UN CRPD Advocacy Training Course for young people

31 January 2017

31 January 2017 // A unique disability rights advocacy training for young people with SB/H was held by IF last November in Dublin.

The IF pilot training aimed to empower young people with disabilities through understanding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and developing competences for effective disability rights advocacy and inclusive participation. The intense 3-day programme was based on interactive methodologies, game-based approach, simulations, role exercises, experts’ inputs and discussions. It was tailored to the participants’ needs and access requirements, which allowed every young person to feel fully included. The participants were young members of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland committed to using the skills received at the training in their local activism work.

What is the specificity of this training? First, it explores rights-based approach to disability and helps young people recognise their human rights (and not only needs) that are protected under the UN CRPD. Second, it develops advocacy skills of young people with disabilities and their ability to use both the UN CRPD and the national legal instruments in practice. Finally, the training provides the tools to encourage young people’s activism and give them skills and self-confidence for meaningful youth participation.

IF’s idea behind the training was twofold: identify and support young activists with disabilities – future leaders of the IF movement, and equip them with skills, knowledge and experience to lead by example and defend the rights of young people with disabilities in their community. The overall training concept and module was developed by a professional trainer Karina Chupina (who has a disability herself) and has had an extensive experience of working with youth with disabilities in advocacy, youth work and capacity-building on an international level.

The training, conducted by Karina together with the IF team, proved to be a huge success with SBHI young participants. They particularly appreciated the involvement of Dr Charles O’Mahony, Irish disability law expert from the University of Galway, and the opportunity to work with the professional film maker Terence White who supported the production of the course advocacy video. Have a look and let us know what you think! Here you can access the photos from the training.

Two more trainings are planned to be held this year: in Italy in July and Scotland in autumn. Stay tuned! Eventually, IF hopes to be able to offer the training to as many IF member associations as possible.

By Karina Chupina,
Trainer and author of the UN CRPD Advocacy training module