Disability Rights Advocacy Fund


Bridging Movements

DRAF grants in this area aim to:

  • Increase the voice and presence of people with disabilities within other international rights movements;
  • Enhance information available about persons with disabilities in these movements, including among funders of these movements; and
  • Promote collaboration between movements towards the rights of all.

In 2012, DRAF made its first grant in this area to the International Disability Alliance to:

1)   Promote the human rights of indigenous persons with disabilities by raising awareness of their situation within both the indigenous community and the disability community, and

2)   Mainstream the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities in the UN mechanisms that deal with indigenous persons and with persons with disabilities. The project has included the drafting of a UNPF Study on situation of indigenous persons with disabilities, which was officially presented at the May 2013 UNPFII session.

Bridging the Indigenous and Disability Rights Movements

Both the international Indigenous Peoples rights and the international disability rights movements have made tremendous strides in the last decade.  In 2006, the General Assembly adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which entered into force in 2008. In 2007, the General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Both UNDRIP and the CRPD include rights protections for indigenous persons with disabilities, however, neither movements have substantively addressed these persons.

Over 1 billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, have disabilities. While no global data exists regarding indigenous persons with disabilities, available statistics show that indigenous peoples are disproportionately more likely to experience disability in comparison to the general population.

Indigenous persons with disabilities experience multiple layers of discrimination and face barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights, based on their indigenous status and also on their disability status.

Setareki Macanawai, CEO of the Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji, speaks at the opening of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 12th Session, May 2013. The video is linked from the UN website and does not have subtitles.

Photo Gallery of the UNPFII, May 2013 (photos by Andy Isaacson)


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