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The UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted on the 13th of Dec 2006 and it sets international human rights standards for people with disabilities. It aims to enable the 650 million people with disabilities in the world to access existing human rights. For example, the Convention covers areas such as the rights to life, access to justice, to personal mobility, to health, to education and to work.
Whilst the Convention does not give people with disabilities new rights it will set international human rights standards across the world ensuring people with disabilities enjoy the same human rights as everyone else.
Since April 2007 we at the CMPHR have been working with children from 55 schools in Karachi to:
Raise awareness about people with disabilities in our society and the problems they face in their day to day lives.
Campaign for better facilities and access for people with disabilities in public places
Collect signatures on a petition to urge the government of Pakistan to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. The children eventually collected 75,000 signatures and handed the petition over to the Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education, Nawabzada Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti on May 27th, 2008. He was asked to take on the responsibility of passing this petition on to the Prime Minister which he kindly accepted.
The following seven organisations collaborated with CMPHR in support of this campaign: AURA, Ida Rieu, Special Olympics, IBP, SYC, KVTC and JS Academy for the Deaf.
On the 25th of September, 2008 Pakistan became the 135th country to sign the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This marked a momentous occasion for the 7 organisations and the children who had been collaborating with the Children’s Museum for Peace and Human Rights (CMPHR).
The signing of the convention by the government of Pakistan is significant for two reasons:
By signing the Convention, the government of Pakistan has shown its support for the principles included in the Convention which are to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities. Pakistan is now one step closer to ratifying the Convention after which the country will accept its legal obligations under the treaty and will adopt implementing legalisation.
It symbolises the joining of hands of children with and without special needs, and their relentless campaigning effort, which has taken Pakistan a step forward on the issue of human rights. They have succeeded in creating a positive change and are a source of pride and hope for us all in these difficult times.
Please join us in now carrying on the second stage of this campaign to try to now get Pakistan to ratify the UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities. To ratify the Convention would mean that the government of Pakistan would be under legal obligation to comply with the principles stated in the UN Convention.
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