WWDA Co-Host International Launch of Global Program for Young People with Disability

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) global program for young people with disability: “WE DECIDE: A Programme for Equal Opportunities and a Life Free of Violence” was officially launched at the 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Person’s with Disabilities in New York in June 2016,

WWDA was honoured to not only co-sponsor this critical event, but also be invited by the UNFPA to co-host the official launch. UNFPA were generous in assisting with the travel and accommodation costs for WWDA representative, Cashelle Dunn, to attend the COSP and officially co-launch the WE DECIDE Program.

Over the last year WWDA has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to establish the innovative WE DECIDE global program to improve the human rights of young people with disability worldwide. Part of WWDA’s work in helping to establish the global program included convening the Australian Cross Disability Alliance national forum of young people with disability on the theme of sexual and reproductive rights.

The “Youth with Disability National Forum” was held in Melbourne on 6 November 2015, and also included developing a promotional campaign for the WE DECIDE program, including developing logos, slogans, branding and campaign messages to be used throughout the four year global project. In addition, WWDA worked with a number of young people with disability in Australia to video their thoughts and views as part of the awareness raising campaign for the global project.

WWDA CEO Carolyn Frohmader represents Australia on the International Project Expert Advisory Group, and is also a member of the technical advisory group for the global country study on the human rights of young people with disability. The global country study forms one element of the global 4-year program. It was a wonderful achievement for WWDA and the young people with disability in Australia who contributed their ideas at the Youth with Disability National Forum that the UNFPA formally adopted our proposed logo and name for the Global Program – the logo was developed by WWDA from information provided by the young people at the Youth with Disability National Forum.

As part of the development and establishment of the global WE DECIDE Program, WWDA assisted the UNFPA and its partners to develop and produce a video to promote the program and raise awareness of the sexual and reproductive rights of young people with disability. As part of WWDA’s contribution to this work, WWDA interviewed a number of young people with disability who participated in the “Youth with Disability National Forum” in Melbourne in November 2015. The young people agreed to be interviewed on video, and several of them now appear in the global video for the WE DECIDE Program. Additionally, WWDA assisted in writing some of the content for the global video. The video production is currently being finalised, and will be publicly available on YouTube in the coming days.

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