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An opportunity for disability inclusion among WHO non-state actors

Child in wheelchair working with other non-disabled children in a school
© Tobias Planz / CBM
Inclusive education in Tanzania

As the World Health Organisation (WHO) conducts a consultation on reforms in its engagement with non-state actors. The World Blind Union (WBU) calls on the WHO to insure compliance with the principles and standards of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) among non-state actors.

The WHO reviews its engagement with non-state actors

The World Health Organisation is currently reviewing its principles and policies regarding its engagement with non-State actors. From 6 March 2013 to 20 March 2013, the World Health Organisation has opened public web-based consultations, requesting imput from interested parties to comments on the issues and questions related to the WHO’s engagement with non-State actors.

In a submission to the WHO review, Dr Victor Cordeiro, the World Blind Union's Advocacy Coordinator responded by outlining some important opportunities that this presents to promote disability inclusion among non-state actors.

An opportunity for disability inclusion

As the WHO reviews its engagement with non-state actors, an opportunity arrises to review the principles and practices that it comes to expect from its partners.  Dr Cordeiro therefore identifies this moment as an opportunity for the WHO to demand that its non-state partners act in a manner that is in compliance with the principles and standards outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

All the actions and processes of engagement of non-state actors should be inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities, particularly those who are blind/partially sighted. The material should be provided in Braille, Large Print, electronic text or in accessible format. The proceedings should be completely accessible and should enable the active participation of blind/partially sighted persons in the consultation process without barrier.

By creating partnerships with institutions which reflect the principles and standards of the UNCRPD, the WHO will take an active role in mainstreaming disability inclusion in development. This will insure that non-state actors involved in the production, distribution and health care services are actively engaged in creating programmes that include persons with disabilities and hence actively promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.

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