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:
ASEAN masterplan is very-very, casual for the DPOs, for the ASEAN members, and for persons with disabilities, it perhaps improve the participations of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life, it can improve the legal standard, improve awareness, and improve the capacity of people with disability themselves, and enhance the participations of DPOs in all aspects of the life.
DPOs and ADF, they have a key role, vital roles in the implementation of the ASEAN masterplan. They are the representatives of people with disabilities in the region. They can speak up, they know the people contacts, the criteria, They can understand the real life, they can keep analyze information together, they give suitable action plans , and raise people’s participations.so they key roles is important.
Like other important documents like UNCRPD, ya UNCRPD, Incheon, Declaration Bali Declaration, this masterplan will be the guideline for the DPOs, and they can based on the guideline, they can conduct their advocacy with their real country situations They can conduct advocacy to improve the life of people with disability to gain awareness, so they can participate, like you said, inclusive in all aspects of life.
Like other action plan, not only them, All of us have a lot of challenges to do that. Because, as you can see ASEAN is a big developing count, region. So, that GDPs or any data statistics be really hard. It is not easy for the… ya for the government to have sufficient parties to look after a… how can I say, to have sufficient parties to look after the basic universal requirements. Because if they want to fulfill the rights of the disabilities, they should accept the changes in many things, not only awareness, the accommodations, the facilities, the transportation system, and everything. So this is not an easy tasks for everybody.
I really hope that all people with disabilities will have a better basic life, so it means they will have better monthly allowances, have a better social welfare service, so that they can go to school, they can go to vocational training, they can have a job after taking courses, and they can live normal, like a normal people. So, if they can have good basic living standard, they can have a better life, they can improve themselves, so than they can participate in all aspects of it. If we want to do that, We need to have a lot of,… how do I say, a lot of … good governance, they should have a… they should have a work hard with international friends, so that we can understand, we can share, and we can have a good decision making system, and then have people with disabilities to improve their life.