Disability Rights: Transforming Obligation Into Action Plan

28 January 2019

The 4th Regional Disability Rights Dialogue took place in Yangon on Monday in the presence of Vice President U Henry Van Thio. 

This is the 4th regional dialogue organized by the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) network in cooperation with the Union Election Commission (UEC) and the international foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) on the political participation of persons with disabilities and the first dialogue in Myanmar. The regional disability rights dialogue focused on the implementation of the new disability rights policy for Southeast Asia and to realize the ASEAN Enabling Master plan.

Inclusion Advisor, International Foundation for Electoral Systems,  Virginia Atkinson said "So, I think the master plan is actually very clearly lay out step can be taken for government and civil society to coordinate better so we are hoping that at the end of the conference after two days, government and civil society will work together to the different dialogue here and have a way forwards coordinating implementation the national level so master plan is very prescriptive in the language that there so now we decide make sure that does not a work and that is implemented.”

The dialogue also included sessions on intersectional barriers to equal access for persons with disabilities, raising awareness of disability rights, inclusive legal framework and building support networks.

Chairman, ASEAN Disability Forum (Singapore), Lim Puay Tiak said “Today's workshop is an excellent opportunity for regional DPO and NGOs to get together to talk about the human rights of person with disability not only in ASEAN but also in whole Asia Pacific and world arena” …“we will be able to go and visit in this various ten ASEAN countries and find out the progress how we can help to increase the capacity and capability of DPO so that the voice can be heard within the region.”

This dialogue brought together disability rights advocates and experts with election officials to share good practices on political participation of persons with disabilities.

Member, AGENDA, Nay Lin Soe said “This dialogue was also on election for persons with disabilities. We can find out and compare with regional countries to learn more about the regional plan in cooperation with government institutions and civil societies.”

There are 90 million persons with disabilities in ASEAN – in Myanmar alone, 25% of the population is persons with disabilities. 

President, Shwe Min Thar Foundation, Myat Thu Win said “We have National Committee, Law and By-law for persons with disabilities. But, we need to go together with other ASEAN states and master plan is very important. We are looking forward to how we can implement the master plan recommendations and monitor the reports.”

The ASEAN Enabling master plan 2025; mainstreaming the rights of person with disabilities builds on the region’s commitments to create a barrier free community.