of persons with disabilities.
(For more information on the Doha International Conference on Disability and Development, please see: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/news/dspd/doha-conference-disability.html)