For a longer version of this article, read the blog Linking Country and Global Advocacy in Support of Disability Rights: Indonesia and Togo.
The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, the International Disability Alliance, and others, including CBM compiled a report on the participation of organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in the national implementation review process of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The document titled Case Study on the Engagement of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) in Voluntary National Reviews showcases the national-level DPO work carried out in different regions as well as best practices and challenges, and includes background information on persons with disabilities in each country. This case study features the volunteering countries of Argentina, Bangladesh, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Sweden, and Togo.
CBM was particularly involved in the work carried out in Indonesia and Togo. The CBM country offices in these countries particularly worked with the respective national DPOs to ensure that reports were inclusive of persons with disabilities. The following information is taken from surveys developed by CBM, the International Disability Alliance, and the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, as well as directly shared by CBM colleagues in Indonesia and Togo.
The international support and dissemination of information from the global level at the United Nations in New York encouraged local DPOs to better understand and get involved in the VNR process and to increase awareness of the SDGs at the local level for local DPOs. These provided advocacy opportunities for OHANA, a DPO and CBM partner, and other local DPOs to engage in the disability rights movement from the grassroots level. As a concrete outcome from this, persons with disabilities are mentioned once in the main messages report and twice in the full VNR report. Recommendations from persons with disabilities to the national government are:
- Indonesia ratified the CRPD and has formalized the national law 8/2016 on persons with disabilities, therefore it is critical that persons with disabilities are meaningfully included in national SDG implementation.
- Disaggregation of data by persons with disabilities needs to be a priority for the government to implement development programs inclusive of persons with disabilities and to make the rights real for persons with disabilities in line with the SDGs and the CRPD.
- The Guideline Budget on the perspective of the rights of persons with disabilities that the National Planning and Development Agency (BAPPENAS) published is the strategic national development tool to articulate the SDGs and disability rights implementation in Indonesia.
- A strong political commitment from the Indonesian Government is needed to implement the SDGs in line with the CRPD.
- The participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations are urgently needed to address disability rights in development and to have equal rights and opportunities.
- The government needs to adapt the 2013 policy curriculum for general education for SLB, especially part B to not discriminate or measure the ability of Deaf students and to provide training for Deaf teachers.
Togo is an interesting case as it is the only country to have volunteered to review three years in a row (2016, 2017, and forthcoming in 2018). The CBM office in Togo was instrumental in supporting the umbrella DPO – Fédération Togolaise des Associations de Personnes Handicapées (FETAPH) – in Togo to participate in the VNR consultation process. As an outcome of advocacy efforts at the national level, the government of Togo referenced persons with disabilities three times in the 2017 VNR.
Overall, FETAPH recommends to the government of Togo to:
- adopt the national law related to the protection of persons with disabilities and its enforcement decrees
- the establishment of inclusive education in Togo, and
- the inclusion of persons with disabilities into national statistics.
In closing, the linking of global processes and national realities is an area of strength for CBM. The two aforementioned examples of Indonesia and Togo in the 2017 VNR process highlight the importance of disseminating information, creating synergies, and raising awareness between global and national processes to truly leave no one behind.