Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs, spearheaded by H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, announced before a group of more than 150 first ladies and dignitaries a new global initiative to raise awareness and break the development gap among people with physical and intellectual disabilities, in New York, yesterday.
The Shafallah Global Disability Rights, Education and Awareness Initiative will build a cohesive team of prominent women to serve as messengers to every corner of the globe.
The Initiative, a multi-pronged human rights awareness and education campaign designed to further understanding of the rights and needs of people with disabilities throughout the world, grew out of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), passed in 2007. This groundbreaking Convention has set records in UN history with its quick passage and overwhelming support of persons with disabilities. So far 142 countries have signed on board.
Headed by the Chairman of the Shafallah Center, Hassan Ali Bin Ali, and Co-Chaired by Cherie Blair, the Initiative will gather first ladies from around the world to highlight the contributions persons with disabilities can make to society.
The Shafallah Initiative will also work at the grassroots level, conducting human rights educational training based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Using participatory methods, the Initiative will focus on supporting the efforts of disabled persons in self advocacy to work to change law and policy, and to support individual empowerment and improve access to employment.
“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability is a new treaty and the process of interpreting its provisions and how they can best be implemented is just the beginning,” said Ali bin Ali. “In order to aid this process, the Initiative will focus on the development of human rights learning material based on the Convention, with language translations and accessible formats. It will also focus on Community Development to promote the implementation of specific obligations of the Convention such as law reform, employment, education and sport and recreation.”
“The driving force behind this Initiative will be the support and participation of First Ladies of the world,” said Blair. The Initiative will enhance the role that Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs has already established.
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