The UN Convention on Disability took place on Friday, the 3rd of November at Hòfi Kultural in Bonaire. The event was organized by Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (ZJCN), which is part of the Ministry of VWS, in cooperation with Tara bv. The aim of the event was to improve awareness about, and develop a joint activities programme concerning, the rights of people with disabilities on the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands.
The symposium brought together a diverse group of people to talk about the UN Convention on Disability in the Caribbean Netherlands. Representatives from the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, interest group Ieder(in), the advisory service Niets Over Ons Zonder Ons (‘Nothing About Us Without Us’), the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, and the Prins Hendrik athletics club talked about their efforts in the field of accessibility and participation
People with disabilities are still all too often excluded on a day-to-day basis, which prevents them from fully participating in society. The Ministry of VWS plays a central role in implementing the UN Convention on Disability in the Caribbean Netherlands and focuses on stimulating initiatives, unifying the various parties, issuing awareness-related communication, and promoting knowledge development and experience-based expertise. It is crucial to involve people with disabilities in the ratification process of the UN Convention on Disability for the Caribbean Netherlands, based on the principle of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’.
Highlights of the symposium
One of the highlights of the event was a very impressive film by filmmaker Casimir Roosje, which offered an insight into the lives of people with disabilities in the Caribbean Netherlands. The film emphasized the crucial role of human rights and the importance of the UN Convention on Disability. Marieke Knol and Mimoun Himmit then presented a report that explored the rights of people with disabilities in the Caribbean Netherlands. They used the report to make five important recommendations:
P – Create a personally managed program about every article in the Convention.
E – Deploy the experience-based expertise of people with disabilities more often.
A – Tie in with the poverty strategy.
C – Start a campaign to improve awareness.
E – Cooperate with de Alliantie in the Netherlands.
After the presentation, the approximately 50 attending professionals and experts by experience started a dialogue in order to identify priorities and quick wins in various areas of life, such as employment, income, free time, healthcare, education, accommodation, and accessibility. The results of these discussions are being collected and will be incorporated into the follow-up strategy.
The symposium was wrapped up by Herbert Barnard, director of ZJCN, who looked back at a fruitful day. A painting by artist Sherwin Pinto was revealed during the wrap-up. This painting introduced an exhibition that will open at Galerie Sobremesa as of the 1st of December. This also signalled the start of efforts to ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in society in the Caribbean Netherlands, based on the UN Convention on Disability.
The film that was shown during the symposium is available at https://www.hofikultural.com/new-blog/2023/11/6/watch-our-mini-documentary-about-un-convention-handicap for people who may be interested.
For further information about the symposium and the UN Convention on Disability, please contact Marieke Knol: Phone: 00599 7826700 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org