As the first Latin American country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Optional Protocol (in 2008), Peru is often held up as an example by other countries in the region. In December 2012, Peru passed the General Law on Persons with Disabilities (No. 29973), which is considered closely in line with the CRPD.
In May 2017, the RightsNow! project built on this momentum by conducting an intensive five-day training in Peru for Disabled Persons' Organization (DPO) leaders from across the country. Co-led by U.S. and local trainers, the training equipped disability rights advocates with in-depth knowledge and tools to implement and enforce the General Law on Persons with Disabilities. Over the course of the week, leaders compared and contrasted the history of U.S. and Peru's disability rights legislation, and reviewed enforcement mechanisms currently in place.
Participants discussed strategies to strengthen legislation and implementation, including:
- Leveraging the CRPD and Sustainable Development Goals
- Advocacy and lobbying tactics in rural areas
- Cross-disability and cross-sector coalition building
Peruvian trainees examined principles and actions that led to the successful implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and identified strategies transferrable and effective in the Peruvian context. Trainees took new information, ideas, and practical skills back to their communities, where they trained other disability leaders and community members throughout Peru on how to use existing laws to ensure equal rights.
RightsNow! worked closely with the Blind Women’s Commission of Peru (Comisión de Damas Invidentes del Perú) and local trainers to coordinate and facilitate the training.
The training team included:
- Susan Henderson, Executive Director, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
- Debbie Sharp, Project Specialist, MIUSA
- Victor Hugo Vargas, Attorney (APADV-Asociación Peruana de Abogados con Discapacidad Visual)
- Guillermo Vega Espejo (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- Rosario Galarza (CODIP, RIADIS-Red Latinoamericana de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales de Personas con Discapacidad y sus Familia)
- Vicky Oviedo (APRODEH-La Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos)
- Milagros Sovero (La Mesa de Discapacidad y Derechos, Paz y Esperanza)
The RightsNow! project has held trainings in Vietnam, Mexico, Kenya, Armenia, and GuatemalaLearn more about the RightsNow! project by following us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #RightsNow! and visit the Global Disability Rights Now! website.
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Photo Gallery: Photos from RightsNow! training in Peru, May 2017