Niamini initiative organises our work around three international campaigns which represent the most widespread and systematic human rights violations faced by people with disabilities worldwide.
Under this campaign, we call for a quality and inclusive education for all children, regardless of their impairments, identities and talents. Central to this is remodeling our education systems to create inclusive common learning environments in all schools, where children with and without disabilities learn, play and support each other. We call for educational curricula to be adapted to respond to children with diverse needs and talents; for teachers to receive support in achieving inclusive classrooms; and for children with disabilities to receive the support they need to learn and achieve to their maximum potential.
Under this campaign, we call for recognition of equal citizenship of people with disabilities, including their right to make decisions about their own lives. Too often, people with mental disabilities are labelled as “incompetent” or are denied the right to decide by punitive guardianship systems. They may be denied the right to vote, to marry, to manage their own money, and even to decide where to live. Instead of systems based on restriction and control, we push governments to provide support to people to make their own decisions – so that they can be the authors of their own lives.
Under this campaign, we demand that all people with disabilities can access the support they need to live independent, fulfilling lives as active participants in their communities. This includes advocating for greater accessibility of public services, the provision of individualized support to those who need it, and ensuring that people are protected against isolation and abuse. We advocate against policies which maintain institutions for people with disabilities that cut them off from their families and societies. Under this campaign, we also fight against the scourges of torture and ill-treatment which are all-too-common behind closed doors.
Each of these campaigns reflects some of the core rights guaranteed under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have chosen these campaigns because changes in these areas have the most widespread positive impact on the lives of our beneficiaries. These are the issues that people with mental disabilities continually bring to our attention. Denying these rights has a knock-on effect on almost every other right in every other area of our beneficiaries’ lives.