tokyo 2020 paralympic games
With days left for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to kickstart, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Disability Alliance (IDA) have launched a global human rights campaign to tackle discrimination towards persons with disabilities. The IPC has collaborated with organisers of the Special Olympics and Deaflympics to start the campaign titled “WeThe15” with the aim of providing necessary assistance to millions of persons with disabilities across the world. At 1.3 billion, persons with disabilities reportedly make up to 15 percent of the global population.
For the first time in history, leading global organisations for the disabled, including the IPC, International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (Deaflympics), Special Olympics, and Invictus Games Foundation, have joined efforts to harness the potential of sports events to raise awareness about the issues and challenges faced by persons with disabilities in countries across the world.
“WeThe15 aspires to be the biggest ever human rights movement for persons with disabilities and aims to put disability right at the heart of the inclusion agenda, alongside ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation,” IPC President Andrew Parsons said.
He underlined that sports events will enable the initiative to make a strong impact on the world for the greater good of persons with disabilities.
International organisations such as the UN Human Rights Commission and UNESCO have also partnered with IPC and other relevant institutions to ensure the provision of human rights benefits to persons with disabilities.
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that the WeThe15 campaign is bringing together leading disability-specific sports organisations, disability rights movements and stakeholders from various sectors to change the narrative on disability and make human rights-based development a reality for persons with disabilities by building on multiple Paralympic Games taking place in Paris, Beijing, and other parts of the world.
“We plan to build on the multiple Paralympic Games in Beijing, Paris, Milan and Los Angeles, particularly in the local communities, to make it clear that upholding and advancing the human rights of persons with disabilities is relevant, doable and necessary – for everyone’s benefit,” Bachelet said.
The WeThe15 initiative seeks to create more opportunities and change the public attitude in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. International organisations from various fields such as human rights, sports, business, policy, and entertainment will work with world governments and other institutions to initiate change for the largest marginalised group.