CPA Academy
Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities

Commonwealth Parliamentarians and human rights leaders join workshop to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (CFNHRI) co-hosted a virtual workshop on protecting and promoting disability rights to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021.

The workshop, titled ‘How NHRIs and Parliaments can protect and promote disability rights,’ took place on 2 December 2021 and brought together Commonwealth Parliamentarians, national human rights commissioners, civil society leaders and activists. The focus of discussion was the many opportunities for collaboration between Parliaments and national human rights institutions in the effort to defend disability rights, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Above: Senator Floyd Morris (Jamaica, right) opens the workshop, accompanied by an American Sign Language interpreter.

The CPA works though its Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network to encourage Commonwealth Parliaments and Parliamentarians to enable effective and full participation of persons with disabilities at all levels. The CFNHRI is a member-led network of human rights institutions, ombudsmen, and public defenders. It is working towards a Commonwealth where human rights are respected, protected and enjoyed.

The CPwD Chairperson, Hon. Dennitah Ghati, HSC MP (Kenya), in her opening remarks at the workshop, said:

“Members of Parliament have a responsibility to ensure that draft legislation is in conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have a responsibility to work with National Human Rights Institutions to ensure government decisions comply with international human rights treaties. And we must liaise with civil society organisations to implement relevant laws and legislation to protect disability rights.”

 


Watch | Dimensions of Disabilities in Parliament: A CPwD video series


 

The joint workshop is one of several CPA activities marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The latest edition of The Parliamentarian, the CPA’s Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments, is also dedicated to persons with disabilities. The theme for the edition is ‘the challenges and barriers facing people with disabilities in the Commonwealth.’ It will be launched next week to continue the momentum of discussion and activism on disability issues.

A range of articles will consider the role that Commonwealth Parliaments can play in advancing and supporting people with disabilities. Contributors include Parliamentarians from Kenya, Fiji, Jamaica, Pakistan, Nigeria and Scotland, plus international experts from Microsoft, the Global Disability Hub and the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum. To receive the digital edition of The Parliamentarian straight to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked every year on 3 December. It was established by the United Nations in 1992 to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

-ENDS-

The Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network, within the wider Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, facilitates activities and programmes to champion and increase representation of persons with disabilities in Commonwealth Parliaments and works towards the mainstreaming of disability considerations in all CPA activities and programmes. The network supports elected representatives with disabilities in 180 Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth and ensures that issues of persons with disabilities are brought to the fore in parliamentary debate and legislation.

For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org

Related Resources

CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines - Linguistic Principles

The CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines provide guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on how to enhance and sensitize their communications with persons with disabilities.

CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines - Facilities of Inclusion

The CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines provide guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on how to enhance and sensitize their communications with persons with disabilities.

CPwD Strategic Plan 2021 - 2024

The Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) Strategic Plan 2021 - 2024 sets out the network's mission statement, outcomes, outputs and thematic priorities.

CPwD News

New courses on climate change and accessibility launched
News

New courses on climate change and accessibility launched

New courses on climate change and accessibility for the CPA Parliamentary Academy launched ahead of 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Canada

Diversity in Parliament: Workplace Equality & Diversity Networks
News

Diversity in Parliament: Workplace Equality & Diversity Networks

New CPA publication introduces Workplace Equality & Diversity Networks (WEDNs) and provides examples of their use in Commonwealth Parliaments.

New toolkit supports mental health in parliamentary workplaces
News

New toolkit supports mental health in parliamentary workplaces

The CPA Mental Health Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments provides guidance, advice and education on how to protect and promote the mental health and well-being of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.