General News

ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF), Brunei Darussalam, 10th – 12th December 2013

Background on ASEAN and Disability

ADF held in Siem Riep in 2012The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, is now an influential political and economic power that has about 600 million population and 1,500 billion US dollar in GDP. On the other hand, there are about 60 million citizens with disabilities living in this region, according to the UN estimation. Though ASEAN is an economically emerging region, most of this population is still marginalized from the mainstream of society. Persons with disabilities, especially those requiring intensive support, are denied to have access to their communities, but are cared solely by their family members at home or isolated in residential institutions life-long. There are a majority of causes of disabilities including congenital disorder, disease, traumas of war, working accident, and others. Especially, in Indochinese countries, the rate of disabilities caused by war is relatively high due to bomb, and the Agent Orange. After the war, bombs have lied under the ground, and still injured people. Together with Agent Dioxin, they all affect disabled life generation after generations. Currently, they are the most vulnerable people of global concerns and require global support. In December 2008, ASEAN Charter came into force. Its Article 1 declares that one of the purposes of ASEAN is "to promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the process of ASEAN integration and community building." ASEAN Charter also emphasizes its purpose of providing peoples of ASEAN "with equitable access to opportunities for human development, social welfare and justice." Disability sector in ASEAN with 60 million population is also the one which shall be encouraged and provided with equitable access though the ASEAN mechanism. Download the General Information of ADF 2013

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