Disabled Peoples' International - Europe

DPI Europe

Message fromHenry Enns, Foundator of DPI

DPI Europe Constitution

The Regional Assembly of DPI-Europe held in Strasbourg in September 2013 creates a registered new organization of DPI-Europe with a constitution.

See the DPI Constitution in a pdf format

What is DPI?

The following are some highlights ofDPI's achievements since 1980.These successes are replicated and built upon on a daily basis by thecontinuing work of DPI regions.1980s.

  • Peace March Tokyo
  • Obtained ECOSOC consultative statuswith the UN in 1981 and beganwork on the UN World Programme of Action
  • Fought and won a case challenging Japanese legislation which required only one doctor to incarcerate a person with mental health issues
  • Became the first disability international non-governmental organization(INGO) to adopt a policy on the equal representation of women withdisabilities in its organization
  • Urged the Commission for Social Developmentto appoint a Special Rapporteur on Disability
  • Took a leading role both regionally and internationallyin the midtermevaluation of the Decade of Disabled Persons, which led to thedevelopment of the "UN Standard Rules on the Equalization ofOpportunities for Persons with Disabilities." DPI was also very involved inthe formulation of the Standard Rules themselves.1990s
  • Worked with the World Health Organization on revision of the International Classification of lmpairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (lClDH) to become the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (lCF) and the adoption of the social model of disability at that lever.
  • Was the subject of a bookby Diane Driedger, The Lasf Civil RightsMovemenf, published by Hurst & Company and St. Martin's Press (1989)o Took a leading role in "lndependence '92:'Vancouver, and the start ofthe initiative to form an Amnesty International" model of data collection ondisability and human rights violations. DPI funded the initial research andthe initiative was then passed to DPI-Europe who, after further researchand legal consultation, supported the setting up of the Violations Databaseand the creation of a new organization called Disability Awareness inAction (DAA).
  • Was the first disability INGO to officially call itselfa human rightsorganizationand to be an active member of the Panel of Experts to theSpecial Rapporteur on Disability (and at that time was the only INGO toprovide representation only from the developing world)
  • Took aleading role in the Asia-Pacific Decadeof Disabled People andthe African Decade of Disabled People
  • A key player in the formulation of an Inter-American Convention on theElimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities.
  • Provided substantive input into many of the UN Summits, including for example the Social Development, Earth, Women (both Nairobi and Beijing),and Human Rights and Habitat summits.

Since 2000

  • Was instrumental in the development of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including as a member of the Working Group that produced the draft text that became the basis for negotiations
  • Organized a World Assembly in Sapporo, Japan, that brought almost 4 000 delegates from more than 100 countries.
  • Organized a World Summit in Winnipeg, Canada, that brought almost 2 000 delegates from around the world.
  • Developed partnerships with disability research centres around the world on employment, health, education and economy
  • Encouraged the establishment of the Organization of the Americas'(OAS) Decade of Disabled Persons, the African Decade on Disability, and the second Asia Pacific Decade on Disability.
  • With the goal of sharing knowledge and experiences, organized andsupported regional capacity building initiatives involving grassroots leaders, government officials and international NGOs.
  • Promoted the participation of leaders with dlsabilities in the political life of their countries DPI Headquarters is located in Winnipeg, Canada, with RegionalDevelopment Offices in Peru, Antigua, ltaly, Thailand and Mauritania. DPIfunds a Regional Development Officer (RDO) in each of these sites whoserole it is to liaise among DPI member organizations in their respectiveregions and co-ordinate essential activities identified by members.

© DPI-E 2007

Disabled Peoples' lnternational (DPI) is the first successful effort of persons with disabilities to create an internationally united voice.

During a world congress of Rehabilitation International in Winnipeg,Canada, onJune 23, 1980, 250 persons with a wide variety of disabilitiesfrom 40 countries unanimously agreed on the need for a world coalition ofpersons with disabilities. An Ad Hoc Planning Committee was establishedto discuss the philosophy, organization and structure for a worldorganization. The Committee included representatives from both developedand developing countries. On June 25, the Committee presented itsfindings and struck a Steering Committee with two representatives eachfrom seven regions of the world. A year later, at its first World Congress inSingapore, Disabled Peoples' International was officially established.

A major goal of DPI is the full participation of all persons with disabilities inthe mainstream of life, particularly those in developing countries who formthe vast majority of the world's 650 million persons with disabilities. DPIrecognizes that poverty not only leads to disability, but also allows fewconcessions for the needs and aspirations of persons with disabilities. lnmany rural areas, where up to 80 per cent of the general population live,services are rare. Persons with disabilities are often excluded anddiscriminated against. Though DPI's goal of full participation is admittedly agoal of enormous proportions, it is one that has already been provenpossible.

Through its self-help development programs and projects worldwide, DPIhas sought and achieved a considerable increase in the participation ofpersons with disabilities in their own social and economic development, aswell as in that of their home countries. Today, the DPI cross-disabilitynetwork has 135 national members, over half of whom are in developing nations. Any organization controlled by persons with disabilities can be amember of the national assembly of that country.

DPI ensures equal representation of its members through a decentralizedregional structure, which also facilitates leadership and strategydevelopment at the local level. Through DPl, the voice of persons withdisabilities everywhere has already made a significant impact, not only asregards disability concerns, but also issues of justice, human rights, peaceand international development.

At the Centre of the name "Disabled Peoples' International" is the wordpeople. In fact, people are the centre of all activities that DPI undertakes.The yardstick for success is increasing opportunities for education, trainingand employment, as well as the adoption of legislation and policies infavour of persons with disabilities. DPI's success will only be completewhen women and men with disabilities enjoy the equal rights andopportunities of their fellow citizens.

DPI's motto is "A voice of our own".DPI believes that persons with disabilities should participate directly indialogue and decision-making processes that affect the lives of personswith disabilities. DPI leaders have lobbied for the support of nearly all themajor government development agencies, and have had regular meetingswith leading United Nations (UN) officials, including the Secretaries-General and the High Commissioners for Human Rights. DPI has alsoworked with the World Banks and other multinational aid and developmentagencies.