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Securing Human Rights for People with Disabilities

Resource type: Grantee Story

More than one in every five people in Northern Ireland has a disability – an incidence rate notably higher than that found in Britain or the Republic of Ireland. Many of these disabilities are as a result of the violent conflict which Northern Ireland has experienced over many years. Recent research indicates that significant numbers of these disabled people are living on the margins of society, dependant on social welfare and excluded from participating in society. Their rights are regularly denied. Incidents of bullying, harassment, and physical and psychological abuse are commonplace.

Disability Action is the only Northern Ireland-wide organisation working on the full range of disability related issues. It represents the views of its more than 180 member groups. The organisation offers a wide range of services for people with disabilities, including information, employment and training support, capacity building, transportation and mobility assessments. Disability Action also uses advocacy and policy-based interventions to maximise its impact.

Purpose and Impact of the Grant

Disability Action has used its grant from Atlantic to establish the Centre for Human Rights for Disabled People. The Centre will undertake education, capacity building, lobbying, advocacy, litigation and other efforts designed to bring about concrete improvements in the lives of disabled people. The centre is expected to play a significant role by:

  • Serving as a campaigning voice for disabled people
  • Increasing awareness of disability-related abuses in the fields of education and health
  • Increasing public awareness of abuses against disabled people
  • Instigating changes to the policies, practices and procedures of the government, service providers and regulators to protect the human rights of people with disabilities
  • Increasing the number of legal challenges aimed at protecting and defending the rights of disabled people.

Related Resources


Human Rights & Reconciliation

Global Impact:

Northern Ireland


Disability Action