SDDC is a Swiss based network advocating for the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Switzerland's international cooperation.
The launch of the Photovoice study and the opening of the accompanying photography exhibition “My Lens My Reality – on the rights of women with disabilities” took place on March 8, 2022, International Women’s Day. While the study was launched in the format of an online event with about 80 participants, the exhibition could be opened in a small setting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. This was particularly relevant as the review of Switzerland to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took place during the same period.
The two opening speeches were given by Ambassador Félix Baumann, Head of Multilateral Division at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, which also co-sponsored the event, and by Mirjam Gasser, Head Advocacy of CBM Switzerland.
“The exhibition ‘My Lens My Reality’ and the study on which it is based make an important contribution of showing the reality of women with disabilities. Above all it is in line with the UN-Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, because it is women with disabilities who document themselves their situation, who make visible the obstacles they face.”, Ambassador Baumann said and honoured the work.
The study was commissioned by the SDDC in collaboration with four partner organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Nepal.
Summary video of Geneva launch:
How can Switzerland ensure the rights of persons with disabilities in the Global South?
No guidelines, no priority. Switzerland needs guidelines to inform its work on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in its international cooperation. Current efforts on disability inclusion are small scale, ad-hoc and mostly segregating.
Nothing about us, without us! Switzerland must ensure the full and active participation of persons with disabilities throughout all processes affecting them, including in its international cooperation. Arrangements must be made to enable their participation.
What isn’t counted, doesn’t count. Switzerland has committed itself to be a leader on data collection, but it is not systematically collecting and disaggregating data on disability in its international programmes.
Leave no one behind in humanitarian crises. Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected in humanitarian crises. Switzerland committed itself to making its humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities, but it is not clear how it is living up to its commitment.
What isn’t budgeted for, doesn’t get done. Switzerland must sufficiently budget for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in its international cooperation and must commit itself not to finance programs and services that segregate persons with disabilities from the community.