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Laws 2017, 6(4), 26; doi:10.3390/laws6040026

“More Honoured in the Breach than in the Observance”—Self-Advocacy and Human Rights

Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7LR, UK
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Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability Human Rights Law)
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Abstract

Background: Since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), human rights have become central for disability advocacy. The CRPD requires that disabled people and their representative organisations (DPOs) have a prominent role in the implementation and monitoring of the Convention. However, the representation of people with intellectual disabilities or autistic people is still often indirect, carried out by parents or professionals. Methods: This is a qualitative research which looks at how self-advocates (SAs) with intellectual disabilities or autism participate in DPOs and how they see the role of human rights and laws such as the CRPD in their advocacy. Data was collected in the UK and in Hungary between October 2016 and May 2017. A total of 43 advocates (SAs and other advocates) were interviewed. For the analysis, thematic analysis was used. Results: findings indicate that most participants have limited knowledge of the CRPD and human rights. Human rights are usually seen as vague and distant ideas, less relevant to everyday lives. SAs may not feel competent to talk about the CRPD. The inclusion of SAs in DPOs is mostly tokenistic, lacking real participation. Conclusions: The CRPD can only bring meaningful change to SAs if they get full membership in DPOs. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-advocacy; intellectual disabilities; autism; learning disability; disabled people’s organisations; DPOs; disability movement; Hungary; United Kingdom; human rights; UN CRPD self-advocacy; intellectual disabilities; autism; learning disability; disabled people’s organisations; DPOs; disability movement; Hungary; United Kingdom; human rights; UN CRPD
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Petri, G.; Beadle-Brown, J.; Bradshaw, J. “More Honoured in the Breach than in the Observance”—Self-Advocacy and Human Rights. Laws 2017, 6, 26.

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