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Brazil: MRG denounces the situation faced by black and other marginalized persons with disabilities

31 October 2022

Last week, MRG and partners submitted an alternative report on the situation for black people with disabilities in Brazil ahead of the 108th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) that will take place in Geneva between the 14th of November and the 2nd of December 2022. The report highlights the situation faced by black and other marginalized persons with disabilities in Brazil, including quilombolas, who are subject to intersectional discrimination on the basis of disability, race, gender and other personal identity characteristics that interact, maintaining their low position in society.

The submission is part of a programme between MRG, Vidas Negras com Deficiência and other partners, funded by the University of York, UK. Eight additional organisations representing people with disabilities, quilombolas and the anti-racism movement also signed the report, which gives eleven recommendations to the Government of Brazil on improvements that should be made and one recommendation to civil society organisations working on disability and racial justice. The recommendations cover key areas such as ensuring disaggregated data collection to include race and disability, consulting organizations of black, indigenous and quilombola people with disabilities in the development of all disability policies, ending insitutitionalisation, promoting inclusive education, formulating comprehensive care policy and improving access to diagnosis, social security, healthcare services, work and training. Another key recommendation was on combatting the high rates of violence committed against black people with disabilities by the state and public.

Data about persons with disabilities belonging to black, marginalized and favella-dwelling communities were collected, disaggregated and analyzed by the research team. The sources of data included official governmental statistical databases, national surveys, a review of NGO databases and research reports, an online survey, and via a series of interviews and visits that occurred between January and August 2022 in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Pernambuco by members of VNDI in partnership with MRG. Data were collected from people with disabilities from various marginalized communities and groups including, quilombola communities, institutionalized children and adults, those experiencing homelessness, those experiencing violence and those within the judiciary system. The data collection involved consultations with local and national organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), services for persons with disabilities, governmental organisations (GOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

A draft of the report was prepared by Minority Rights Group International and Vidas Negras com Deficiência following the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’, in consultation and partnership with the black disability community in Brazil.

MRG and project partners will travel to Geneva to attend the 108th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination next month, and give an oral intervention based on the report.

The report is currently available in English and Portuguese; accessible versions will be available soon.