Advocating the Rights of People with Disabilities in China: A community-based rehabilitation approach


The rights of people with disabilities (PwD) are grounded in a human rights framework based on the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. People with disabilities are entitled to exercise their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights on equal basis with others. This presentation will illustrate how community-based rehabilitation (CBR) approach serves as a strategy to promote the rights of PwD. This paper aims to evaluate the successes and challenges of CBR in the earthquake zones in Sichuan, a province in western China which experienced a disastrous earthquake in May 2008. The WHO-CBR matrix, which suggests that health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment are the guiding outcomes of community rehabilitation, is adopted as the assessment tool. The findings suggest that financial difficulties and the ignorance of physical rehabilitation of service users are the major challenges. With the support of various non-political agencies, CBR is concluded as an effective strategy to promote the rights of PwD.