Igår höll jag tal i generalförsamlingens tredje utskott. Fick överväldigande positiv respons efteråt, och fortfarande idag kommer folk fram och vill berömma talet, det känns otroligt roligt förstås. Men allra mest nöjd är jag om talet fick folk att tänka till, vilket jag tror att jag lyckades med. Talaren efter mig återkopplade till mig i sitt tal, vilket är ganska ovanligt eftersom alla talen är färdigskrivna redan innan. Han kom också fram till mig efteråt och sa att han såg inte mig som funktionsnedsatt utan snarare att alla andra är det, eftersom de inte kan kommunicera med mig direkt på mitt språk. Bra poäng där herr ambassadör!
UN TV filmade tyvärr inte varken mitt eller något annat tal, men Benson från Australien filmade alla tal. Jag har inte fått en kopia på det än, men när jag får tag på det så lägger jag upp det här och på facebook.
Här är i alla fall talet:
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished delegates, Ladies, Gentlemen and others,
Today I would like to talk about young people. To be more precise, I would like to talk about a certain group of young people, a group that is often excluded and marginalized. And I would like to do that by beginning with talking about myself.
I am the elected Swedish Youth Delegate, representing 76 Swedish youth organizations with more than half a million members.
I study at a university. I have a job. I have an apartment. I have a driving license.
Taken together, all of this ought to mean that my capacity would not be doubted. Yet I still get questions about how I can fly by myself, questions about whether I can read, travel, and live my life the way I do. My intelligence is questioned and I get comments on my appearance when I am trying to make a serious point. Because I am deaf, I am young, I am a woman.
So let me say this now: disability does not mean inability. Being young does not mean being non-independent. Being a woman does not mean being an object.
I am here today because I was given great possibilities growing up. I was educated in my primary language: Swedish sign language. I have had the possibility to use sign language interpreters. Youth disability organizations have worked for my rights, trying to ensure a life free from discrimination.
In many ways I am very privileged. Not all young people with disabilities are that fortunate. In many ways I am an exception.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen and others,
In times of economic crisis, the most marginalized are always the ones who are the most severely affected, even if they did not caused it. Today we can see how young people, in the wake of the economic crisis, have become even more marginalized on the labor market and pushed further away from political participation. We have also seen how the progress of the Millennium Development Goals has slowed down. I fear that the situation for women, people with disabilities and other discriminated groups will deteriorate as well. In times like these it is more important than ever that internationally agreed upon goals such as the MDGs and the WPAY are fully met and implemented.
Over the past few years we have seen many demonstrations and uprisings. Across the globe young people have taken to the streets to show their disappointment and frustration with their situation. Because youth unemployment rates are rising, their future is uncertain and no one is listening to them. It is time to take these calls for action seriously. It is time to extend real political participation and influence to all young people. We must always strive towards inclusive and barrier-free political processes where everyone can participate. All young persons must be empowered and youth-led organizations encouraged and supported.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen and others,
There are 180-220 million youths with one or more disabilities in the world. All human rights apply to us too. It may sound like a self-evident fact, but it is far from that. Young people with disabilities are often multiple discriminated. Many live sheltered and uninformed lives, hidden away at home. They are isolated and their independence is stifled. They are marginalized and discriminated against in educational systems and on the labor market. This must change. All young people must have equal opportunities.
We all know that education is a key factor in creating equal opportunities. Countries have a responsibility to provide quality education to all youth, with or without disabilities. Schools have to be physically accessible, school material has to be available also for those with visual impairments and sign language education has to be provided, if everyone is to have the possibility to benefit from a quality education.
Equal opportunities also come through equal participation. Political representation and full and equal participation are the corner stones of a democratic and inclusive society. Young people are autonomous individuals with the right to influence and control their own lives, bodies and decisions. Youth-led organizations representing a broad variety of groups and identities must play an active role in decision-making processes. It is essential that young people – regardless of disability, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex, gender identification, or gender expression – are part of political processes. Discrimination should never be accepted, not on any grounds, not at any time.
One way to fight discrimination is through raising awareness. It is important to increase the knowledge about how everyone’s needs and preconditions differ. Norms and stereotypes constitute the basis for discrimination and inequalities by constructing obstacles. They limit the possibilities to influence and the freedom for those who do not conform to the norms. My inability to hear is not the problem. It is the norm that expects everyone to be able to hear that is the problem. Transforming the norms to create a more inclusive society will benefit everyone. What is necessary for some people is good for everyone. All governments of the world should adopt a disability perspective as well as a norm-critical perspective and a youth perspective in decision-making processes.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen and others
We have agreed upon the MDGs. It is time to fulfil them. We have agreed upon WPAY. It is time to implement it. We have agreed upon the CRPD. It is time for a universal signing and ratification of it. But let us not stop there. It is time now for human rights to be for everyone. I find it unacceptable that young people do not have the same possibilities to participate and influence as everyone else. It is time to include young people for real – all young people.