Monthly Archives: May 2008

Celebrations all round

This week is truly celebratory!

It began with the Disability Rights Convention CRPD, continuing with the presentation in New York of the FDR Award to New Zealand.

On Saturday DPA cut a celebratory cake for the Convention, and there are a few other celebrations planned for both events.

It is fitting that yesterday marked the launch of our second National Sign Language week. It was moving to experience the national anthem sung and signed in English and Maori at parliament, along with one of my favourite Hirini Melbourne song The Butterfly. (If someone can post the Maori title please do.) The Deaf community sure can party.

The theme this year is freedom of expression, which of course is a basic human right spelled out in the CRPD. The site has a calendar which is full of great events. Check it out. The butterfly sign logo for the week is a potent symbol of that freedom. It is interesting to note that butterflies are deaf. They negotiate their way through the world by using their antennae.

The butterfly and the Sign for it is the symbol of freedom of expression.

I have a personal celebration as well. We have both our daughters at home as our younger daughter is 21 this week. It’s odd how this quaint celebration custom still exists even though there is no longer any legal significance about reaching this age. You can drink at eighteen, serve in the armed forces at eighteen and vote at eighteen. Most people have the key of the door much younger these days, and may already be burdened with student debt by the age of 21. I guess it is just a good excuse for a party paid for by parents in return for their being allowed to tell embarrassing childhood stories.

Happy Birthday Alice!


Filed under Disability Issues, Disability Rights, Miscellaneous

Disability Rights Convention Now International Law

Celebrations all round! Just in case you haven’t caught up with the media fanfare (not!) the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities now has twenty ratifications. This means it is now international law and the mechanisms to bring it into force, such as the international monitoring committee, can now be established.

New Zealand has not yet ratified, see Disability Rights Convention one year on, but this is huge for disabled people worldwide. Congratulations to those countries which have ratified. Disabled people there will now have a voice in monitoring the implementation of the Convention.

Each step in the development of this Convention has been a vindication of our struggle to make disability rights part of the human rights agenda. In New Zealand it gives further weight to the Disability Strategy, and a platform for progress in achieving our rights alongside non-disabled people..

To find out what is happening here go to the Office for Disability Issues and the Human Rights Commission.

Nothing about us without us!

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Filed under Disability Issues, Disability Rights