What about Global South?

Hisayo Katsui, Senior Researcher, Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Following the United Nations (UN) Decade of Disabled Persons between 1983-1992, the first African Decade of Persons with Disabilities started in 1999 and ended in 2009. The first Continental Plan of Action of the African Decade states in its Introduction, “The UN Decade of Disabled Persons had its successes and failures…its successes which were more pronounced in the northern hemisphere than elsewhere.” This was the primary reason why the Asia and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (1993-2002), the Arab Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012), and the African Decade started. Both the Asia and Pacific and the African Decades were extended for another decade. Now that more than 110 countries around the globe have ratified the Convention, has there been significant positive change in the lives of persons with disabilities at grass roots in the global South? This writing is related to what Tom Shakespeare addressed and further provoked by Kristín Björnsdóttir but in the context of global South. Continue reading

From Prenatal screening to “After birth abortion”

Róisín Dermody, independent researcher and disability activist, Dublin, Ireland

Abortion is a highly contentious issue when the debate focuses on a woman’s right to choose and the right to life of the unborn child.  However, when the decision to abort is based on the detection of an impairment during prenatal screening, the debate takes on a whole new perspective. And now, we are asked to consider the case of “After birth Abortion”.

On the 23rd February 2012, the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article by  Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva which advocates for “after birth abortion” on the basis that:

1. Neither foetuses nor newborns have the same moral status as actual persons,

2. The fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and

3. Adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people.

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Blogging Against Disablism Day 1st May 2012

 Hannah Morgan, Lecturer in Disability Studies, Lancaster University, UK

1st May is celebrated throughout the Nordic countries and beyond as a day of celebration and activism linked to our shared heritage in the international labour movement.  Since 2006 it has also become Blogging Against Disablism Day (BADD) coordinated by Diary of a Goldfish (1). The purpose of the day is to raise ‘awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we’ve made’.  As a discipline, an inter-disciplinary area of study or community of practice (depending on your perspective, we are nothing if not a broad church) Disability Studies has much to celebrate and affirm. Continue reading