Sunday, December 18, 2005

Promoting the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities


The United Nations has been elaborating an international convention on the human rights of persons with disabilities. As part of preparation for the future implementation of the envisaged convention, a roundtable discussion will be organized by the United Nations Focal Point on Disability on 11/11/2005.

I was asked by Commissioner, Victor Pineda, to videotape the proceedings for a film he is producing. It was a very impressive gathering of some of the brightest minds involved in the Disability Rights Movement. I was particularly struck by the idea of 'human rights' vs 'civil rights'. As a Native American I am aware of the tragic consequence of the 'civil' law concept which recognizes 'property rights' as the basis of our legal system. With respect to disability, with the emphasis on Human Rights -- rather than Civil Rights makes an enormous difference. I believe that this approach as taken by the United Nations will make a positive contribution to the movement here in the United States. I will provide updates when they are available as to the progress this effort makes in the years ahead.

Berkeley Panel Discussion

The Panel discussion will take place in close cooperation with internationally reputed disability and human rights organizations, such as the World Institute on Disability (WID), The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund(DREDF), the Human Rights Advocate, and renowned international experts in disability studies.

The Panel will discuss the following:

- The role of International and national law in promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities

- “ Law As A Tool for Social Change” Implications for persons with disabilities in both developed and developing countries

- Lessons form the Disability Rights Movements at local, national and international levels

- Emerging Disability Rights Discourse:

Cross-cultural Dialogue and Development

- Future Disability Rights Movement

Location: 2240 Piedmont Ave.
JSP Building,
Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley Campus


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