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The Compostela Worlddeclaration on the Contribution of People with functional diversity (disability) to a Culture of Peace 1 There are currently over 650 million people living in the world with somekind of functional diversity. If we add the group of family members whohabitually live with them, this figure becomes a very significant number: twobillion inhabitants whom, in one way or another, cope with these circumstanceson a daily basis. In all regions, and, in every country around the world, peoplewith functional diversity frequently live ostracised from society, excluded fromnumerous fundamental experiences of life. They have low hopes of attendingschools, obtaining jobs, having their own home, developing their genderidentities, forming a family, considering maternity or paternity or enjoying socialor political life. This is particularly true in cases of men and women with severefunctional diversity meaning they need the support of other people in order tocarry out their life’s project. Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 1 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 For the great majority of people living with functional diversity in the world,shops, services, public transportation, information, communication, etc., are, toa large extent, outside their reach. The social and political structure is whatdisables and determines the precarious nature of the human reality of functionaldiversity. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to eradicate the phenomenon ofdisablement, since there is a fact, functional diversity is an inherent conditionthat concerns all humanity. 3 The process of disabling who suffer people with a functional diversity is adetermining factor in social exclusion and discrimination, which, if added tomany others, such as: sex discrimination, sexual orientation, inter-generation,levels of poverty, different ethnic groups, skin colour, typology and/or degree offunctional diversity..., becomes a devastating situation. The figures arecondemning: it is estimated that among the poorest people in the world 20% arethose who suffer some kind of functional diversity; 82% of people with functionaldiversity in developed countries live beneath the poverty threshold; 98% ofchildren with functional diversity in developing countries do not attend school;30% of street children in the world live with some kind of functional diversity,and the level of literacy among adults with functional diversity only reaches 3%and in some countries it is even as low as 1% when we are talking of womenwith functional diversity. 4 These figures can be much higher in countries thwarted by civil wars andnatural disasters. Everywhere in the world men and women with functionaldiversity suffer permanent discrimination and, in general, are excluded fromsocial, economic and political life in their communities. This exclusion is themain cause of the high poverty rate among this group of people in the poorestcountries. For men and women with functional diversity in developing countries, Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 2 email@example.com
the fact of being socially excluded has even more dire implications, and caneven become a matter of life or death. 5 Marginalisation and exclusion lead to poverty, and the more there is, thehigher the probability of systematic discrimination against people with functionaldiversity throughout their lives. Poverty therefore generates disablement, whichin turn leads to a Culture of Violence: illiteracy, undernourishment, lack ofaccess to drinking water, low immunity against disease, constant rape andmutilation of female genitals and/or forced spaying, lack of independence,unsuitable working conditions, low educational levels, segregation in communityenvironments, etc. 6 The United Nations (UN) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific andCultural Organisation (UNESCO) acknowledge that an active intervention isrequired in order to obtain a Culture of Peace, inclusive and for everyone. Intheir Resolution A/53/243 concerning the Declaration on a Culture of Peace(UN September 13th 1999) a specific mention is made on the urgent need toseek multiple strategies and/or resources that would help to eradicate all formsof discrimination and intolerance against people with functional diversity. 7 The international Convention about the Rights of People with Functionaldiversity and its Facultative Protocol was approved on December 13th 2006at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. This was the first wideinstrument of human rights in the 21st century and a call was therefore made toobserve human dignity from a functional diversity standpoint. 8 Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Convention is the most important tool we have to avoid a Culture ofViolence that would generate poverty and social exclusion in the lives of peoplewith functional diversity, and those in their environment. It is, by large, the bestlegislative and socio-political action tool that would build a true Culture ofPeace, inclusive, emancipative and sustained in time. 9 All forms of oppression against men and women with functional diversitymust be eradicated. This must take place from an inter-group point of view,among people with and without functional diversity, and also from an intra-groupperspective, although inter-group as well, in terms of differences concerninggender, age, educational and occupational levels, sexual orientation, access toindependent living, typology and degree of functional diversity. 10 A culture of peace demands fighting against the violence of poverty andsocial injustice, such as discrimination, exclusion or forced dependence, inevery aspect of the life people with functional diversity. It is therefore mandatoryto correct all this unbalance within each country and between different countriesin order to sever the roots of violence in the world. 11 Real and effective equality of people, respect for human diversity,development, Independent Living, Human Rights and the Right to Peace, arejoined at their roots. There cannot be long-lasting peace without humandevelopment, in the same way that it cannot be attained without full equalitybetween people with or without functional diversity. Nevertheless, and for this tobe possible, respect for human dignity and diversity is needed, from a HumanRights standpoint. And this issue, in turn, makes sense from the Philosophy ofIndependent Living point of view. Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 4 email@example.com
12 We must fight against all kinds of violence, searching for peaceful ways toresolve conflicts and to forge attitudes of tolerance and active commitmenttowards others, with or without functional diversity. Human society is capable oftransforming conflicts, either violent or otherwise, into a positive changeexperience. That can happen if, and only if, each and every one of us, excludedfor whatever reason, including functional diversity, manages to fully take anactive part in all processes. Only then we could combat the Culture of Violencethat thwarts all humanity in one way or another. 13 In order to achieve a Culture of Peace, we must make and build, througheducation, a Culture of Independent Living, as well as a Culture of HumanRights, which jointly complement each other in order to guarantee a democratic,participative and pacific coexistence. Because, as asserted in the Constitutionof UNESCO: Since wars (or other multiple forms of violence) are born in theminds of women and men (with or without functional diversity), it is in the mindsof these people where the bastions of peace must be erected”. 14 "Disability" is found in every socio-political, economic and cultural structure,meaning that it is a concept created by the human brain and consequently, withthe right education under the perspective of the Philosophy (worldwide) ofIndependent Living, and that of Human Rights, we will contribute to a positiveattitude and changes in mentality which will hold up a Culture of Peace. 15 Through Resolution 52/15 passed on November 20th 1997 by the UnitedNations, in which the year 2000 was proclaimed “International year of theCulture of Peace”, it invited through its “Statement for a Culture of Peace Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 5 firstname.lastname@example.org
and Non-violence”, to commit to contribute to the development of thecommunity we are part of. Some people with severe functional diversity, whoneed human support to carry out our daily living activities or to guide us in ourdaily learning, did so. 16 That is why, and if we want to carry out the commitments undertaken, thearticles of the International Convention need to be urgently developed. Article19 is particularly relevant “The right to independent living and to be included inthe community”. We believe that functional diversity (human diversity) issynonymous of wealth, and without our presence or active participation insociety, a Culture of Peace will not be possible. 17 In this case, some of these women and men can only actively contribute topromoting a Culture of Peace and Non-violence in their own environment if theyhave human, technical and/or technological support. As promoted by the worldPhilosophy of Independent Living and Human Rights, said support must bebased on the living projects of each person. 18 On October 31st 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimouslyadopted Resolution 1325 about Women, Peace and Security. ThisResolution, which accounts for a great advance in obtaining equal opportunitiesbetween women and men, denounces instrumentalisation of women’s bodies asa sign of dominance and subjugation as produced in armed conflicts. Moreover,and particularly, boosting the presence and visibility of women, mainly inconstruction, maintenance and negotiation of peace processes. 19 Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 6 email@example.com
It is there too where women and men with functional diversity need to bepresent, at negotiation tables, and from a perspective of equal conditions, aselected delegates. Not only should they be receivers of security and protection(Art. 11. “Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies” UN InternationalConvention), but they should be a directly involved party, and to the extent thatthere is instrumentalisation of functional diversity as a symbol of destruction ofthe Other, they must participate in peaceful resolutions to these confrontations,as well as to contribute to their application. Achieving Peace must take intoaccount the rights of people with functional diversity, more so when dealing withpoverty stricken people. To a large extent these are populations devastated bywar or other disasters. In such circumstances they are the causes of functionaldiversity and of absolute abandonment in civil and general populations. 20 On November 10th 1998, the United Nations proclaimed the period from2001 to 2010 in their Resolution 53/25 “International Decade of a Culture ofPeace and Non-violence for children around the world”. In this declarationResolution A/53/243 Declaration of a Culture of Peace was reasserted. Thepeaceful and non-violent fight for eradication of all kinds of violence againstwomen and men with functional diversity continues to be in force. This is alsotrue for children included in this group of people. 21 2010 is therefore the ideal moment to be accountable, and based on theresults of accountability, build new research and action lines that help toconsolidate a Culture of Peace, emancipative and inclusive too for people withfunctional diversity. 22 With this purpose, the undersigned do hereby undertake to: Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 7 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Request international, regional, national and local organisations and public administrations; Governments; Non-governmental Organisations; Civil Society, to implement in the future Peace and Human Rights Agendas and the perspective of the International Convention of Rights for People with Functional diversity (UN), as an unavoidable guide for the construction of a Culture of Peace. 23• To cooperate with international, regional, national and local organisations and public administrations; Governments; Non-governmental Organisations; Civil Society, to drive reviews of all current norms in order to evaluate whether or not they respect the International Convention of Rights (UN) for this group or otherwise, whether they promote a Culture of Violence. In the case of any negatives, reasonable deadlines will be established to correct said situations as quickly as possible. 24• To open joint lines of work with international, regional, national and local organisations and public administrations and Governments to pass specific legislation defending the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of people with functional diversity. 25• To support all national and international efforts that are carried out to guarantee real, effective equality between people with and without functional diversity in all scopes of life (personal, social, cultural, economic, leisure and political participation). Particularly, those of girls and women and, all people who, owing to their functional diversity, are alienated and who are consequently vulnerable. 26• To boost acknowledgment of the Independent Living Movement and its Philosophy as the most respectful social and political expression with the perspective of Human Rights and a Culture of Peace. In this sense, said practice, should be understood as an “Experience of Peace” based on a Methodology of Active Non-violence. 27• To promote the inclusion of the human reality of functional diversity in all areas of Peace (universities; associations; centres, clubs and UNESCO chairs; seminars, foundations, research centres; movements for peace, etc.), from a transversal perspective. In order to do so it is important to bear in mind Specialists in Peace, who are in a situation of functional diversity. Their voices and, the inclusion of their Human Rights, are indispensable to consolidate a Culture of Peace. 28• To offer our contributions to governmental and inter-governmental structures and associations and NGOs, as well as Civil Society in Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 8 email@example.com
general, in order to work on developing a Culture of Peace, emancipative and long-lasting for future generations. As builders of Peace we should take responsibility of including our specifics in the constitution, maintenance and negotiations of Peace. 29• To demand inclusion of women and men with functional diversity in Development Cooperation Projects and Programmes, and in Public Policies for International Development. 30• To favour policies and programmes for women and men with functional diversity to promote our empowering to build full citizenship. 31• Advise so that human and financial resources are fundamentally allocated to promoting human rights for all people, with or without functional diversity. And, to claim reductions in military expenditure. 32• To advocate for full implementation of the principles that promote the UN International Convention (Art. 3): a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own decisions, and independence of people. b) Non discrimination. c) Full, effective participation and inclusion in society. d) Respect for differences and acceptance of people with functional diversity as part of diversity and the human condition. e) Equal opportunities. f) Accessibility. g) Equality between men and women. h) Respect for the evolution of children’s faculties with functional diversity and their right to preserve their identity. 33• Promote a broad, comprehensive, and quality, ability to incorporate different human diversity (gender, sexual orientation, intergenerational, intercultural ...), including "functional diversity" from a horizontal plane and cross-disciplinary learning. 34• To promote specific curricular material, an “Education for a Culture of Independent Living”, understood as an excellent training tool to de- construct and re-construct new values, attitudes and behaviour taking us closer to a Culture of Peace, further, when dealing with people with functional diversity. This is a complement for the transversal perspective. 35• “Education for a Culture of Independent Living” should also be inclusive for everyone. It should integrate all different diversities that are part of the Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 9 firstname.lastname@example.org
human being with functional diversity (ethnic group, colour, gender, language, religion, political opinion or opinions of any other nature, national origin, race, indigenous or social, wealth status, birth status, age or any other condition). That is the only way it could be added to the whole thereby configuring an “Education for a Culture of Peace”. 36• Acknowledging Peace as a Human Right. In times of war or conflict, the possibilities of people with functional diversity are reduced to undreamed- of levels. Each Human Being should have the guarantee of “living, in peace” and/or “living, from peace”. Men and women with functional diversity should also have the right to live with dignity and in and from peace. The latter means that we are able to have expectations of life and that the “Culture of functional diversity” becomes wealth. 37• Foster new development approaches that take into account the priorities and perspectives of men and women with functional diversity, from the Human Rights viewpoint and the world Philosophy for Independent Living. Moreover, programmes should be promoted that support entrepreneurs with functional diversity, in order to drive their personal talent and capacity in favour of building a Culture of Peace. 38• To oppose all modes of discrimination which for reasons of religion, cultural or traditional practices, or inter-group inequality that could emerge. Violence against women, compulsory dependence or some biotechnological progress, are some examples of systematic infringement or violation of Human Rights against this group, which must be fought against. 39• Everyone, with or without functional diversity, women or men and those with different functional diversity, as players in the construction and maintenance of a Culture of Peace, can transform the structures to build a common, shared space, one that is desirable, in which different human diversity is respected under suitable terms, if, and only if, we are capable of taking the reins of our own lives and of our human becoming. In short: NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US Instituto de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Vida Independiente (IPADEVI) 10 email@example.com