Sightsavers, a UK based International NGO, has called on Bangladesh government and the United Nations (UN) to vote for better diversity of representation on the committee that oversees the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Sightsavers was joined by eight grassroots organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) for this cause.
In this context, Sightsavers has submitted an official letter requesting the relevant government offices for building an #EqualUN through supporting diversity of representation in the upcoming elections for the United Nations Disability Committee taking place in December 2020 at the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD in New York.
The letters were officially sent to the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of planning, ministry of women and children affairs, National Human Rights Commission, Planning Commission, Prime Minister’s Office’s SDGs Affairs Wing and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office by Sightsavers.
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is composed of eighteen members, nine of whom are elected every two years for a four-year term.
Sightsavers and the OPDs are calling for 50:50 gender representations along with disability group representation. It is essential that the Committee can properly review and address the issues facing all people with disabilities, giving due regard to gender inequality, people living in extreme poverty and people with different types of disability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced inequality and deepened exclusion of people with disabilities globally, particularly women and girls, 80 percent of whom live in developing countries and already face huge challenges in terms of access to health, education, work and other human rights. As a result, this year’s elections to the UN Disability Committee are more important than ever.
Eight OPDs that joined with Sightsavers for this campaign are Society of the Deaf & Sign Language Users, Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organisation (BERDO), SEDAD, Sharirik Protibondhi Unnayan Sanstha, Kapasia Upazilla Protibondi Unnayan Parisad (KUDPDC), Socio-Economic Development Association for Disabled (SEDAD), Seba Protibandhi Nari Parishad (SEBA), Spondon Protibandhi Unnayan Sangstha (SPONDON) and Narsingdi Disabled People’s Organization to Development.