Including the voices of persons with disabilities in the Sri Lanka Constitutional Reforms Process
On Monday the 8th of February, the International Centre for Ethnic Studies hosted at their premises an advocacy meeting which brought together organizations, interest groups and individuals engaged in disability rights and disability inclusive processes. The advocacy event was organized by the Enabled Elections Coalition (https://www.facebook.com/enabledelections/) together with Centre for Monitoring Elections Violence (http://cmev.org/) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (http://www.ifes.org/). The purpose of the meeting was to mobilize disability rights stakeholders to discuss strategies on including the voice of and provisions for persons with disabilities in the new constitution drafting process in Sri Lanka. The participatory discussion was effective in bringing forth suggestions for the need of a dedicated article in the proposed new constitution for persons with disabilities. Further, the deliberations of the day also highlighted the importance of including a definition for persons with disabilities in the new constitution in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
At the end of the meeting a consensus was reached among the participating stakeholders to formulate specific provisions for persons with disabilities to beincluded in the new constitution and submitted to the constitutional committee with the endorsement of a wide network of disability rights advocates and organizations.