The Human Rights of People with Disabilities

The 5th edition of the Health and Human Rights Resource Guide was recently published by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and Open Society Foundations. We’re very pleased that Keystone Moldova’s work to promote human rights and social inclusion of people with disabilities in Moldova has been included within this publication.

The Health and Human Rights Resource Guide is designed for use by people working in the health and social services fields, litigators, and policymakers. Significantly, it looks at disabilities from a rights-based approach. Too often, people with disabilities are denied their basic human rights and sometimes aren’t even viewed as humans who have rights. They’re segregated and denied equal access to the law, health care, education, employment, and the right to make their own decisions, among many other things.

The rights-based approach to disability taken by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, and explained in the Health and Human Rights Resources Guide seeks to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities, change the public’s attitudes and behaviors, and develop policies and laws to guarantee the civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights of people with disabilities.

Disability rights are human rights. They’re universal, transcending borders and cultures, and they guarantee that people with disabilities receive equal access and opportunities afforded to other human beings as basic human rights, which is why it’s so important to educate individuals with disabilities, their families, and the public about the rights of people with disabilities.

Keystone Moldova recently held a seminar for parents of children with disabilities on how they can ensure their children’s rights, including children’s right to education. Parents came in with questions about school inclusion, access to health care, and accessibility to buildings. They were empowered to become strong advocates for their children and change the current social situation and promote the rights of their children and others.

Keystone Moldova is diligently working toward deinstitutionalization and the support of people with disabilities within the community. They have developed and implemented a system of community-based services and continue to work with the ministries and local government to develop the legal framework for these services and policies pertaining to people with disabilities and their rights. Just as importantly, they are working to change the public’s attitude and behavior toward people with disabilities to create a society of mutual respect and acceptance.

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