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Introduction to Week 2

In this video, Educators Jos Boys and Karen Soldatic introduce Week 2 of the Working with Disability course, which looks at human rights.

In the previous step, you learned that human rights build on ideas of human diversity, as they are a set of rights afforded to all people by virtue of being human. In this video, Educators Jos Boys and Karen Soldatic provide a brief background on the development of human rights and introduce the week.

As Karen explains, human rights first emerged in response to particular acts of state violence in the mid-20th century and a need to protect citizens from discrimination and abuses by their governments. However, they have since evolved into a moral framework for understanding one another and exercising our full human capabilities.

This week, we cover the history and development of human rights from the early 20th century to the present. We explore the impact of discrimination on the lives of people with disabilities and introduce the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as an instrument for combatting disability discrimination and working towards a good life.

As Karen reminds us, 2016 marks 10 years since the UNCRPD was ratified at the UN General Assembly. Such an anniversary offers an opportunity to celebrate progress, but it also reminds us of the work still to be done in translating international human rights frameworks into local policies and legislation in different communities around the world. So over the week, we move from global understandings of human rights to more local ways of working with human rights in everyday life.

Talking points

  • What do you associate with the term “human rights”?
  • Can you think of any historical or contemporary examples where you have heard about the human rights of a group of people being violated?
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Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

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