Policy development and rights-based actions depend on the existence of good data and statistics. In the field of disability definition and measurement, the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) has developed internationally comparable questions on disability that can be used worldwide to address both policy development and the rights of persons with disabilities. The WG, a United Nations Statistical Commission sponsored city group, was established to address the methodological and measurement challenges that have characterised disability statistics and to develop questions that will provide cross-nationally comparable, valid and reliable disability statistics. The WG carefully considered the theoretical and conceptual issues associated with disability, transformed disability concepts into measurement tools, and used mixed-method evaluations (both cognitive and field interviewing methodologies) to test the proposed questions. The resultant question sets will greatly improve the international comparability of disability statistics and will aid governments in developing and evaluating policies and programs with the objective of improving the lives of people with disabilities.
On 3 December 2010, Argentina enacted the National Mental Health Law (NMHL), two years after ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). By allowing extrajudicial involuntary commitments for up to three days and legal capacity restrictions upon recommendation by an interdisciplinary team, the NMHL establishes thresholds for depriving persons with disabilities of their liberty and for restricting their exercise of legal capacity that are inconsistent with the CRPD. However, despite the NMHL’s significant shortcomings, it has the potential to contribute both to increased autonomy for users of the mental health system and also to less restrictive legal capacity restrictions. The authors conclude that while the NMHL is inconsistent with the CRPD, it may still help promote a shift away from involuntary commitments and legal capacity restrictions if its implementation results in the dissemination of “better” practices that have emerged thus far.
Given the lack of social safety nets for persons with disabilities as well as other people in Uganda, employment is critical to people’s socio-economic well-being. Uganda adopted a three-prong policy approach to disability employment embodying anti-discrimination, employment quotas and affirmative action. A combination of these policies can reduce barriers and increase access to employment for persons with disabilities. However, some of Uganda’s well-intended disability policies have not been implemented due to a significant implementation gap. This paper examines barriers to implementing the employment policies enshrined in the Persons with Disabilities Act of Uganda 2006. It analyses the experiences of selected western countries that are implementing similar policies and draws some lessons applicable to Uganda. It is argued that, while Uganda has shown a strong political will by passing disability laws, their implementation should be more strenuously followed up. Future directions for implementation are discussed.
During 2010-2012, five disability-specific non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) in East Africa – in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – formed a learning community to focus on developing their role in disability mainstreaming, responding to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In this community, the formulation of this new role was monitored to explore the transition from working for persons with disability to facilitating others in development cooperation to adopt a rights-based approach to disability through inclusion of persons with disabilities. Our analysis highlights experiences of disability specific NGOs and DPOs as they expand their focus from disability-specific aspects to inclusion in mainstream development and their role from that of implementers/advocates to facilitators of change. Both internal capacities and external factors influence this transition. In conclusion, lessons learned in the process of adopting the new role in the implementation of the CRPD are presented.
This article addresses how participation and accountability are defined in governance and human rights literature. The distinct way in which these concepts are understood and applied is rarely discussed. Donors and other actors tend to be vague when employing these concepts in governance and human rights programmes resulting in implicit understandings of what participation and accountability are intended to mean. Yet human rights advocates often contend that human rights principles such as participation and accountability add value to governance activities or strategies. Insofar as human rights thinking is increasingly important in influencing development policies, conceptual clarity is warranted. This is especially true when efforts are made to define indicators, measuring the implementation of human rights principles.
In Norway many residents in nursing homes are malnourished and their diet has often proven inadequate. This study used concepts and principles of a human rights-based approach to investigate the conditions regarding meals for nursing home residents. The study was performed in two nursing homes in Oslo in 2010-2011 focusing, respectively, on staff as duty-bearers and residents as rights-holders, and using focus groups, interviews and participant observation. Findings indicate that applying a human rights-based approach in caring for the elderly can enhance the understanding of the causes of poor nutrition among elderly living in institutions. In line with this we discuss challenges and opportunities in Norwegian nursing homes for fulfilling the residents’ right to adequate food. Promoting their human dignity and empowering them to participate so they can better enjoy the mealtimes, can increase the chances for achieving nutritional wellbeing.
The article adopts a human rights perspective on the advent and proliferation of open access publishing models and policy goals, focusing primarily on the human right of everyone to benefit from progress in science and technology. While there is still room for developing more tenable and clear norms and delineating rights and obligations of individuals and states respectively in this regard, it is shown that states have an obligation to ensure the realisation of this right, and that there is a developing understanding of this obligation to include the promotion of open access to scientific knowledge. In an effort to further the discussion on open access publication, concrete examples of implementation of the principles of open access are presented and discussed.