What We Do > Advocacy

Advocacy

The Pacific Disability Forum advocates for the rights and full inclusion of persons with disabilities to Pacific Island Country governments, UN agencies and other non-government organisations in the Pacific.  

Governments 

The Pacific Disability Forum has sent representatives to high level intergovernmental meetings in the Pacific and Asia Pacific regions.  These include: 

Forum Disability Ministerial Meeting, 3-4 October 2012, Papua New Guinea 

Asia Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction,  22-25 October 2012, Indonesia 

High Level Intergovernmental meeting on the final review of Implementation of Asia and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003 -2012,  29 October - 2 November 2012, South Korea

We have contributed to promoting disability and ensuring disability is included in the outcome statements at these meetings.   At the Pacific Disability Ministerial Meeting and the High Level Intergovernmental meeting on the Final Review of Implementation of Asia and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons the outcome statements specifically deal with disability. At the Asia Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction, disability was prominent in its declarations for the first time. 

The Pacific Disability Forum also works with Pacific Island Country governments to assist them building or improving legislation to be compliant with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  We have worked with these governments to create new legislation and policies for persons with  and modify existing legislation and policies to be compliant with the CRPD.  We work through our member National Disabled People’s Organisations to help them lobby their governments to ratify the CRPD and meet reporting requirements under the convention.  

Regional Organisations

The Pacific Disability Forum works with Pacific regional organisations to ensure the concerns and needs of persons with disabilities are taken into account.  We work with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat through the Strategic Partnerships and Coordination Program.   We have have been instrumental in the development of the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability. You can find out more about the work the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat does with disability on their website.  

Our partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community is mostly carried out through the Regional Rights Resource Team and the Pacific Youth Council.   The Regional Rights Resource Team have been working closely with us in advocating the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Pacific.  The Pacific Youth Council have involved us in their regional meeting to formulate the Regional Youth Strategy, which now includes a disability inclusive element. 

UN Agencies and Regional NGOs

The Pacific Disability Forum is always looking for opportunities to work more closely with UN agencies in Disability Inclusive Development.  In 2013 and 2014 we will be joined by a UN Volunteer who will be leading the Pacific Enable Project.  The volunteer will lead a working group with representatives from the Pacific Disability Forum, the Pacific Islands Forum Secritariat, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organization and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.  This working group will focus on 4 thematic areas of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; legislation, education, employment, and data collection.  This project will focus on producing outcomes in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.  

The volunteer will also work with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to complete this project.  

The activities are targeted to meet existing gaps and to act as catalysers for further work that will be undertaken by governments and/or development partners.  These activities will include assistance with legislative drafting and policy development countries that have ratified, or are about to ratify, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; employment opportunities and building sustainable livelihoods; addressing the lack of reliable data on disability prevalence in the Pacific, and early identification and detection of disabilities.
 
The expected project outcomes are: 

People with disabilities in Fiji and Vanuatu have greater opportunity to secure decent waged and self-employment to achieve a livelihood;

Legislative and policy frameworks are compliant with CRPD and support reduced discrimination against and improved service provision for persons with disabilities;

Improved data, analysis, research and advocacy on disability

Children with developmental delay are detected during the first five years of life and supported with appropriate education services in pilot areas in Vanuatu;

UN and partner agencies’ activities addressing the rights of persons with disabilities are coordinated, supported, monitored and are represented in broader development discourses.