Video statement at the 55th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

Video statement at the 55th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

Nidhi Goyal, the Founder and Executive Director of Rising Flame, spoke at the 55th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that took place from 26 February 2024 to 5 April 2024. The agenda for the 22nd meeting was an ‘Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Disabilities’. Nidhi made a statement for Action Canada, representing six organisations (Sexual Rights Initiative, CREA, Rising Flame, Transforming Communities for Inclusion Global, Vois and Intersex Asia) and associated disability rights activists from India and the UK (Jeeja Ghosh, Janet Price and Renu Addlakha).

The statement video appreciated the mandate’s work on shifting the centre from protectionism and guardianship to focusing on voice, agency, independent living, and embracing the legal capacity of persons with disabilities. Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) states that “States Parties shall, where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, undertake every effort to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family setting.” The statement made stemmed mainly from the ideals of the article. It reiterated the importance of the role played by state-driven care in achieving independent living and avoiding exposure to discrimination and violence.

A screenshot of a YouTube video featuring Nidhi Goyal. The video's title, 'Joint statement - HRC55 dialogue with the SR on the rights of persons with disabilities,' appears at the top of the image against a black backdrop. Positioned at the top right corner is a small arrow with 'share' written below it. In the top left corner, the logo of the Sexual Rights Initiative is displayed.”At the bottom left corner of the panel are the Play button, volume adjustment toggle, and the video timestamp indicating 0:41 / 1:29. On the bottom right corner are several functional buttons, including Subtitle, Settings, the YouTube logo, screencast, and full-screen options. Above the bottom panel, a subtitle reads, "of persons with disabilities must be re-centered in this area, in line with UN CRPD article 23, as.

Further elaborating on the scope of this article, the statement reiterated the rights of persons with disability and how it is essential to re-centre said rights while speaking of gendered aspects of care economies. Furthermore, the statement called for urgent measures to realise and affirm accessible sexual and reproductive healthcare for all persons with disabilities and prevent any violations of the aforementioned within the private and public spheres, namely within families as well as in the larger healthcare systems. Pushing the conversation regarding the multi-fold spatial factors for persons with disabilities, it also encouraged the special rapporteur and the States to focus on “disability-based and gender-based violence in public and private spaces, online and offline, within and outside families, and in the context of climate change, digitalisation, and family care.”

You can watch the statement here: this link.