WFD and WFDYS Representative Braam Jordaan gave a statement at the panel on Youth with Disabilities during the 7th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, USA). In a panel discussion, representatives of civil society organizations and youth advocates explored the unique challenges facing disabled young people.
Braam Jordaan said that effectively addressing the needs of disabled youth called for listening to the voices of young people and proactively engaging them in policy decision-making. They were often overlooked in policy planning and as a result, their programmes were seldom inclusive. He also noted that it would open up more opportunities for young people with disabilities, if awareness was raised among youth and society as a whole to address specific issues in areas, including health care, education, poverty, employment, and social inclusion, through international and national cooperation.
Closing the three-day meeting, we reflected on how the forum had grown over the years, noting that it was now recognized as one of the most important global mechanisms on disability. Today it involved more than 1,000 participants and featured 40 side events covering a wide range of global issues affecting the lives of persons with disabilities and their communities. Expectations were high that the Conference would make the promise of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a reality.
Press Release from United Nations – “Concluding Their Work, States Parties to Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Lay Groundwork for Next Session”