United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been celebrated with varying degrees of success around the planet. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. It was originally called "International Day of Disabled Persons".[1] Each year the day focuses on a different issue.

History[edit]

The International Year of Disabled Persons 1981[edit]

In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons.[2] It called for a plan of action at the national, regional and international levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities.

The theme of IYDP was "full participation and equality", defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development.

United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons 1983-1992[edit]

To provide a time frame during which Governments and organizations could implement the activities recommended in the World Programme of Action, the General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.[3]

Themes from previous years[edit]

  • 1998: "Arts, Culture and Independent Living"
  • 1999: "Accessibility for all for the new Millennium"
  • 2000: "Making information technologies work for all"
  • 2001: "Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome"
  • 2002: "Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods"
  • 2003: "A Voice of our Own"
  • 2004: "Nothing About Us Without Us"
  • 2005: "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development"
  • 2006: "E-Accessibility"
  • 2007: "Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities"
  • 2008: "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us"
  • 2009: "Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world"
  • 2010: "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond" [4]
  • 2011: "Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development"[5]
  • 2012: "Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all"[6][7]
  • 2013: "Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all"[8]
  • 2014: "Sustainable development: The promise of technology"[9]

On the 2012 International Day of People with Disability, the United Kingdom government introduced mandatory work for disabled people who received welfare benefits in order to "Improve disabled peoples chances of getting work by mandatory employment". The founder of the Susan Archibald Centre stated that the mandatory employment of people with disabilities is a breach of article 27/2 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.[10] The Guardian noted that from this United Nations appointed day onwards people with disabilities and illnesses ranging from cancer to paralysis to mental health may be forced by the U.K government to work for free or else they can risk being stripped of up to 70% of their welfare benefits.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "International Day of Persons with Disabilities". Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "The International Year of Disabled Persons 1981". UN. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons 1983-1992". UN Enable. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December 2010". UN Enable. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Theme for 2011: Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development". UN Enable. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "UN Enable - International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2012". UN Enable. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "International Day of People with Disabilities: How inclusive and accessible is our society?". Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  8. ^ International Day of People with Disabilities, 3 December 2013
  9. ^ International Day of People with Disabilities, 3 December 2014
  10. ^ Susan Archibald [1], "Happy International Day for People with Disabilities or Is It?" Sunday Mail, 3 December 2012 [2]
  11. ^ "Sick and disabled braced for enforced work-for-benefits programme", Shiv Malik, The Guardian, 30 November 2012 [3]

External links[edit]