According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 10% of the world’s population – approximately 650 million people, of which 200 million are children – experience some form of disability and 80% of all people with disabilities live in developing countries.
Estimates indicate that anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of the Syrian population are persons with disabilities (2008). Conflict situations increase the vulnerability of persons possessing already a disability and raise the number of newly disabled persons. That happens indirectly by breakdown of social structures and services like family links and health and other infrastructures the persons with disabilities rely on, and directly by casualties caused by weapons, mines, bombs and other explosives.
In Syria during the Revolution 64,000 persons were injured, 50% of those persons are in danger of becoming disabled.
The existing financial and human resources are not sufficient to detect in time and prevent the situation from getting worse as well as providing rehabilitation services. The current political and security situation prevent persons with disability from having their basic rights.
Though people with disabilities are considered to be enjoying the same rights and possessing equal opportunities as people without disabilities, their life is made difficult by the physical and social barriers which limit their participation within the society. Because of these barriers, children and adults are segregated and degraded. Optimal social participation for an individual requires to a large extent that necessary adaptations and assistance are in place.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced. Syria ratified the Convention in 2008.
What is Disability Awareness?
The biggest barriers people with disabilities encounter are other people. Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities and giving people the knowledge about persons with disability rights, needs and aspiration.
In this campaign we want to focus on the Persons with Disabilities during the Revolution, their suffering, deprivation form their basic rights, mainly treatment and rehabilitation and integrating them into the society. We want also to address issues like their living conditions and causes of disability during military operations and methods of prevention.
• The Campaign on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during the Syrian Revolution will be organized with the aim of raising disability Rights awareness among people with disabilities as well as people without disabilities;
· The campaign aims to bring information about: the international UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and stimulate attitudes change in the society
· Make the general public aware of the causes of disabilities during the Revolution resulting from military operations, and try to teach the community methods of protection (community based) with the aim of reducing the casualties and providing the needed medical attention.
· The campaign will make the people aware of the needs of persons with disabilities for rehabilitation and work towards mobilizing the needed financial and human resources.
Expected outputs of the Awareness Campaign:
• Disability Rights, Syria will produce advisory notes and guidelines on a number of areas related to rights of persons with disabilities; Community –based Rehabilitation Programmes, and information, and Communication material including posters, and videos
· Disability Rights, Syria will initiate and maintain an effective public awareness campaign designed to nurture receptiveness to the rights of persons with disabilities; and will highlight methods of prevention and community based rehabilitation and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the society;
· Disability Rights, Syria will publish information and advice to the persons with disabilities and their families, friends, etc, with the aim of making them aware of simple and community based rehabilitation programme. This will include “frequently asked questions” material; these materials are also made available in print or other formats on request.
· Disability Rights, Syria will highlight in the campaign methods of prevention from disability, focusing on the civilian during crisis and violent conflict.
We are group of Syrians hoping to be able to contribute to the protecting the Rights of Disabled Persons in Syria, especially during the Syrian Revolution
All members of this group are working towards promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Our guiding principles are the following: No discrimination, equality of opportunity, effective participation in society, accessibility and full integration into the society.
The rights of persons with disability needs to be protected (especially during crisis and war) in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Our vision is to protect the right of persons with disabilities in Syria during the Revolution; and we believe that all people with disabilities should have:
· Freedom of choice,
· Freedom from abuse, neglect, and discrimination; and;
- Disability Rights, Syria provides detailed information and facts regarding the rights of persons with disabilities.
- Promoting awareness among people with disabilities of their rights
- Providing information, tools and referrals that empower individuals to advocate on their own behalf
- Investigating and, when appropriate, addressing reports of abuse and/or neglect
- Coordinate with international organizations and national NGOs to provide rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. (Rehabilitation programmers