Monitoring the Human Rights of People with Disabilities in Canada: St. John’s Monitoring Site Fact Sheet
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Disability Rights Promotion International Canada (D.R.P.I. Canada) is a community-university alliance that works to build capacity and systems for monitoring the human rights of people with disabilities in Canada.
D.R.P.I. Canada coordinates work among four monitoring themes: individual experiences (personal experiences), systemic (laws and policy), media (coverage of disability), and survey datasets (information collected by population surveys). People with disabilities and their organizations are involved at all levels of the project.
- Reports of denials and violations of human rights were in general more prevalent than reports of people being able to access and exercise their rights. This was true for all the areas examined in this study- education, work, income security and supports, privacy and family life, social participation, information and communication, health, habilitation and rehabilitation, access to justice.
- Rights related to Social Participation were the most discussed. Human rights violations reported in this area most often involved denial of dignity (88%), disrespect (58%), as well as disability-based discrimination and unequal treatment (50%).
- In the areas of social participation and access to supports, the human rights experiences ofwomen and men were very similar. In the area of work, however, more women reported experiences of exclusion while more men reported facing discrimination. This may indicate greater barriers for women in access to work altogether.
- One third of the interviewees (31%) reported or took legal action when faced with disability-based discrimination. This outcome indicates that this group is well aware of their rights and is ready to take action when needed.
Figures and voices: A snapshot of the human rights experiences of persons with disabilities in St. John’s
- Lack of Dignity
- Lack of Autonomy
- Inclusion / Access.
- Exclusion / Inaccess.
- Non-discrim. / Equality
- Discrim. / Inequality
The sidewalks at Brian are not fit to anyone to walk, let alone a wheelchair, so when I do get out on the side of the road, people put their middle finger up to me. I get people swearing at me… it’s stuff that I had to deal with most of my life. (woman, age n.a.)
There is tremendous amount of discrimination that goes on. … When you’re in the workplace you’re supposed to be competing against people who don’t have mental illness, and you’re supposed to be a good as them, and that’s difficult, right? (man, 41 years old)
Accessing support services that treat people with dignity, even housing, is difficult. … My landlord has had my shower leaking for a year. He temporarily fixed it, now it’s leaking again. I have no access to my shower and my workers are refusing to give me a shower in any other part of the building. In order to get proper care right now, I feel like I have to go to acute care system, to a hospital. (woman, 41 years old)
D.R.P.I. Canada (a S.S.H.R.C. funded project)
Independent Living Resource Centre, St. John’s (project partner)