The UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities takes place today, December 3rd. Surprised? I was -and I really should know better as I have a disabled child. Searched on Google and it seems most of you wont know or maybe all the coverage will be out tomorrow. Couldn’t find an international logo – so here’s a UK one.
This UN sanctioned day draws attention to the need for recognition of the rights of disabled people and was inspired by the International Year of the Disabled Person, 1981. Each year the day focuses on something different. 2010 is all about inclusion of disabled people in development.
- Around 10% of the world’s population 650 million people live with a disability
- 80% of all disabled people live in developing nations
- Ninety per cent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, says UNESCO.
- The global literacy rate for adults with disabilities is as low as 3 per cent, and 1 per cent for women with disabilities, according to a 1998 UNDP study.
- In the OECD countries, students with disabilities in higher education remain under-represented, although their numbers are on the increase, says the OECD
The official UN site “UN enable” has lots of information and data and details on which countries have signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities sadly Singapore where I live has not (or I just can’t find confirmation that they have). Why wouldn’t all counties sign it? Only 147 countries have so far signed the Convention – it took the US two years longer than the original group of countries and they still have not ratified either the convention or the optional protocol.
Enabling the world must be worth a little more focus and attention – the slightly dull and uninspiring UN enable website is proof if any more were needed that disability is either not sexy enough or just not a priority. I read with total envy the latest UNAIDS data and was amazed by the progress that has been achieved with drops in new infection rates and overall mortality rates. How was this achieved -by galvanizing research dollars and governments and a blanket commitment to change the HIV and AIDS landscape.
The approximately 650 million disabled people in this world need you to turn your attention to them. Help make a difference today, support a disability charity or program in your community or make a donation to Save the Children or Oxfam or any of the great organizations that work with the disabled around the world.
Finally found some information on activity that took place even in Singapore – last week. For all those who are doing something already – thank you, lets do more.