This would explain why in many countries (59 out of 114), monitoring activities do not include a firm knowledge of the size, scope, prevalence of disability and little knowledge of the programmes being delivered to persons with disabilities.
It goes without saying that when it is not known who is meant to receive services, it cannot be clear whether these services are reaching their intended targets. Additionally, this would make it difficult to construct the appropriate policies and to legislate them.
Is information from monitoring and evaluation used in
Rule 21. Technical & Economic Cooperation All United Nations initiatives, treaties, conventions, are aimed at establishing a universal, shared culture in which the rights of all persons are promoted and the most vulnerable are protected from violations. The signing of such agreements indicates a belief on the part of Member States in the importance of creating such a culture. However, implementing the requirements for compliance with these agreements is an indication of international responsibility that goes beyond verbal commitment to action on the ground.
International cooperation, both at the technical and economic level, is exemplified by giving and receiving assistance, sharing and exchanging expertise and disseminating best practices.
The means to create a world in which all people enjoy the right to live in dignity are available. Through the implementation of the measures identified by the Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the opportunity to create a world free of barriers and obstacles is possible. Country responses show, however, that not many have taken advantage of opportunity presented.
Measures taken to ensure the improvement of living conditions of persons with disabilities
Exchanging information, experience, expertise, best practices
Disseminating or receiving technological cooperation project
Participating in international development cooperation project
Taking part in regional activities ( decades, declarations … etc)
The nature of international cooperation is that it takes place at the macro level, and the presence of technical cooperation in a country does not reveal the magnitude or scope of that cooperation, or to what degree it actually affects persons with disabilities and their organizations. The fact that countries responded positively to many of these measures, does not indicate whether these have impacted change on the ground.
The findings of the survey reveal that bi-lateral cooperation does not often cut across cultural and geographical boundaries to create a global environment where equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities is the ultimate goal. There is a need for governments and disabled persons organizations to recognize that right to equalization of opportunities needs to extend to all persons with disabilities regardless of national identity and political status.
Measures taken to improve the life conditions of immigrants and refugees with disabilities
Protecting vulnerable segments such as women, children
International cooperation and responsibility is a way of upholding the concept of universality upon which all human rights treaties rest. Attention to migrant populations is a real test to the ability of the international community to live up to the commitment they made in becoming party to these agreements.
However, the results have indicated less than satisfactory numbers in this respect where no more that 38 countries out of 114 have included these populations in their programmes and their policies.
End Note This report constitutes the central activity of the Special Rapporteur on Disabilities in monitoring the state of the world in relation to the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. It is by no means the definitive word on the situation of persons with disabilities in the world, however. It has raised as many questions as it has answered. To date it remains the most comprehensive survey on the Standard Rules that has been produced. It has also opened the door to further investigation based on the information gathered here. Based on the analysis of information collected from 114 countries regarding the existence of policies, legislations, programmes, their reach and coverage, awareness raising and the involvement of disabled persons organizations, it is evident that the implementation of the Standard Rules is far from comprehensive. On all the rules, less than 80% of the countries that responded reported having taken one or more measures in implementing the Standard Rules. However, this still leaves 20% of the countries that have implemented no measures. Additionally, there are still 77 countries about which there is no information, despite repeated requests for responses. The next step in the monitoring work of the Special Rapporteur is to seek out the 77 countries and attempt to obtain the information needed in order to complete the global picture that the survey is intended to portray. Furthermore, there is also a need to investigate the gaps that have presented themselves in implementation that appeared in many of the countries.
The findings of this survey as they stand now, however, can prove to be a powerful tool to be used by disabled persons organizations, disability activists and human rights advocates in awareness raising campaigns and advocacy work. Generally speaking, work needs to be done on strengthening awareness raising campaigns and including the media as the conduit for a more positive image of persons with disabilities in society. Sensitizing the media to the issues and rights of persons with disabilities is the first step in beginning to change attitudes and negative stereotypes about disabled persons. In most countries, there is an urgent need to give a stronger voice and firmer presence to the organizations of persons with disabilities and to ensure that these organizations are represented by the persons with disabilities themselves—governments need to recognize that the true experts are people living and dealing with disabilities on a daily basis. Along with the organizations, it is also imperative to involve the families—particularly in dealing with children with disabilities. Parents form another layer of knowledge, experience and expertise that could prove useful to governments in meeting the needs. In order to do this, there must be recognition that disabled persons organizations in many parts of the world lack the resources necessary for their work. Disabled persons organizations from some African and Latin American countries, lacked the meagre funds needed to mail the questionnaire back to the Office of the Special Rapporteur. This should be an unacceptable state of affairs for any government. Disabled persons organizations along with the Special Rapporteur on Disability need to work together to promote the importance and utility of the Standard Rules and the actions and measures specified as guiding tools on what needs to be done to achieve the equalizations of opportunities. And the concept of equalization of opportunities should be disseminated worldwide in such a way that societies understand that it represents a right and not a privilege for persons with disabilities. It is important to note that in a few cases persons with disabilities fared better in reality than was reported by the survey. For example, in countries where no policies, legislations or programmes existed with regard to Medical Care, Support Services and Rehabilitation, persons with disabilities still received those services at a higher rate than was expected. This is an issue that governments need to take note of and establish a more cooperative and supportive relationship with those service providers to ensure more efficient and effective service delivery. In countries where there exists an adversarial relationship between the governments and disabled persons organizations, measures should be taken to give organizations the space, status, and resources they need as well as the value they deserve for their expertise. At the regional and international levels, the importance of cooperation and collaboration, exchange and sharing cannot be overstressed. It is imperative the world, collectively, starts to put more efforts into strengthening and deepening the culture of equalization of opportunities, and creating a world free of all obstacles and barriers to participation. As Special Rapporteur on Disabilities, I believe that the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities is a unique document that can be used as a base for equalization across board and a blue print for participation for all marginalized groups in all societies.