1: Disabilities: Embodied Inequalities

This is a collaboration panel between NGOs and academia pertaining to disabilities as embodied forms of inequalities. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 persons with disabilities remained unmentioned, except for Article 25, under which ‘Everyone has […] the right to security in the event of […] disability […].’ The words such as ‘all human beings’ and ‘everyone’ could be interpreted to include persons with disabilities as ‘other status’ but no other explicit mention of disability was made. It is only a recent history when disability has entered into the mainstream human rights and development thinking among others through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006). Similarly, the Millennium Development Goals did not mention disability, and persons with disabilities were largely left behind even when some of the goals were achieved well in time. Learning from the made mistakes, the Sustainable Development Goals have seven targets which explicitly refer to persons with disabilities and six targets refer to persons in vulnerable situations. Accordingly, many indicators were set to measure achievements of the targets and goals also for persons with disabilities. Today, disabilities have been increasingly mentioned in international and national laws and policies. Yet, their universal implementation continues to be a problem for this particular group. This panel focuses on disabilities as a cutting point to analyse inequalities and some of the social, institutional, historical, economic and/or political mechanisms behind them. Panelists consist of NGO representatives and academic researchers who will present their illustrating examples and connect empirical data and experiences with theoretical arguments to conceptualise inequalities from the perspective of persons with disabilities. Abstracts (max. 300 words) should be emailed to the panel chair.

Panel chair

Hisayo Katsui, University of Helsinki, hisayo.katsui@helsinki.fi