In August 2018, the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA), a creative partnership of disabled people's organizations (DPOs) and election-focused civil society organizations in Southeast Asia founded by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), conducted interviews with disability rights advocates who attended a meeting of the Task Force on Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities. The Task Force, which is organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission (AICHR), is drafting an action plan to mainstream disability rights in ASEAN sectoral bodies. AGENDA is providing support to the Task Force with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
A transcript of the interview is available below:
I hope the future of this masterplan will probably the great mechanism, great instrument for ASEAN member state to promote a… the rights of citizens, especially every group of citizens in ASEAN member states including persons with disabilities also. This is my perspective about plan, the masterplan.
there are three, aa……. steps for DPOs in each member state of the ASEAN. The first step is a… full.. full participations, I mean full participation like a… am…participation in every process, thinking about the masterplan, practicing about the masterplan, and respond, responsibility about the masterplan. Think, doing, and finally respond about the masterplan.
The easy way for the DPOs in each member state of the ASEAN, we, I said we because I am the one of the DPOs in Thailand. We have to take this masterplan to be the hand of the government first, and try to negotiate, convince, and… wh….. whatever a…a… try to convince, try to call for the government, of the government to aware, a…, aware about the mechanism, a…, mechanism in this masterplan. This is the easy way for DPO to do that. I think, if is this step can be success, I think it will be easy way to make the plan like to make the plan become to enforce.
The attitude of for understanding, understanding about this masterplan. Mmmm often time that I found DPOs and government we found different attitude and different understanding especially when we talk about the disability issues or disability movement… ya this the big challenge and we try to… am..amm.. to to make a consensus., ya.. and make a clear understanding. And direct way, direct way to understand it.
The rights of persons with disabilities will be guaranteed or will be ensured by every policy and every legal.. It will be started with the how can we insert or how can we add the issues of disability to become to be the national… a…. national topics of the… of every ASEAN member state. Ya.. if this is to become to be the national policy or national policy, national policy of every member state in the ASEAN, the rights of persons with disabilities will be ensured finally.