Category Archives: Rights of Persons with Disabilities

ACCESS TO BUILD ENVIRONMENT AT UNIVERSITY OF MORATUWA

The Disability Organisations’ Joint Front is implementing a project to make awareness in Universities on “Access to build environment for persons with diverse disabilities”. Mr. Cyril Siriwardane from the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front and Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Executive Committee Member of the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front conducted this programme at University of Moratuwa in June 2016. The target group was engineering and architecture students. It is very important to educate these target groups on accessibility because they are the people who will be designing and constructing buildings in the future. The enthusiastic bunch of student’s demonstrated models made by them on accessibility. It is very important that the University must have accessibility facilities because even the resource persons did not have access to reach the hall in which the programme was conducted.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique and Mr. Siriwardane conducting the programme.

manique and cyril

2 Manique conducting the session with the audience.

manique making presentation with audience

3 Manique with the participants.

manique with participants

 

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

 

 

CONFERENCE OF STATE PARTIES TO CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF THE ADOPTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION OF RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

It was a great moment for all persons with disabilities around the world when everyone got together at the Conference of State Parties to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities and for the General Assembly of the CRPD at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York, USA in June 2016. Ms. Manique Gunaratne from South Asian Disability Forum and The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Mr. Santhush Peris from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability participated at this high level conference. This year’s theme was “Implementing the 2030 development agenda for all persons with disabilities: Leaving no one behind”. The Sub-themes were:

  • Eliminating poverty and inequality for all persons with disabilities
  • Promoting the rights of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities
  • Enhancing accessibility to information and technology and inclusive development
  • Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD
  • Elections for nine members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was held to replace those whose terms are due to expire in December 2016. Election of 9 members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities under article 34 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

There were more than 72 side events to discuss rights of persons with disabilities.

Civil Society Forum was held prior to the COSP with the theme of Leave No One Behind: the role of DPOs in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne made a presentation on “How networks of women with disabilities from South Asia and from the African region lead to the World Humanitarian Summit” at the side event on Global Meeting: “Implementation of Global Development and Humanitarian Goals – the Leadership Role of Women with Disabilities” Organised by UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs (DESA)

Co-sponsored by WRC, IDA, UN Women, Women Enabled. This meeting provided an opportunity for networks of women with disabilities, Member States and other key stakeholders to engage in substantive dialogue around the leadership of women with disabilities and their representative organizations in advancing global development and humanitarian goals.

The meeting build upon the initiatives of partners at the Commission on the Status of Women and the World Humanitarian Summit.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Disabled People’s International and International Foundation for Electoral Systems organized a side event on

How regional collaboration can lead to more effective implementation of political rights of persons with disabilities in the 2030 development agenda.

“Working to improve our own future: Strengthening networks of women with disabilities in humanitarian action” was organized by Women’s Refugee Commission, UN Women; Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations; Network of African Women with Disabilities; South Asian Disability Forum. This Side Event explored the intersections between gender and disability in humanitarian contexts, highlighting the importance of including

Women and girls with disabilities affected by crisis and conflict in the implementation of the 2030 development agenda. Furthermore, organizations of women

With disabilities can play a critical role in reaching women and girls with disabilities affected by crisis and conflict, bridging the development – humanitarian, Divide in an emergency, and strengthening community resilience in situations of protracted crisis. Ms. Manique Gunaratne explained how women with disabilities in Sri Lanka effected from the war was included into the society.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique, Abia (Pakistan) and Pratheema (Nepal) at the closing ceremony of the COSP.

u n h q closing manique abia pratheema

2 Manique, Arosh and Pratheema at the main hall on the final day.

u n h q day 2 main hall manique arosh pratheema

3 Manique with Mijoo and Posan from Korea.

u n h q day 3 manique miju posan

4 Manique at the main conference hall waiting to deliver a statement.u n h q day 3 statement delivering

5 Manique, Jane (Kenya) and Santhush at UN entrance.

u n h q gate manique jane santhush

6 Manique at the side event on leaving no one behind.

u n h q leaving no one behind manique

7 Manique, Arosh and Lakmal.

u n h q manique arosh lakmal

8 Manique and Arosh with the painting donated by Sri Lanka to UN.

u n h q manique arosh sl painting

9 Manique in the main hall at the General assembly.

u n h q manique general assembly

10 Manique near the golden globe.

u n h q manique golden globe

11 Manique and Santhush with the Sri Lankan flag.

u n h q manique santhush un sl flag

12 Manique signing in the UN guest book.

13 Manique and Tungi (Tanzania) at the opening ceremony.

u n h q manique tungi opening ceramony

14 Manique at the side event for women with disabilities organized by the Korean deligation.

u n h q political side event audience

15 Side event organized by the Permanent Mission for Sri Lanka to the UN.

u n h q wwd wrc manique santhush audience

16 Manique and Athif (Pakistan) at the political participation side event.

u n h q political side event manique athif

17 Manique and Dr. Rohan Perera (Representive of the Permanent Mission for Sri Lanka to the UN).

u n h q political side event manique rohan

18 Manique with Senerath Aththanayake (provincial council MP Sri Lanka) and Niluka from the Sri Lankan Embassy in US.

u n h q political side event manique senarath niluka

19 Manique presenting at the women with disabilities side event.

u n h q wwd side event manique presenting

20 Manique presenting at the Women Refugee Commission side event for women with disabilities.

u n h q manique wwd korea side event

 

21 Manique and Santhush at a side event.u n h q wwd wrc manique presentation

 

Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya,

Sri Lanka.

 

Stakeholder Consultation on Policies to Improve Inclusive Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Stakeholder Consultation on Policies to Improve Inclusive Opportunities for People with Disabilities

 

In October 2013 Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability was invited for a Stakeholder Consultation on Policies to Improve Inclusive Opportunities for People with Disabilities (focusing on the work of local government and the fields of vocational training/skills development and health and rehabilitation) Organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development and the support of The World Bank at TajSamudra Hotel.

 

ManiqueGunaratne

National Campaigner for Rights of Women with Disabilities – Raising Our Voices for Us

Human rights commission sri lanka includes persons with disabilities in analyzing the draft bill

Human rights commission sri lanka includes persons with disabilities in analyzing the draft bill

 

Moving forward from the consultation on the “Disability Bill” held in February at the  Human Rights Commission Sri Lanka, they plan to proceed with a series of consultations with a group of disabled persons and legal experts in order to analysing the final draft bill , to issue recommendations to the government on the same in keeping with HRCSL’s mandated functions. However, HRCSL is embarking on this consultation process in order to make these recommendations based on a consultative process.

To make recommendations to the Government to ensure that national laws & admin practices are in accordance with international HR norms & practices.

To make recommendations to the Government, on the need to subscribe or accede to treaties/international instruments in HR.

For this purpose, HRCSL held the initial meeting of this consultative process in April 2016    at the Human Rights Commission. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability participated at this forum.

 

Picture description:

1 discussion with the commissioner.

discussion with the commissioner

2 At the discussion.

Human Right are meeting of the cfd

 

(Honoured, Deshabandu) Ms. H.K. ManiqueGunaratne

Children with disabilities perform at the beyond the ability concert

Children with disabilities perform at the beyond the ability concert

 

Global Community Development Program (Incoming), AIESEC Colombo Central (AIESEC in University of Colombo), AIESEC in Sri Lanka organized “Beyond the Ability” concert at New Arts Theatre in University of Colombo. The university students organized this programme as a full day programme for children with disabilities at University of Colombo in March 2016. Children with disabilities enjoyed the morning with the university students playing and other activities where these children thoroughly enjoyed. Evening was their performances. Ms. Miranda Hemalatha trained all the children who performed at the “Beyond the Ability” concert. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was the chief guest at this event. The programme was sponsored by Glitz. The people in the audience were really amazed by the performances of these children with intellectual disabilities.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Lighting of the oil lamp.

lighting the oil lamp

2 Chief guest’s speech by Manique

speach

3 Children with disabilities performing.

IMG_8282

4 Talented young children performing.

IMG_8281

5 Dances by the children.

IMG_8285

6 Group performances.

IMG_8283

 

ManiqueGunaratne

E-mail – manique.g@gmail.com    efc.ict.vip@gmail.com

Human rights commission of sri lanka convened a meeting on civil society to discuss the implementation of united nations convention of rights of persons with disabilities

Human rights commission of sri lanka convened a meeting on civil society to discuss the implementation of united nations convention of rights of persons with disabilities

 

Since the government of Sri Lanka has ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 8 February 2016, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in line with the powers rested in the commission as per sections 10C and 10D of the of the Human Rights Commission Act no. 21 of 1966, convened a meeting to discuss the establishment of a mechanism for the implementation of the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities through the enactment of enabling national legislations and policies adhering to international standards at the Human Rights Commission in February 2016. In this regard the Human Rights Commission shared a background paper on the issue which set out the current context including the status of advocacy efforts with those from the disable community, persons and organizations working for persons with disabilities or disability issues and academics and professionals who have been working on disability rights. This consultative forum was to discuss advocacy efforts and moving forward with stakeholders including persons with disabilities, organisations / individuals who works on disability rights or persons with disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability participated at this forum.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

Dialogue on Electoral Reforms for persons with disabilities

Dialogue on Electoral Reforms for persons with disabilities

 

The Government is in the process of developing a new constitution. The Prime Minister with the approval of the cabinet has appointed a 20 member Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reforms for the purpose of obtaining proposals from the public for the proposed constitutional reforms.

Paffrel has launched a series of dialogues with representatives of various sectors in creating a platform for them to discuss, identify their issues and prepare proposals with regard to the electoral process. A dialogue was held in February 2016 at the auditorium of Helpage with the participation of persons with disability drawn from different groups. At the end of the event a draft set of proposals was developed. This document will be finalized and a committee appointed by the participants will hand it over to the PRC in March 2016.

Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability is also involved in this process.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Participants

ER-EU PWDs 41

2 Participants.

ER-EU PWDs 18

ManiqueGunaratne

Co-ordinator – ASSET (Advancing Special Skills for Economic Transformation) Project

Community based inclusive development

Community based inclusive development

 

The “South Asian Disability Forum Strategic Planning Workshop” and executive committee meeting of the South Asian Disability Forum was held in November 2013 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Ms. Maniquegunaratne is the Vice President of the South Asian Disability Forum. It was held at Hotel Margala, Islamabad, organized by the Ministry of Law & Justice and Human Rights of Pakistan, the UNESCO Islamabad, the South Asian Disability Forum (SADF) and the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), the CHEF International and the British Council Pakistan.

The objective of the “SADF Strategic Planning Workshop” was to formulate a three (3)-year action plan for SADF encompassing activities to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in South Asia.

The other programme was the “Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities on Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID)” at Margala Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan. Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socio-economic

Outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, worse health conditions, less employment opportunities, and higher poverty rates. Poverty may increase the risk of disability through malnutrition, inadequate access to education and health care, unsafe working conditions, polluted environment, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation. Disability may increase the risk of poverty, through lack of employment, lower wages, and increased cost of living with a disability. Keeping in view above situation, “Leadership

Conference of Persons with Disabilities on Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID)” was organized by the Ministry of Law & Justice and Human Rights of Pakistan, the UNESCO Islamabad, the WHO Pakistan, the CBID Network Pakistan and the South Asian Disability Forum (SADF) in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), CBM, the CHEF International and the British Council Pakistan.

The aim of the Conference was to promote the leadership of people with disabilities in the context of Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID) in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, Asia Pacific and Eastern Mediterranean region.

The following areas were covered at the conference.

Legislative framework on disability.

Community based inclusive development practices in other countries.

Community based inclusive disaster risk reduction.

Community based inclusive education initiatives.

Ms. Maniquegunaratne represented Sri Lanka at this conference.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph of the participants.group photo

2 Panel discussion.panel discussion

 

ManiqueGunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials)

Including the voice of people with disabilities in public consultations on constitutional and electoral reforms

Including the voice of people with disabilities in public consultations on constitutional and electoral reforms

Enabled Elections Coalition, together with the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), organised an advocacy
Meeting that will bring together organizations, interest groups and individuals engaged in disability
Rights and inclusion at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in February 2016. The aim of this advocacy meeting was to mobilize disability rights stakeholders to ensure that the new constitution and related electoral reforms uphold the rights of Persons with Disabilities, recognize Persons with Disabilities as equal citizens, and promote the political engagement of Persons with Disabilities as voters and elected leaders.
CMEV was a Co-Convener and facilitator of the 2015 island-wide campaign ‘Enabled Elections’, which
Was spearheaded in tandem with the General Elections. This short but focused campaign was able to
Mobilize Persons with Disabilities to exercise their vote and seek accessibility provisions where
Needed. The campaign’s primary goal was to increase voter turnout of Persons with Disabilities by
Creating awareness about the circular number PE 164/2015 issued by the Commissioner of Elections
In May 2015. This Circular advised all the Assistant Commissioners to ensure that ‘reasonable access’
Is provided for voters living with a disability. The ‘Enabled Elections’ campaign was a 􀏐first in sensitizing
All citizens of Sri Lanka about the political rights and access to polling stations for People With
Disabilities.
Similarly, IFES has worked on programs across South Asia and worldwide to empower Persons With
Disabilities and civil society organizations to advocate for their electoral and political rights in keeping
With the international standards laid out in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With
Disabilities.
CMEV, IFES and other groups believe that the constitutional and electoral reform process provides a
Critical opportunity for individuals and groups to collectively advocate for disability inclusive policies.
The purpose of the advocacy meeting was to discuss strategies on including
The voices of Persons with Disabilities in the new constitution drafting process in the country.
Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability participated for this discussion to promote rights of persons with disabilities for the drafting of the new constitution.

Picture descriptions:

1 Group of participants.group of participants
2 Pannalists at the discussion.panel discussion
3 Participants at the programme.participants

Manique Gunaratne
Vice Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum

Sri lanka ratify the united nations convention on rights of persons with disabilities (uncrpd)

Sri lanka ratify the united nations convention on rights of persons with disabilities (uncrpd)

 

It was a really happy moment for all persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka when the good news of ratification of the United Nations Convention on rights of Persons with Disabilities was heard.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an instrument that assists Governments of member states to bring about the change required in society and within the country to accept persons with disabilities as citizens with equal rights.

Sri Lanka signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities in March 2007. After a period of 8 years Cabinet approval was sought for and obtained last year.

The purpose of this comprehensive and integral international convention is to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.  Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD[i]. The then Minister of Social Services was at the UN Headquarters in New York on 30th March 2007, the day it was open for signature.  With its signature Sri Lanka agreed “to refrain in good faith from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty”.

The delay has kept Sri Lankans with disabilities waiting too long on the fringes of Society. Ratification and implementation of the CRPD will pave the way for the upliftment of their quality of life; it will move them away from vulnerability and marginalization to the mainstream of development and to a better life with a brighter future.

After 9 long years of great work of advocacy and lobbying by persons with disabilities, disable people’s organisations, civil society and all parties concerned, on 8th February 2016 Sri Lanka ratified the UNCRPD.

 

ManiqueGunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Asian blind Union

[i]     UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150