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
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
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.
Vice Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum