This Symposium aims to inspire the South African disability and human rights sectors by presenting examples of good practice in partnerships and collaboration from around the Globe. Bringing together global leaders in the field of Disability and human rights, it aims to reignite the sector with the vibrancy and the power of collaboration.
During Apartheid, the South African disability sector, although diverse, mobilized effectively, participated politically and had a powerful voice.
Over the past two decades however, much of the vibrancy and dynamism of the sector has faded. As a result, effective implementation of policy and legislation that should result in the enjoyment of Constitutional rights, and the ideals of the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), have yet to be realized. In this landscape, a new generation of agents are emerging- powerful community-based self-help groups. In Gauteng, four Community-based Rehabilitation self-help groups based in township or inner city communities have demonstrated that coming together, partnering with State and non-State actors and persistently motivating for change is an effective strategy in the pursuit of human rights for all.
The Disability Rights Symposium aims to generate dialogue about empowerment methodologies and showcase the utility of transformative collaboration and partnerships between children with disabilities and their families and those with influence – actors in multiple State departments, as well as the disability sector and the social justice sector.
Sustainable Development Goal 17 emphasizes the importance of partnerships in bringing about change for a more inclusive, just and sustainable society. Realizing human rights for all with disabilities, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), can be achieved through multi-level partnerships. The Symposium will bring together the South African disability sector and the social justice sector. The theme for the 2017 Symposium is accordingly: Empowerment Through Partnerships: Working together towards the effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in South Africa.