World Federation of the Deaf
|World Federation of the Deaf|
|Purpose/focus||Human, Civil, and Linguistic rights of Deaf people.|
|Location||Light House, Ilkantie 4
Haaga, Helsinki, Finland
|Vice President||Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen|
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) is an international non-governmental organization that acts as a peak body for national associations of Deaf people, with a focus on Deaf people who use sign language and their family and friends. WFD aims to promote the Human Rights of Deaf people worldwide, by working closely with the United Nations (with which it has consultative status) and various UN agencies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). WFD is also a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).
WFD has B-category status with the United Nations and is represented on the following groups:
- Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
- Regional Commissions
- Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
- Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
- Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
- Economic Commission and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
- Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
- Panel of Experts on the UN Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- International Labor Organization (ILO)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Bank
- Council of Europe
WFD provides expert advice on Deaf issues in its relationship with other international organisations and professional groups.
The legal seat of WFD is in Helsinki, Finland.
Aims and objectives
At present, emphasis is placed on the following areas:
- Improve the status of national sign languages,
- Better education for Deaf people,
- Improve access to information and services
- Improve human rights for Deaf people in developing countries
- Promote the establishment of Deaf organisations where none currently exist
The WFD claims to represent 70 million deaf people worldwide, of which more than 80 percent live in developing countries. This is done mainly through membership of national deaf organisations, where such organisations exist. As of February 2009[update], 130 national associations are members. Associate members, international members and individual members also make up WFD’s membership base.
The WFD was established in September 1951 in Rome, Italy, at the first World Deaf Congress, under the auspices of Ente Nazionale Sordomuti (ENS), the Italian Deaf Association. The first president of WFD was Professor Vittorio Ieralla, who was also, at that time, president of the ENS. The congress was attended by representatives from 25 countries.
The World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf has been held every four years since 1951. Organised by the WFD and the host country, this event is attended by thousands of Deaf people from all over the world. As well as convening the General Assembly (the highest decision-making body of the WFD) and forming the guidelines for the next four years of its work, the congress holds a large cultural program including theatre performances, cinema, exhibitions, performing arts, visits to local places of interest.
|1 (I)||1951||September 21||Rome, Italy||(no theme)|
|2 (II)||1955||Zagreb, Yugoslavia||(no theme)|
|3 (III)||1959||August 22 - 26||Wiesbaden, Federal Republic of Germany||(no theme)|
|4 (IV)||1963||August 17 - 21||Stockholm, Sweden||(no theme)|
|5 (V)||1967||August 10 - 17||Warsaw, Poland||The Deaf Among Hearing Persons|
|6 (VI)||1971||July 31 - August 5||Paris, France||The Deaf Person in the World in Evolution|
|7 (VII)||1975||July 31 - August 8||Washington, D.C., United States of America||Full Citizenship for All Deaf People|
|8 (VIII)||1979||Varna, Bulgaria||The Deaf People in Modern Society|
|9 (IX)||1983||Palermo, Italy||Deafness Today & Tomorrow: Reality & Utopia|
|10 (X)||1987||July 20 - 28||Espoo (Helsinki), Finland||One World - One Responsibility|
|11 (XI)||1991||July||Tokyo, Japan||Equality and Self-Reliance|
|12 (XII)||1995||July 6 -15||Vienna, Austria||Towards Human Rights|
|13 (XIII)||1999||July 25 - 31||Brisbane, Australia||Diversity and Unity|
|14 (XIV)||2003||July 18 - 26||Montréal, Canada||Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century|
|15 (XV)||2007||July 16 - 22||Madrid, Spain||Human Rights through Sign Languages|
|16 (XVI)||2011||July 18 - 24||Durban, South Africa||Global Deaf Renaissance (http://www.wfd2011.com/)|
|17 (XVII)||2015||TBD||Istanbul, Turkey||TBD (http://www.wfd2011.com/files/Bidding_Guidelines.pdf)|
- "FAQ". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "World federation of the Deaf's entry on the website of the United Nations". Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- "Mission and objectives". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Fact Sheet". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Policy – Education rights for Deaf children". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Policy – Work Done by Member Organisations in Developing Countries". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Policy – WFD Work in Developing Countries". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "World Congress". World Federation of the Deaf. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "XVII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf 2015 Bidding Guidelines". World Federation of the Deaf. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2010.