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Equality, Sharing, Integration --China’s role in global disability work

Source: Updated: 2016-11-03

Chairwoman of the China Disabled Persons Federation Zhang Haidi was inaugurated as the leader of Rehabilitation International (RI) in Edinburgh on October 27.

She was sworn in at the closing ceremony of the three-day world congress of RI, the world's leading network for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. More than 1000 disability workers from over 60 countries and regions took part in the event.

Responsibility to improve the livelihood for the disabled

Zhang said in her speech at the RI congress that being the leader of RI means a new mission and new responsibilities. She will strive to promote the equality, sharing, and integration of the disabled.

Founded in 1922, the RI is a worldwide network of grassroots organizations, service providers, researchers, academics, professionals and government agencies with members in over 100 countries and regions. It is the only international disability NGO that is both cross-disability and cross-disciplinary.

Zhang stressed that RI will enhance cooperation with other international organizations and build up an RI global network. RI welcomes more developing countries to take part in its projects, and will support research institutions working in rehabilitation technology development. RI will also set up an award to honor those who have made great contributions to the rehabilitation cause around the world.

CDPF is committed to creating a more tolerant social environment for the disabled

China has been promoting developments for the disabled in accessibility, rehabilitation, education, employment, and poverty alleviation over the past decades. China has launched new policies this year on life subsidies for people with difficulties and people with severe disabilities, and more than 20 million disabled people have benefited from them.

China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF) has been actively building up an international communication platform. CDPF promoted the inclusion of disability issues in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, successfully held activities themed on APEC disability work and was selected as the first president of the APEC disability issue group. It also established coordination procedures between China and the US and Russia, as well as countries in Africa. CDPF has won more than 10 international awards, including a United Nations Messengers of Peace award.

A celebration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was held in Beijing on July 7. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. He praised the Chinese governments contribution to the drafting and implementation of the convention. In the past ten years, the convention has helped to make Chinese society more tolerant of people with disabilities. Many policies to protect their rights issued by the government are profoundly changing social attitudes.

The Chinese disability cause is facing new historical opportunity. The Chinese delegation at the RI world congress made a deep impression by speaking out in their own voices.

China's Art Group of the Disabled performed at the congress closing ceremony. The classic dance Thousand-Hand Kwan-yin expressed best wishes for the disabled around the world.

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