Annual debate children with disab.

Annual Interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities. Habilitation and rehabilitation under article 26 of the CRPD. Nordic-Baltic Intervention by DPR Sari Lehtiranta, Finland. Delivered on 6 March.

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Mr. President,

I have the honour of making this intervention on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

I would like to thank all panellists for their insightful interventions.

Access to rehabilitation is an important element of the right to health for persons with disabilities in order to ensure their full and equal participation in the society.

The Nordic-Baltic countries fully agree that persons with disabilities should have an access to all rehabilitation services, both public and private, on an equal basis with others, regardless of their impairment, sex, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other grounds. Multiple and intersecting grounds of discrimination should be identified and addressed in all policy decisions, including when developing support services.

As the Special Rapporteur has pointed out, persons with disabilities, especially those deprived of their liberty, are at serious risk of sexual and physical violence, human trafficking, being subjected to torture etc.  As the High Commissioner’s recent report rightly reminds us, rehabilitation is not only for persons with physical impairments. Also victims of torture, sexual exploitation and trafficking are often in need of psychosocial rehabilitation in the form of counselling, peer support and other measures.

To conclude, unfortunately according to many reports, especially women and girls with disabilities often fall victims to gender-based and sexual violence. Persons with disabilities that belong to sexual or gender minorities are also more vulnerable than others to violence and discrimination.


Two questions: What concrete measures should States take when providing rehabilitation services to women and girls with disabilities that are victims to gender-based and sexual violence? Likewise, what should States take into account when providing rehabilitation services to persons in particularly vulnerable situations such as LGBTI persons with disabilities?