In February 2016, the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) published Disability Access and Inclusion in the Political Processes of Four Southeast Asian Countries. The report provides key insights from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, written by local disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) on access and inclusion of persons with disabilities with the support of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The report was made possible by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Disability Access and Inclusion provides a thorough analysis of challenges and opportunities in each country to participate in political life. The Southeast Asian region’s role as a leader in proactively supporting the rights of persons with disabilities, such as their electoral and political rights, is illustrated by efforts in the Philippines toward increasing accessibility in voter registration processes and encouraging inclusive practices in Cambodia to hire persons with disabilities in the National Election Committee (NEC).
AGENDA researchers also noted common areas for improvement in the region, such as utilizing existing legal frameworks and electoral regulations to foster inclusion in each of the four countries. For example, there are often gaps in training for poll workers, which results in disability policies implemented well in some areas and less well in others.