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Conference of self-advocacy in Zagreb

On the 17 th of June 2009 a group of self-advocates from Osijek participated in a conference of self-advocacy in Zagreb in which were present self-advocates from Zagreb, Slavonski Brod, Osijek, Bjelovar and Čakovec.

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What is self-advocacy?

 

Self-advocacy

The Self-advocacy movement is an international human rights movement in which persons with disabilities (intellectual disabilities):

  • fight against discrimination, freely expressing their opinions, attitudes and feelings related to specific topics in society, especially the topics concerning people with disabilities,
  • independent decision making concerning their lives.

With this movement, persons with disabilities fight against negative attitudes and frequent labeling in society as incapable of making any types of decisions, which puts them in the position of the oppressed and isolated, by which their basic human rights are violated.

People unfortunately often refer to them as “retarded, “handicapped”, “idiots” and other names that offend human dignity, even though the new terminology states that they are people with disabilities (persons with intellectual disabilities).

People with disabilities can self-advocate:

Individually:

Gaining control over circumstances in their own lives. It is a representation of their own desires about how we would like to live, how we want our family, community and support services to behave towards us.

At the group level:

Independent groups of people with intellectual disabilities can work together to achieve justice through mutual assistance in regaining control over their own lives and in the fight against discrimination.

Through self-advocacy people acquire skill of decision-making and choices that affect their lives and make them independent. Also it is informing about the rights and obligations that come with these rights.

Self-advocacy teaches people to give each other support and to help each other in the acquisition of self confidence prior to expressing their own beliefs publically.

Self-advocacy means advocating thoughts and attitudes of the self-advocate on some social level, for example, towards other groups, politicians, decision makers and towards the general public and society in which they live.

Human rights of self-advocates

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