The forum took place in the context of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Among other human rights concerns, statistics show that around fifty per cent of persons with disabilities cannot afford appropriate health care; and they are more likely to be unemployed than persons without disabilities. Persons with disabilities have, on average, worse living conditions and less participation rates in public affairs than other groups.
Realizing the right to development of persons with disabilities requires the adoption of a human rights-based approach to disability which respects their active, free and meaningful participation in development, the fair distribution of resulting benefits, and their inclusion in society on an equal basis with others. States parties to the CRPD have agreed to cooperate internationally, including through making development cooperation inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities (Article 32 CRPD). The Social Forum provided an inclusive platform to continue moving the international human rights agenda in that direction.
In closing, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights underlined the need to move beyond abstract expertise even as the need for more research and knowledge management with respect to the lived experience of persons with disabilities became apparent. Civil society must be empowered in order to hold the duty bearers and other actors accountable; "The movement of persons with disabilities demonstrated that human life is precious and everyone is entitled to human dignity
", he expressed.
To view the full report of the 2016 Social Forum sessions, and a summary of conclusions and recommendations that emmanated from them, follow this link.