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Original Article
Rights-based approach project for social inclusion of persons with disabilities at Cape Verde, Africa
Priscila Neves-Silva
Master Degree, PhD Student at René-Rachou Research Center, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation at Minas Gerais and coordinator of Handicap International projects at Cape Verde, Africa, from 2009 to 2011.

Article ID: 100016D05PN2016

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Priscila Neves Silva
Avenida Augusto de Lima
1715, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
Brasil, 30190-002

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Neves-Silva P. Rights-based approach project for social inclusion of persons with disabilities at Cape Verde, Africa. Edorium J Disabil Rehabil 2016;2:96–104.

Aims: The objective of this article is to present a social-development project implemented in Cape Verde, Africa, which used a rightsbased approach methodology based on the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) to promote inclusion of persons with disability (PWD) in the country.
Methods: It was used the right based approach methodology which recognizes human rights as a primary goal and it is used to make human right a reality, especially for vulnerable and marginalized groups. Right holders and duty bearers were recognized, and all phases of the project were constructed in a participatory approach.
Results: As a result we can see that this project fortified civil society participation in decision making process, society was aware of PWD's rights and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was ratified.
Conclusion: In this way, if social-development projects for the inclusion of PWD use rights-based approach as methodology and CRPD as framework, they could help CRPD to get implemented, spreading, thus, human rights principles throughout the society and fortifying the social model of disability.

Keywords: Human Rights, Public Policies, Persons with disability


Understanding Disability
The understanding of disability is an important factor for social inclusion. The way society comprehends disability will interfere in the treatment given to persons with disabilities (PWD) by the community and it will influence laws and public policies.

Since the beginning of the humankind there are evidences of the existence of PWD. Nevertheless, they were excluded by society during many decades due to prejudice and discrimination and treated as if they had no rights [1]. Disability was seen only as a result of body's impairment and persons with disabilities had to make an effort to adapt in society if they wanted to participate. Within this concept, environmental and social barriers were not mentioned as a factor that influenced disability [2].

It was not before the end of the sixties, beginning of the seventies that the concept of disability, based only on body's impairment, was questioned. It was observed that environment played an important role in the inclusion of PWD, when environment is accessible persons with disabilities can participate as citizens; therefore, society must be sensible for diversity, this is the only way to foster a place accessible for all [2] [3]. In this way, disability has a direct relationship with societal arrangements, thus people with mental, intellectual, physical or sensory impairment will only present a disability if they face environmental and attitudinal barriers. This new way of thinking was the beginning of the 'social model of disability'. This new model of understanding disability highlighted the influence of contextual factors and the necessity to shift the focus of interventions from the individual to the environment [2][3].

According to Mladenov [3], this new paradigm has "profound existential-ontological consequences" once it changes the "way of being" of persons with disabilities. Before the introduction of the social model of disability, PWD were seen as objects, incapable to take individual decisions and were trapped in the tripod: charity, medical treatment and social protection. However, after the social model of disability was introduced, those people began to be seen as subjects, active members of society, totally capable to take decisions about their own lives and to claim for rights. They are now right-holders and individuals with independency and autonomy.

Thereby, the social movement of PWD became stronger and started to claim for social protection and public policies able to ensure fully social participation in equal conditions as the others. Disability became a social issue and persons with disabilities started to be recognized as part of human diversity. This new way to understand disability strengthened the importance of giving value to diversity and of demanding equity and individual freedom for all. This population group could not be seen anymore as incapable and treated with charity by society, since they are persons with rights. Therefore, state begun to be responsible to promote social justice and democracy, ensuring human rights and citizenship for them [2] [3][4].

In 2006, the United Nations Assembly approved the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) [5], which entered into force in May 2008, after its twentieth ratification. This was the first legally binding international instrument treaty with comprehensive protection of the rights of PWD [6] [7][8][9]. The CRPD stated the right of PWD to fully participate in society in equal conditions with the others and took into account the social concept of disability. In this document, disability is understood as: "Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others" [5].

Local Context
Cape Verde is an insular country, off the west coast of Africa. The archipelago has been developing since its independence, and besides having been promoted to the group of countries "medium indice development" in 2007, is currently among the 9th best countries in Africa [10]. However, World Bank [11] [12] shows that 30% of the population of Cape Verde live below the poverty level, and 14% live in extreme poverty. In this economic situation, women, children and PWD are parts of the most vulnerable groups. They are marginalized, with little or no education, employment, or health care.

Although Cape Verde did not face wars and other disasters that are usually responsible for the increasing number of PWD in the world, one cannot deny that the geographical, social and economic conditions under which Cape Verdeans live are risk factors that foster the development of disabilities, especially in the most vulnerable population group.

The main problem of the development of Cape Verde is the poverty, a structural phenomenon, which is connected to the fragility of the country which lacks natural resources and is considered a vulnerable country, either by the weakness and instability of its rainfall, or because of its strong dependence on Official Development Assistance and imports of fuel and food, which reflect on the balance of payments [10].

In this social and economic condition, the number of PWD is increasing in Cape Verde as well as the problems related to their social integration and participation. Regarding the country's development, it was urgent to promote more effective public policies not only to prevent deficiencies but also to improve rehabilitation services, social integration and promote health, so that persons with disabilities might have personal independence and full integration in the process of the country development.

The 2000 population census states that Cape Verde has approximately 434.625 habitants of which 3.2% were PWD [13]. It is questionable data though, once the World Health Organization estimates that 15% of the population of a developing country has some kind of disability [14]. However, it is important to remember that the issue of disability affects not only persons with disabilities but also their relatives, friends and neighbors. In extension, it affects the whole society, since an increased participation of this population group, in society, will decrease poverty and will improve the country's development and better life condition.

One can say that disability is an obstacle to the development of the country as PWD are often excluded from society and do not have the same educational and job opportunities [15] [16][17][18]. They are often excluded from social, economic and political community, either directly or through the lack of knowledge of their needs in policy, programs and services. In this way, poverty and disability are intimately related [15] [18] [19] [20]. Overcoming these obstacles and creating conditions to integrate PWD will lead to the country's economic and social development which can help to poverty reduction.

Regarding the social policies it is important to develop programs to prevent risky situations and to protect PWD. The Cape Verdean society was facing some challenges such as: investment in the empowerment of PWD, the preservation and recognition of their fundamental rights, the increase of their participation in poverty reducing programs and the increase of social inclusion.

Cape Verde signed CRPD in 2007 but until 2011 it was not ratified. Although United Nations argue that CRPD is based on human rights principles that already exist, it sets out the legal obligations of States to promote and protect the rights of PWD worldwide [6] [7] [8] [9]. "After the ratification states parties are obliged to amend their legislation and to implement disability-related policies in compliance with the provisions of the CRPD" [3]. One of the fundamental human rights principles, which CRPD is based on, is the non-discrimination; this principle ensures that PWD cannot be discriminated and have the right to enjoy all aspects of life in equal basis as the whole society [9].

Nevertheless, Kayess and French [21] argue that CRPD changed the framework of human rights once it establishes that international development programmes should include the right to development, awareness raising, social protection and poverty reduction for PWD. Even, once CRPD is based on the social model of disability, which understands that disability is related to the lack of access to services, it can shift the paradigm of public policies formulation and implementation [3].

In order to advocate for CRPD, in 2010, the international NGO Handicap International established a project entitled "Raising the Profile of Disability in Cape Verde". The project aimed at disseminating the rights of PWD that were highlighted at the CRPD, and also at promoting awareness raising activities and finally aimed at strengthening the role of civil society in the context of disability in Cape Verde. The main purpose was to improve the society involvement in the inclusion of this population group, reduce social exclusion and break stigmas that are attached to them. It was grounded in a rights-based approach methodology which focuses on human rights principles.

Taking all the above mentioned into consideration, the objective of this article is to present the social-development project coordinated by the International Organization, Handicap International, at Cape Verde, which used a rights-based approach methodology based on CRPD to promote inclusion of PWD.

Materials and Methods

The Project was firmly grounded in a rights-based approach, using CRPD as a framework. The human-rights based approach have begun to be applied after United Nations (UN) launched, in 1997, a Program for Reform, which called all United Nations system to mainstream human rights in their programs and activities. In order to help the agencies integrating the human rights concepts and principles into development programs, the UN published, in 2003, the "Common Understanding on a Human Rights-Based Approach" [22]. This provided useful guidance for UN agencies and also non-governmental organizations in order to integrate human rights in their activities [22] [23][24].

A rights-based approach recognizes human rights as a primary goal and it is used to make human right a reality, especially for vulnerable and marginalized groups, which usually have their rights violated. Therefore, in projects that use human rights-based approach as a methodology, the aim of all activities is to contribute directly to the realization of one or several human rights that is established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments as the CRPD. All phases of this kind of project, that is, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation should be based on human rights principles such as universality and inalienability; indivisibility; inter-dependence and inter-relatedness; non-discrimination and equality; participation and inclusion; accountability and the rule of law [22] [23][24].

Universality and inalienability means that all people everywhere in the world are entitled to human rights, nobody can take them away. Indivisibility means that it does not exist a hierarchical order between human rights, they are all important for the dignity of the human being. Inter-dependence and inter-relatedness means that the realization of one right depends on the other; non-discrimination and equality emphasizes that all human being must have equal access to rights without discrimination of any kind, such as race, sex, ethnicity, age, language, religion, disability or other status. Participation and inclusion enforces that all people can enjoy their rights and are entitled to participate in all decision making process about themselves. Finally, accountability and the rule of law means that all duty-bears, including States, are answerable for Human Rights and, if they fail to do so, rights-holders can use juridical instruments to claim for them [22] [23] [24].

Projects based on human-rights approaches move the focus from charity to rights and contribute to the development of duty-bearers' and right holders' capacities. Through this, duty-bearers can understand their obligations and right-holders can claim for their rights. Therefore, the identification of the duty-bearers and the rights-holders is essential in those projects [22] [23][24].

Knowing this, the first phase of the project "Raising the Profile of Disability in Cape Verde" was the identification of right-holders, local Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) that support people with disabilities in the country. Five local associations were identified and all of them worked in partnership with Handicap International during the whole project: Associação de Deficientes Visuais de Cabo Verde (ADEVIC) , Associação dos Pais e Amigos das Crianças com Paralisia Cerebral (ACARINHAR), Associação de Promoção da Saúde Mental -A Ponte; Associação de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Integral da Criança com Deficiência (AADICD); Associação da Pessoa com Deficiência de Cabo Verde (ACD).

After the partners' identification, the project was designed together with them and all activities were planned conjointly. Activities were planned focusing

  1. on DPOs empowerment in order to improve the social participation of civil society in public policies decision-making process
  2. society awareness for the rights of people with disabilities
  3. capacity building for the government to meet its obligation as duty-bears

In this way, the project prioritized DPOs participation in all phases, since the project design, including activities planning and organization up to project evaluation. It was based on the empowerment of local DPOs and on narrowing the dialog between DPOs and Government.

A strong partnership methodology with a strong coordination mechanism and a working together approach between Handicap International team and the DPOs and the government were used to achieve the goals. The partnership approach is used to stimulate a closely work between local organizations, authorities and other organization (i.e. Handicap International). The benefits of having a strong partnership approach is to primarily have the needs and actions to be influenced and delivered by local organisations and additionally to promote the sustainability of these actions [25]. So, once per month meetings were organized between Handicap International, local associations and the government, mainly involving the Ministry of Employment, Family and Social Solidarity (the department responsible for the disabilities public policies).

Throughout these meetings the activities to be undertaken to implement the project were discussed and planned together. Everyone was involved in all activities and had specific assigned responsibilities to make it work.


The main activities of the project consisted of:

  1. organizing a seminar to build capacity of the local DPOs, stimulating PWD and local DPOs to participate in decision-making process and to work within the government in the development of public policies
  2. organizing an awareness activities in order to sensitize Cape Verde population about the rights of PWD
  3. organizing seminars for government and policy makers in order to build their capacity as duty-bears. All activities were planned based on rights principles: participation, non-discrimination and accountability

The first group meeting, after project approval in January 2010, took place in March and was mediated by the Minister of Social Solidarity herself and the Handicap International project coordinator. During this meeting representatives from all government sectors were present and it was discussed the action plan for the disability issue in the country during that year. After this meeting, others were organized in order to monitor the progress of the action plan defined at the beginning of the year.

The first activity organized by the group aimed to empower and build capacity of local DPOs. Therefore, in order to enhance their knowledge in this field and promote their activities, a long awaited training on project proposal was organized.

Throughout the year, the DPOs significantly increased their community activities. They carried out many activities such as: two holiday camps for children with and without disability, which included the participation of more than 80 children; the first international seminar on mental health that involved 100 participants, mostly from civil society ; the celebration of October 15, day of the white cane; the celebration of December 3, International Day of Disability, with a cultural fair held in the Reitoria square with the participation of over 200 people; and the performance of the group Mon na Roda, a dance group formed by PWD held in the auditorium of the Deputy Assembly.

Besides, several activities to make Cap Verdean society aware of the situation of the PWD were planned. The first was in July, when a seminar on accessibility was organized. The seminar was mediated by an architect and expert in urban development and accessibility. That seminar involved many people from different sectors of society (PWD, architects, engineers, local and national authorities, researchers, university professors and students) which opened an opportunity to raise local policy makers' awareness about the importance of this issue when thinking of a society for all. During the seminar the participants had the opportunity to experience the difficulties faced by people with disabilities to move around the streets in the capital. Furthermore, it was a very productive forum for discussion about the importance of investing in accessibility in Cape Verde. The entire seminar was translated into sign language so that people with hearing disability could fully participate in discussions. This seminar was also organized with a fully participation of the local DPOs and representatives of the government in a participatory approach.

Also in July was organized a local participative diagnosis seminar on the situation of PWD. It was translated to sign language and included representatives of local DPOs, PWD and their family members. The goal was to discuss together the issue of disability in Cape Verde, make a quick situation analysis, and jointly decide on which field or fields of disability issues a report of good practices would be written. This report will include some recommendations and examples showing that the implementation of the CRPD is possible and would be delivered to local authorities, international actors and to all who are somehow involved with the issue of disability in the country. The report would help the government to create public policies, once they will have a more accurate knowledge of the main needs of disabled people in the country. During the workshop, it was decided that the main areas on which they could write a report would be health, education or employment. After that, another meeting was organized and it was decided that education would be the chosen, so a report about good practices in inclusive education were written and delivery to the government to help them to achieve their responsibilities as duty-bears.

Four 30-second videos, each addressing various types of disabilities and different rights based on CRPD, were conjointly produced with the local associations and the government. The purpose of this activity was to raise awareness of the population about the rights of PWD and the importance of an inclusive society. People with different types of disability were filmed. The topics included employment, family law, sports participation and inclusive education. All of these videos were translated into sign language and were broadcasted on all of the local TV stations during one month. The campaign slogan was: 'Cape Verde, for an Inclusive Society'. It was the first time a PWD was the main character in a television campaign.

Besides these activities, during the year of 2010, a booklet about disability entitled: 'Um Mundu pa nos Tudo' (A World for us All) was prepared. This booklet was developed in partnership with the National Commission for Human Rights and Citizenship in Cape Verde. Its purpose was disseminate the new paradigm of disability and the rights of PWD in the country, in order to promote the CRPD, and the existing laws in Cape Verde that protect PWD.

On December 3rd, disability international day, all DPOs participated in a great cultural activity, in a big square, with an audience exceeding 200 people.

At the end of the year, it was organized a final meeting between the DPOs and government representatives to make an evaluation of all that was achieved during 2010. It was verbally expressed that the year 2010 had been very productive for the question of disability issue. The dialogue between associations and government was strengthened. The government was present in all awareness-raising activities undertaken during the year and actively participated in all of them. And, as a result, there were many achievements in the legislative field, such as the regulation of the law of social protection for children with disabilities, the law of social patronage and the local law for the promotion, protection, rehabilitation and integration of persons with disabilities, which were part of the action plan approved in the beginning of the year.

The DPOs decided to create a federation that would be an umbrella for all DPOs. This is an important step towards a better organization of the associations' activities. Also, this strengthening their social participation in order to fight for PWD's interests, and to advocate for the rights of PWD and CRPD implementation.

It was also discussed that the data collection about disability in the country was questionable, so a meeting with INE, the national statistic institution, was organized and a questionnaire based on the Washington Group example were presented. INE agreed that a more accurate data needed to be collected and that would be done in the next census.

Also, the ratification of CPRD was approved in December 2010, and it was ratified in 2011. This was an important achievement for the DPOs and for the whole country once it was signed in 2007 and until 2011 it had not been ratified. This victory is an example of how civil society, especially policy makers, was more sensitive by the issue of disability in Cape Verde.

Therefore, rights of PWD were disseminated and many positive changes were seen for the entire Cape Verdean society.


According to WHO [14], approximately 15% of the world's population over one billion people, are PWD, and 80% of them live in low-income countries [26]. Even though this group represents a huge part of society, law and public polices around the world are not able to ensure dignity, autonomy, and equality for them [7] [26] Lang et al. [9] affirm that PWD are the most marginalized and excluded group in any society, even in development countries. Besides, disability and poverty walk side by side there is a positive relationship between them. Poor people tend to be more vulnerable to diseases that lead to a disability, once they usually live surrounded by terrible environmental condition, theirs jobs are more dangerous and they do not have access to services like water supply, sanitation and health care. On the other hand, being a PWD rises the chances to be poor, once going to school and being employed is more difficult for the disabled ones [9] [15][17]. In this scenario, it is necessary to strengthen human rights discourse, once it can be used, as a moral argument, to advocate by or on behalf of vulnerable, marginalized and excluded groups. Human rights can be used as a tool to shift global politics from power to individual respect. For this reason, advocacy movements can use rights to fight against social inequality demanding States to prioritize neglected issues and to reform politics, promoting, thus, social inclusion [27].

Human rights argument began to be used as instrument to limit state power after the approval, in 1948, of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. After that many international conventions were elaborated [27]. Although all treaties about human rights include PWD, they usually cannot enjoy their rights under equal condition compared to the non-disabled ones. By trying to minimize the social exclusion that this group faces, many instruments that protect and promote the rights of PWD were written. But, as motioned before, it was not before 2006 that the first legally binding international instrument, the CRPD, was approved by United Nations. This international treat reaffirms and reinforces the necessity to respect PWD's human rights. It contemplates civil, political, economical, social and cultural ones, and it highlights the needs of PWD. More than that, the CRPD is firmly based on the principles of non-discrimination and equality, which means that PWD cannot be discriminated due to their impairment and should enjoy all rights in equal basis with the other groups. This legal instrument points out many initiatives that States must employ to avoid discrimination and endorse inclusion. Although CRPD does not bring any new right, it is based on the social model of disability, thus it can be used to change the paradigm of disability, influencing politics and practices [3] [6] [7][8][9].

In a rights based perspective all individual should have equal opportunity to participate in society, and sometimes it is necessary to give more support or protection for some people to power their capacity and ensure that they will be able to fully take part in society. The lack of access to services, information and support is what reinforces the vulnerable condition of PWD [7] [9]. With this in mind Mannan [7] states that the human rights approach to disability advocacy is the "single most imperative political development in the effort for equal participation by persons with disabilities".

In an inclusive society PWD should be able to be included in all aspects of society, even in police making process, claiming for their rights and becoming the drivers of the change. Nevertheless, marginalized and vulnerable groups have difficulties to participate in decision-making process, their needs are not heard and they are excluded [9]. Knowing this, it is important that development projects and programmes, which work in a rights-based approach methodology, which can guarantee that excluded groups take part in political decisions, as the Community Based Rehabilitation Guidelines [28] outlined: "Inclusive development is that which includes and involves everyone, especially those who are marginalized and often discriminated against. People with disability and their family members, particularly those living in rural or remote communities or urban slums, often do not benefit from development initiatives and therefore inclusive development of disability is essential to ensure that they can participate meaningfully in development processes and policies. Mainstreaming (or including) the rights of people with disabilities in development agenda is a way to achieve equality for people with disabilities". Nevertheless, in some case, even when PWD are included in politics space, they cannot feel included in social areas. As Katsui and Kumpuvuori [29] analyzed, in Uganda PWD have representation in politics areas, however, they are not able to fully participate in social spheres of live due to discrimination and prejudice from society. In order to minimize this and improve community attitude towards PWDs, Kabzems and Chimedza [30] argued that development assistance projects should support community participation. On doing that, they could be more effective on changing attitudes. These authors evaluate development assistance projects for PWD at Lesotho and Zimbabue and they found that when those projects incorporate PWD, allowing them to speak from themselves, social outcomes as equalization of opportunities will increase as well as social acceptance in their own community.

In this way, the DPOs play a special role in projects and programs with rights-based approach. Their active presence during the CRPD writing and negotiation process was essential for its approval [7] [9]. Also, the Article 4 of CRPD states: "In the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to PWD, States Parties shall closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations". Political decisions need active and engaged society in order to be kept.

Therefore, build capacity of local DPOs is a key instrument to strengthen their own political power, and to disseminate information. PWD and their family usually trust the DPOs, supporting their activities and fortifying their representativeness in development discussion and police making. Therefore, when DPOs are empowered and recognized as an important stakeholder, they can advocate for public policies that respect the CRPD [7] [9]. As Morrison et al. [31] recommend, in their study about disabled women's attendance at community women's group in rural Nepal, DPO's should be able to help organizations that run community groups to increase awareness of disability issues among them. For those authors, this could increase their effectiveness in reaching PWD's participation.

In this sense, the project "Raising profile of disability in Cape Verde" had the aim to build capacity of local DPOs and to spread, throughout the country, the content of the CRPD. The access to information about rights is the first step for civil society to claim for them and it helps to prevent violation.

It is still difficult for some politicians and for a huge part of the society to understand disability from a human rights perspective. They still think that projects and programs oriented for PWD should be based on charity/welfare approach. In this sense, there is a challenge to implement rights-based approach projects. A way to change this perception could be encouraging a more constructive dialogue between DPOs, policy-makers and society. In 2009, Disability and Rehabilitation Journal published a special issue about the realization of PWD's rights in Africa. In the paper written by Mji et al. [32], introducing the special issue, the authors highlighted the importance to create a network with DPO's, police makers, practitioners and researchers in order to promote the PWD's rights. This can increase the understanding of a rights-based agenda and spread the principles of the social model of disability [9]. With this in mind the project also aimed to fortify the dialogue between DPOs and government, and to sensitize society and policy-makers about the social concept of disability and the importance to see it from a human-right perspective.

Once society stimulates the creation of democratic spaces where different knowledge and opinions can be exchanged, it fortifies social participation. Based on that, the meetings organized during the project stimulated active participation of all, that is, both civil society and government. In this sense, the project strengthened the dialogue between civil society and Government, which helped in the creation of public policies that faces the real needs of PWD. Therefore, we can say that a right-based approach project could be a good element to contribute to the empowerment of civil society, improving participation in decision-making process.

Another important issue was to help DPOs to create a federation. As Lang et al. [9] pointed out, when the DPOs work in isolation they lose strength and ability to fight for political changes. In this sense, a federation could be an instrument to organize all DPOs, fortifying their voices. Strong and organized groups of civil society are able to transform a social structure.

Sensitize activities for Cape Verdeans were also another important objective of the project. When society is aware of rights and necessities of vulnerable groups, it can help advocacy movements to demand specific issues into States agenda [27]. Lindsay and Edwards [33] did a systematic review for disability awareness interventions for children and youth. They found 42 studies that met their criteria and from those 34 showed that disability awareness activities can improve attitudes towards and/or acceptance of PWD. These findings support the idea that disability awareness interventions help to improve social inclusion and participation of PWD. More than that, Sharby et al. [34] notice that when health professionals are aware about legal obligations and PWD's necessities the PWD's access to health care is improved. Therefore, health professionals should be included in awareness disability programs. In this sense, the project at Cape Verde was based on many awareness raising activities including one month of television campaign.

All activities were planned and organized with government, which help to build their capacity as duty-bears. Policy makers were more sensitize about PWD's situation at the country and the dissemination of the CRPD content was an important activity to its ratification.


In order to fight against marginalization, vulnerability and inequality, faced by PWD, it is necessary to stimulate their participation in decision-making process and also shift society view about disability. In this way, social-development projects with rights-based approach methodology can spread human rights principles throughout the society improving social participation in decision-making processes, helping in the elaboration of public policies that face the real need of vulnerable groups. More than that, projects for the inclusion of PWD that use CRPD as a framework can support it to get implemented, disseminating the social concept of disability, helping in reducing stigma attached to this population group. Besides, they can be used to stimulate States to act in accordance with international human rights standards and norms.

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Author Contributions:
Priscila Neves-Silva – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Acquisition of data, Analysis and interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
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The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
© 2016 Priscila Neves-Silva. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.

About The Author

Priscila Neves-Silva is a PhD student at Rene Rachou Research Center, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Belo Horizonte-MG, Brazil. Her research interests include human rights, disability, sanitation and health promotion.