More and better information: a global priority for improving lives of persons with disabilities


delays in data disaggregation by disability detrimental to SDG impact
At the closing session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention of the Rights of persons with disabilities (CoSP 10), the representative of the Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the UN delivered a statement signed by 25 countries, which urged the United Nations System to disaggregate data by disability, by adopting the Washington Group short set of questions on disability. The statement warned that failing to do so jeopardizes chances for success of the 2030 Agenda, by making impossible to determine the impact of SDG implementations among large portions of the global population.
This statement highlighted the importance of adequate data collection for the planning and monitoring of policies that are crucial to the main global development agenda, echoing concerns expressed by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in her opening remarks at the same conference.
It can also mark a turning point in the advocacy of persons with disabilities and their organizations for more effective planning of policies and resource allocation, and for more accountability in disability-related public investments. By taking a firm stand in support of data disaggregation, the international community is giving a clear signal of their support so the 2030 Agenda does not become another missed opportunity for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development.

disaggregated data collection is necesary to know whether SDG implementations are benefiting persons with disabilities

The full text of the Statement:

“I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of a group of countries Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Finland, Iceland, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Panama, Poland, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia and my own country New Zealand.
Our countries wish to make three important points:
Firstly, we strongly recommend the Washington Group Short Set of Questions to be used as the tool to disaggregate data by disability, particularly in household surveys and national censuses.
The 2030 Agenda, Sustainable Development Goal 17.18, requires Member States to disaggregate data by disability. The Washington Group Short Set of Questions is an appropriate and broadly tested methodology already in place to disaggregate data by disability.
We urge the United Nations Statistical Division to utilise the Washington Group Short Set of Questions and expeditiously recommend this tool to National Statistical Offices and the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goals Indicators.   Delays in doing so could have detrimental consequences to the implementation process of the SDGs, which will subsequently leave persons with disabilities uncounted and behind.
Secondly, we call for the continued establishment of focal points on persons with disabilities in UN agencies, as well as the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Strategic Plans and reporting and indicator frameworks of UN agencies, in line with both the CRPD and Agenda 2030.
The full and effective implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by State Parties and the UN cannot be achieved if the rights of persons with disabilities are not mainstreamed across the UN system. Despite the commitments contained in the CRPD and more recently, Agenda 2030, we understand that some UN agencies are preparing to scale-down, or have not established, focal points on persons with disabilities. These roles are crucial to mainstreaming disability issues across the Agenda and leaving no-one behind.
 Finally, we wish to commend the COSP Bureau for their leadership in the implementation of Article 4.3 of the CRPD, the full and meaningful participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the preparation and the official programme of this year’s Conference.
We urge Member States to maintain this practice in the future.

2018-03-09 | Re-thinking disability

Progreso hasta hoy: un balance de los 3 primeros años de gestión

A tres años de su designación, Catalina Devandas está comenzando su segundo y último período como Relatora Especial de la ONU sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad. Para conmemorar la ocasión, su equipo elaboró un resumen de lo acontecido hasta el día de hoy, centrándose en las prioridades y estrategias que se establecieron al inicio del mandato, y el progreso realizado.

2018-02-22 | Re-thinking disability

Forced sterilization of young women and girls with disabilities is a crime, and must be eliminated

Protecting their right to decide over their body and sexuality is essential to end the violence, exploitation and abuse against women.

2018-01-29 | Re-thinking disability

Progress so far: an overview of the first 3 years of mandate

Now turning the 3rd year corner, Ms. Devandas is starting her second and final term as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. To mark the occasion, her team produced a summary of these first three first years of mandate, focusing on the priorities and strategies to advance towards them, and the progress made.

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