Lobby and Advocacy
Participation is not a privilege, but a right
The Liliane Foundation and its partners subscribe to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This human rights treaty was adopted in 2006 by the United Nations and exists to protect and reaffirm the human rights of people with disabilities. All countries where the Liliane Foundation is active have ratified the Convention. Most of them have adopted disability policies on a national level.
Our partner organisations that closely collaborate with the disability movement plead for good disability policies and the acknowledgment and integration of the interests of people with disabilities in sectoral policies, such as inclusive education and inclusive health. They actively participate in consultations and networks and search for dialogue with policymakers to advocate for the rights of people with a disability.
Having good policies and laws regarding people with disabilities is the first step. The second step is their proper implementation. For this step, the people and authorities responsible need to create action plans and allocate a budget. This second step – the follow-up and compliance with policies and laws – often requires continuous pressure from civil society organisations.
For people to change their decisions and attitude toward more inclusion in society, solid arguments are needed. To present solid arguments, one needs persuasive evidence. There is a general lack of research and data on the circumstances of people with disabilities. Research is required to collect information and build evidence to support solid arguments for an inclusive society.
Policies and laws provide regulations and rights for society. One can only claim their rights when aware of their existence. It is essential to raise awareness and provide training on policies and rights for children and youth with disabilities to know their rights and how to claim them. Raising awareness on these topics also shows the community the need for full participation of children and youth with disabilities in society and the need to ban harmful practices.
DPOs in the driver’s seat
People with disabilities should have a primary position in decision-making processes about policies that affect them. That is why the Liliane Foundation aims to collaborate with and strengthen the leadership of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPD), also referred to as Disabled Persons’ organisations (DPO). Our focus in these collaborations lies on policies about children and youth, who do not always have good representation in OPDs. Some of our direct partner organisations are OPDs. Instead of seeing people with disabilities as passive beneficiaries, we need a shift of mindset to make them the primary actors in their development and wellbeing.