UNESCO to host side event on disability rights during the 2022 Global Disability Summit

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) will host a side event on 17 February 2022 during the Global Disability Summit. The side event will focus on shedding light on disability rights in UNESCO’s global antidiscrimination agenda.

Experts on disability rights and inclusion from across the globe will converge to share ideas, aspirations, experiences, and recommendations on how to make disability inclusion a reality across the world.

Persons with disabilities will be at the core of the summit in-line with the fundamental principle of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the disability rights movement under the catchphrase “Nothing about us, without us!”

The UNESCO side event will consist of various speakers including UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Lidia Arthur Brito; UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Ms Gabriela Ramos; UN Special Rapporteurs, Prof. Tendayi Achiume and Mr Gerard Quinn; Deputy Mayor of Paris (France), Mr Jacques Galvani; and Paralympic Champion and Head of the 2024 Paralympics Games, Mr Ryadh Sallem.

The key issues to be discussed during the summit will tackle the various forms of discrimination that have affected persons with disabilities around the world since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers will unpack why and how it is essential to integrate disability rights in the Global Roadmap on Anti-Racism and Non-Discrimination that UNESCO is elaborating on. More specifically, they will address how can Education, Sciences, Arts, Culture, and Communication advance disability inclusion and fight transversal discriminations.

This Global Disability Summit comes as a response to the many reports that have shown that people living with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 restrictive measures, and have been excluded from many basic services including education and healthcare, denied access to information, and marginalized with stigma and harmful beliefs.

The 2020 Rapid impact assessment of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities in Zimbabwe indicated that the Covid 19 pandemic has put women and girls living with disabilities at a higher risk of various forms of abuse.

In 2020, UNESCO Member States launched a “Global Call against Racism” and UNESCO is developing a Global Roadmap to fight against racism and discrimination across its fields of competence, which include Inclusive Education, Sciences for development and mutual understanding, Culture, and Communication, and Universal access to information. This global initiative has placed at its core the concepts of inclusion, and equality.

 

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