On April 19, AGENDA, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF) organized the second out of a series of four webinars on the right to physical and mental integrity, right to education and right to work for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. H.E. Yuyun Wahyuningrum, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR delivered welcoming remarks highlighting that persons with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Therefore, tremendous efforts should take place to fulfil the needs of persons with disabilities as the pandemic continues. In his keynote speech, Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Representative of Thailand to AICHR from 2013 – 2018, provided an introduction on the right to respect physical and mental integrity, right to education and right to work for persons with disabilities. The first speaker, Dr. Rokiah Binti Mohd, Deputy Director of the Family Health Development Division at Malaysia’s Ministry of Health shared lessons learned from COVID-19 prevention and infection control in Malaysia while referencing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The second speaker, Mr. Alvin Goh, Director of Women’s Development and International Relations Division at Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development shared best practices such as offering cash relief to approximately 800 households that have more than one person with disabilities and the need for video-conferencing tools with sign language for communication purposes. The third speaker, Dr. Samto, Representative to the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)-Education and Director of Society’s Education and Special Education at the Indonesia Ministry of Education highlighted the challenges faced by children with disabilities in Indonesia, in particular, learning from home and distance learning during COVID-19. The fourth speaker, Ms. Yeni Rosa Damayanti, Steering Committee Member at Transforming Communities for Inclusion (TCI) Asia Pacific discussed recommendations such as replacing long-term social care institutions with more inclusive services, developing adaptive learning materials and curriculum for students, and removing all discriminatory employment practices for persons with disabilities.  Dr. Ben Gautnlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) shared AHRC’s guidelines on the rights of persons with disabilities to obtain health care services and disability care during COVID-19 based on rights outlined in the CRPD. Seventy-eight people participated in the web seminar and sign language interpretation and closed captioning were provided to accommodate deaf participants.

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