Organizations of Persons with Disabilities in the Arab Region: A Preliminary Study

In the Arab region, ratification of the Convention by 16 ESCWA member States has led to major reform in national institutions, laws and policies, which has been backed by organizations of persons with disabilities (also known as DPOs, or disabled people’s organizations) and reflected in efforts to advance their rights, including in terms of education, political participation and social protection.

There is little information on DPOs in the Arab region. Research conducted by ESCWA in 2014 and 2015 has been used in this study, in which DPOs are defined as civil society organizations in which the majority of the board and members are persons with disabilities and whose primary objective is to promote their empowerment and inclusion.

This study explores the structure, membership, and main activities of Arab DPOs in the context of the global disability movement.