IDA’s Youth with Disabilities Flagship
Youth with disabilities and the intersectionalities of age is one of the focus areas of the work of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).
Since 2010, IDA has always included youth with disabilities in our workshops and the CRPD Committee review processes. In 2015, with the launch of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative, IDA established their systematic inclusion, including facilitators through the ToT trajectory.
In 2016, those efforts were further consolidated through a UNFPA funded project on youth with disabilities (2016-2018). The project aimed to contribute to the promotion and inclusion of the rights of youth with disabilities in international human rights and development frameworks. More specifically, this project enabled youth with disabilities to learn more about CRPD reporting processes, NY-based UN mechanisms such as COSP, UNGA, HLPF, HRC, Social Forum, Democracy Forum, the Global Humanitarian Summit, IASC consultation processes and COVID-19 related discussions.
IDA also has created the Bridge Fellowships that have the mission to support the effective implementation of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs initiative and enjoy peer-learning and mentorship from the ToT team of persons with disabilities.
In 2020, following decisions from the IDA’s Board and PC meeting, IDA members decided to include the issues and realisation of rights of youth persons with disabilities into IDA’s Strategic Framework 2020 – 2023. Across our programs, we are applying a twin-track approach to the issues and rights of youth with disabilities and cross-youth movements.
Still in 2020, we produced a number of events and workshops promoting youth and issues and rights of youth with disabilities before the UN as well as on the COVID-19 situation. IDA also supports the Community of Practice linking up with partners. For instance, two youth from the Global South participated in a webinar discussion with the Office of the UN Special Envoy on Youth and the UN Major Group for Children and Youth ‘Asia Pacific Researchers, Practitioners and Policy-makers in Dialogue with Children and Youth’ Project, selected two youths with disabilities, from underrepresented groups to participate in their work.
In the same year, IDA held a global webinar with youth with disabilities on the COVID-19 situation which was proposed by the WBU Youth Committee.
During the global webinar, youth with disabilities asked us to create a ListServ where they could meet and exchange. The email address for this ListServ is firstname.lastname@example.org. It is an open network. We plan to update our webpage and invite more people to register in this ListServ.
In January 2021, IDA created the Youth Fellowship opportunity, and in March 2021 established the Youth Committee with youth representatives of our members and Bridge alumni.
IDA and its Youth Committee are planning a number of activities ahead and around the Global Disability Summit 2022, including national consultations involving youth with disabilities, webinars, and the Youth with Disabilities Summit co-hosted with Norway and the Atlas Alliance, supported by their member the Youth Mental Health Norway.
While there is a fruitful field of advocacy by youth, particularly around the SDGs, still, movements led by youth with disabilities are highly underrepresented both in the youth and the disability movements. IDA has been working hard to address this power imbalance, including by identifying youth leaders including from underrepresented groups, and creating opportunities for mentorship and leadership within the movement.
The Youth Committee representatives 2021 are:
Santigie Kargbo, African Disability Forum, Sierra Leone
Laura Lesmana, Asean Disability Forum, Indonesia
Simon Okwii, Down Syndrome International, Uganda
Loredana Dicsi, European Disability Forum, Belgium
Selma Cela, International Federation of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephaly, Belgium
Bowen Tang, International Federation of Hard of Hearing, Canada
Ruci Senikula, Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji
Antonio Palma Lopez, RIADIS, Guatemala
Iqbal Mohamad, Pakistan / Diane Bergeron, Canada, World Blind Union
Shirley Liu, World Federation of the Deaf, Australia
Mark Kato, World Federation of the Deafblind, Uganda
Dorothy Mubezi, WNUSP, Uganda
Alagammai Chenthilnathan, Bridge CRPD-SDGs alumni, India
Peter Ochieg, Youth Fellow, Uganda
It is time for the change! We count on your support!
Read here about IDA’s Youth with Disabilities Flagship (pdf version)