On 30 November 2015, Dr Medjeral-Mills, Executive Director of Disabled People’s Association (DPA) attended a workshop on mainstreaming disability rights in the ASEAN region. The workshop was organised by AGENDA, a regional consortium of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), and election monitoring groups in South-East Asia. Disability organisations from all the ASEAN member countries attended this workshop to discuss the upcoming ASEAN regional development plans 2016-2015, ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together. The attendees discussed cross-cutting issues that affect persons with disabilities across all the three pillars of ASEAN Community Councils. The workshop was also a great way to meet other DPOs in the region who do not usually have a chance to share best practices.
The following day, Dr Medjeral-Mills attended the ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights (AICHR) first Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community with the support of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The event brought together DPOs, social welfare ministries, lawmakers, universities, UN bodies, media practitioners and corporates from ASEAN Member States. The event was also timed to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is celebrated annually on 3rd December.
The dialogue aimed to raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and find common regional approaches and strategies towards mainstreaming these rights across the ASEAN region. Although the dialogue highlighted the challenges of trying to find and agree on such policies, the event was also used to share examples of successful government and corporate policies that promoted inclusion. DPA is grateful to JAIF, AICHR and AGENDA for inviting and funding DPA’s participation in this important dialogue.
See more about the event on the AICHR website.