IDPP Outreach and Capacity Building Activities in Cambodia
IDPP Program Coordinator for Outreach and Capacity Building Mr. Muhammad Joni Yulianto visited Cambodia from 29 March – 1 April 2012 to participate in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference / ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF), and to meet with several disability organizations in the country.
ACSC/APF is a forum for civil society organizations, NGOs, government representatives, and various groups of people including women, persons with disabilities (PWDs), indigenous populations, and other minority groups throughout ASEAN to discuss human rights issues. The forum is held biannually prior to the ASEAN Summit. The theme for the 2012 ACSC/APF was “Transforming ASEAN into a People-Centered Community.”
During the conference, Mr. Yulianto participated in thematic workshops on PWDs hosted by Disabled Peoples’ International-Asia Pacific Region (DPI AP), Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO), and ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF). The workshops highlighted multi-level barriors and discrimination faced by PWDs in ASEAN, followed by recommendations for multi-stakeholder partnerships to ensure the respect of, promote, and enhance protection for the rights of PWDs.
ACSC/APF also made a strong statement for ASEAN to take action in supporting and monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD has been ratified by six ASEAN countries since the General Assembly adopted the convention in December 2006; ACSC/APF urged the remaining four countries of ASEAN to ratify the CRPD. A well-received exhibition booth was also set up during the event to introduce the IDPP and Master’s of International Affairs in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) to PWDs, disabled people’s organizations, potential CIDP Master’s students, and the wider ASEAN community. Current CIDP student Mr. Khy Huy of Cambodia also attended ACSC/APF and was able to meet with Joni, as well as assist with introducing the CIDP program to others from his perspective as part of the inaugural student cohort.
On behalf of the IDPP, Mr. Yulianto also visited The Cambodia Trust and Krousar Thmey, both of which are organizations providing support for PWDs to access education. Mr. Yulianto met with Ms. Sisary Kheng, Country Director of The Cambodia Trust, staff, and current students with disabilities studying with the support of The Cambodia Trust. Through the connection of IDPP Executive Committee member Dr. Larry Campbell, Immediate Past President of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment, Mr. Yulianto met with the General Director of Krousar Thmey, Mr. Auray Aun, as well as two students with visual impairment currently supported by the organization.
Details in this article are an account from the IDPP staff person who attended the events.