17 November 2023 HYBRID
UNESCO Headquarters
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Championing Disability Rights and Inclusion through the Social and Human Sciences

17 November 2023 from 18h30

Room XI



According to the UN Flagship Report on Disability, it is estimated that 15% of the global population lives with some type of disabilities, often facing various barriers to inclusion. In some countries, more than 50% of people living with disabilities have experienced discrimination.[1]

It was reported that women with disabilities are twice as likely to suffer physical violence as adults (between 58% and 75%) than the average female population (35%), and that those women surveyed suffered sexual violence around two to three times more frequently than the average female population (21 to 44% compared to 13%).[2]

There are 240 million children with disabilities in the world, and 10.4% of them live in Eastern and Southern Africa. Youth with disabilities in the region face multiple inequalities in their daily life, deepening discrimination and reinforcing the vicious cycle of poverty [3]

Still today, a staggering 90% of children with disabilities in developing nations are unable to access education, while an alarming 80% of individuals with disabilities face unemployment in multiple countries, primarily due to the pervasive influence of stigma and discrimination. Furthermore, studies indicate that women and girls with disabilities are significantly marginalized, encountering exclusion driven by both their gender and their disability.[4]

UNESCO is committed to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities through a multifaceted approach across its fields of competence in education, the sciences, culture, and communication.

To contribute to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS), aimed at achieving transformative progress in disability inclusion across the United Nations system, UNESCO led multilateral efforts with partners through the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), inter alia. In particular, actions have been implemented to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities, inclusive education, fighting stigma and discrimination, inclusive cities and data management, access to information and supportive ICTs, effective participation of persons with disabilities, and disability governance and accountability.



In alignment with the Roadmap against Racism and Discrimination, UNESCO strives to champion disability rights and inclusion as a means to fight against discrimination, especially among underrepresented and marginalized disability groups.

In this regard, UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation of Mongolia to UNESCO are co-organizing a side event to the 42nd session of the General Conference to take stock of progress made in the promotion of disability rights and discuss ways forward in advancing them.

Given the wide variety of disabilities, including physical, psychosocial/mental, and intellectual, it is necessary to analyse the ways in which the international community, including UNESCO, can leverage their resources to fight ableism and other related forms of discrimination.

This side event will feature a panel discussion with perspectives from governments, civil society, persons with disabilities, including the artistic community, that will enrich reflections to establish a whole-of-society approach in tackling this challenge.

It will be followed by a screening of the film "Trio", presented by the Down Syndrome Association of Mongolia (Non-political Charitable Incorporated Organization). Directed by Battumur Dorj, who stars as the main protagonist, this award-winning movie tells the heartwarming story of Jam, a young adult with Down syndrome, born in a remote area of Mongolia, and his mother’s efforts to raise and protect him from social discrimination. “Trio” premiered in the competition program of the Warsaw Film Festival and won the best film award at the Thai Film Festival.


Provisional agenda:


18h30 – 18h40 – Opening remarks:

  • Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO
  • H.E. Ms. Nyamkhuu Ulambayar, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Mongolia to UNESCO


18h40 – 19h15 – Panel discussion:

  • Mrs. Heba Hagrass, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (TBC)
  • Ms. Uuganaa Ramsay, Director of Mongol Identity SCIO, Scotland, UK
  • Mr. Ariunbold Tulgaa, Highest lama of Tarvaling monastery, adviser in religion aspects to the film ‘TRIO’
  • Mr. Ganzorig Vanchig, Founding Chairperson of Down Syndrome Association, Mongolia
  • Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO
  • Mr Battumur Dorj, Film director of award-winning film “Trio”
  • Moderator: Mr. Ganzorig Vanchig, Founder, Adviser of Down Syndrome Association, Mongolia


19h15 – 19h45 – Cocktail


19h45 – 21h30 – Screening of award-winning film “Trio”


[1] UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development| 2018 - Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with

disabilities, 2018, p.24.

[2] CEDAW/C/DEU/7-8; Combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of States parties due in 2014. State Party’s Report. 21 October 2015, paras 140–141

[3] Lesley Fleischman & Marcus Franklin, Fumes Across the Fence-Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil & Gas Facilities on African American Communities, NAACP & Clean Air Task Force 4 (2017), https://www.catf.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/catf-rpt-naacp-4.21.pdf

[4] UNESCO, 2023. "Towards Strategic Orientations on Disability Inclusion: A Mapping of UNESCO’s Initiatives (2014-2021)".

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
Fontenoy/Floor: -1-Room/Salle XI
125, Avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris

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