News and Events

This section contains information on upcoming and past events on disability rights in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular regional initiatives, trainings and seminars.

Upcoming events – None

Past events


Fourth Session of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022, Bangkok, Thailand

Date: 1-2 March 2017

The Fourth Session of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities was held from 1 to 2 March 2017 in Bangkok at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC).

The main objectives of the Fourth Session were:

(a)To review the progress made on implementing the Incheon Strategy since the last session;
(b)To review United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP)’s preparatory work in the lead-up to the 2017 High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities; and
(c)To discuss issues relating to the functioning of the Working Group for the second half of the Decade.

You can read more about the event and the related documents here.


ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Training Programme on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Bangkok, Thailand

Date: 11-14 October 2016

The training programme is a continuation of the 1st and 2nd regional dialogues on the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities, which were held in December 2015 and June 2016, respectively. The 2016 Training aims at creating a better understanding on the rights of persons with disabilities and introducing a regional platform among relevant stakeholders in ASEAN with a view of sharing experiences and practices on the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the region. More than 50 participants from all ten ASEAN Member States were nominated from amongst persons with no disabilities to learn about disability rights in various modules and from different perspectives. The training combined interactive and participatory lectures, and discussions to promote experience sharing.  It covered pertinent topics which included conceptual and regional frameworks on disability, friendly design for persons with disabilities, role of journalists, and the role of government officers and policy makers on the rights of persons with disabilities. It also held three sessions on sharing good practices, challenges, and opportunities on education, health and employment policies.

Nothing About Us Without Us: Participatory Training Workshop on Disability Rights, Wuhan, China

Date: 21-22 May 2016

The two-day Disability Equality Training (DET) Workshop was co-organized by UNDP China and the Wuhan University Public Interest and Development Law Institute (PIDLI). Attended by 15 participants from local law firms, legal aid center, local Association of the Deaf, disabled persons organizations (DPOs) and media, the training aimed at introducing the “social model of disability” advocated by the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to key stakeholders and enhancing their legal technical capacity to improve access to justice for persons with disabilities (PwDs).

The training focused on two sets of topics: one on changing the attitude and mindset of the participants regarding their conception of disability, integration and inclusion, and reasonable accommodation; the other on seeking practical solutions to address legal challenges faced by PwDs, such as the barriers in accessing legal aid. “Nothing about us without us,” is the principle advocated by the PwD community, arguing that no decision should be made without full and direct participation of members of the groups that will be affected. The PwD community have actively participated in the overall design, rule-setting, facilitation, discussion, and evaluation of this training, which has proven crucial to delivering its full impact.

Global Conference on the Advancement of the CRPD through the 2030 Agenda– “No one left behind”, Cairo, Egypt

Date: 19-21 March 2016

This 4-day international conference was organized by the Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD) in partnership with Disabled People’s International (DPI). It brought together people with disabilities and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) representing 66 countries from around the world, including Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) in Asia Pacific region. The agenda of the conference is as follows:

  • Day 1: DPI Regional Assemblies Meeting and DPI World Council Meeting
  • Day 2: (1) Panel discussions on the status of CRPD implementation in the world with regional perspectives, (2) Review and analysis from organizations of persons with disabilities, disability and development organizations, (3) decisions of the UN expert committee on the disability indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, (4) 3 parallel workshops on international, regional and national advocacy challenges and opportunities for Women and Girls with Disabilities, Children and Youth with Disabilities, and on poverty and persons with disabilities.
  • Day 3: (1) 3 parallel thematic workshops, on Employment and Social Protection Presentations on inclusive labor policies and a comparative analysis on social protection models, Perspectives of inclusive education from the global and local levels,  and Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies; (2) 3 parallel thematic workshops, on Living independently and included in the Community (Implementation of Article 19 of the UN CRPD), Science, technology and innovation governance for the 2030 agenda, and Global Indicators.
  • Day 4: World Council Meeting and DPI World Assembly Meeting.


A multi-stakeholders’ consultation on access to justice for persons with disabilities, Wuhan, China

Date: 26-27 December 2015

The consultation was co-organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Wuhan University Public Interest and Development Law Institute (PIDLI). It brought together around 30 Chinese experts and practitioners from the academia, disabled persons organizations (DPOs), law firms, the local disabled persons’ federation (DPF) and other stakeholders, with the aim to initiate a baseline research to assess the needs and gaps with regards to access to justice for PwDs in China. Discussions focused on the scope, conceptual approach and methodology of the study, including stakeholders’ analysis and assessment tools.

The consultation culminated in the publication of the report “Equal Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities in China” by UNDP on 28 November 2016. You can read the report here.

Information for All: ESCAP-CDPF Workshop on Accessible Knowledge, Information and Communication for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, Shanghai, China

Date: 15 – 17 December 2015

This Workshop was held by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP) in partnership with the Government of China, China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) and Shanghai Municipal Government.  The Workshop aimed to build technical knowledge of ESCAP member States to improve information accessibility for persons with disabilities. The Workshop brought together approximately 70 ICT and disability policy makers from Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong (China), India, Macao (China), Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, and Thailand, as well as civil society organizations, advocates with disabilities, technical specialists from the private sector and representatives from ITU and UNDP.

During the Workshop, participants shared good practices on the development of professional sign language interpreters for deaf persons, guide interpreters for deaf blind persons, web and media accessibility, accessibility of ATM machines, and information accessibility used for disaster risk reduction and employment. The Workshop led to the recommendation of 20 action points to be taken by member States and other participants, aiming to collaboratively build the legal and technical capacity to improve on information accessibility. The ESCAP secretariat will facilitate continued communication among the participants through an accessible online platform to be launched in January 2016.

The Summer Institute on Disability Rights and Equality, Hong Kong

Date: 1 – 10 June 2015

The Summer Institute on Disability Rights and Equality is a training event organized by the interdisciplinary studies in law subject group of HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) for NGO workers, academics, policy makers and practitioners in the field of disability equality.  It has a basic conviction that the advancement of disability rights and equality, be it through law and policy reforms, advocacy, services or other means, should be principled and contextually relevant. In a globalized world where universal values meet with local cultures, there has to be a lot of learning, talks and understanding about principles, theories, practical strategies and local practices, not only among the disability, academic, professional and policy communities within a society, but also across societies facing similar concerns.  For more information, please see Facebook page:
Lunchtime Seminar on The Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Chinese Context, Hong Kong

Date: 7 May 2015

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is arguably the most comprehensive of the core global human rights treaties. It requires state parties “to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities” and details how specific rights apply in the disability context. By targeting external, environmental obstacles to participation (rather than focusing on individual impairment), the CRPD challenges traditional concepts of disability and helps elucidate the meaning of basic human rights principles such as equality, dignity, and inclusion. This talk was presented by Ms. Kelley Loper, Deputy Director of HKU’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law and reflected on China’s implementation of the CRPD to date and the roles of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the treaty’s expert monitoring body), other relevant UN human rights mechanisms, and civil society. The speaker also shared recent initiatives undertaken by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) aimed at increasing and exchanging knowledge about the CRPD and supporting implementation efforts. In particular, it introduced the new Disability Rights Resource Network, an online platform that provides information and research resources on disability rights in English and Chinese to scholars, NGOs, policy-makers, and others involved in the field.


Disability Rights Workshop, Hong Kong

Date: 2014

Since 2012, representatives from various non-governmental organizations and disabled persons’ organizations have come together at annual workshops held at The University of Hong Kong to discuss the status of the rights of persons with disabilities in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Experts from all over the world including the US, the UK, India, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China, have attended the workshops to share their knowledge and experience with the participants. During the workshops, participants have been able to exchange views on various themes with one another and share experience about promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and implementing the CRPD.


Panel Discussion: Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in China: Challenges and Opportunities, Hong Kong

Date: 16 February 2012

This Panel Discussion was organized by the University of Hong Kong to discuss the challenges and opportunities in implementing the CRPD in China. The speakers were:

  • Diane Richler, Chair, International Disability Alliance and Past-President, Inclusion International
  • Carole Petersen, Professor and Director, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for                                                            Peace and Conflict Resolution, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii
  • Zhang Wei, Director, Enable Disability Studies Institute
  • Chong Chan Yau, President, Hong Kong Blind Union and Vice Chairman of the Joint Council for the Physically and Mentally Disabled.

The discussion was moderated by Ms. Kelley Loper of HKU.


Conference: Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities: Implementation of Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Hong Kong

Date: 28 November 2009

This one-day conference was co-hosted by HKU’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law, HKU’s Centre for Advancement in Special Education (Faculty of  Education),  and the University of Hawaii’s Sparks M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into  force  in  May  2008  and  has  applied  to  China,  including  Hong  Kong,  since August 2008.  Article 24 of the Convention provides for a right to education and requires  states  parties  to  ensure  inclusion  in  education  at  all  levels.    This conference   explored   legal,   policy   and   educational   issues   related   to   the implementation  of  Article  24  at  the  domestic  level. Speakers  include  the UN Special  Rapporteur  on  the  Right  to  Education,  legal  academics,  education experts,  and  others involved  in  ensuring  the  right  to  inclusion  for  students  with disabilities.