EU ratifies Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The European Union ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on December 23, 2010, becoming the first intergovernmental organization to sign on to any human rights treaty and take on its binding obligations. "The EU ratification of the Disability Rights Convention sends a clear message that disability rights are a priority in the region and worldwide," said Shantha Rau Barriga, disability rights researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. "All EU members and future members should now ratify the treaty and align their laws and practices with its standards."
All EU member states should promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities


First international workshop on research in fetal surgery

The first international workshop on research in foetal surgery took place in Milan on Saturday 18 December 2010. New horizons in diagnosis and treatment of congenital malformations were discussed, like artificial placenta, new techniques in back closure in neural tube defects and foetal surgery on several disabilities. Pierre Mertens, IF President, encouraged the scientific world not to give up investing in the unborn child. He stressed that foetal surgery gives hope to parents. Participants from Spain, France, Italy and US confirmed the huge difference in prenatal counseling resulting in termination of pregnancies differing from 30 to 95 %. IF’s position on prenatal counselling was well received.
New horizons and treatment of congenital malformations


Romanian human rights defender advocates for children’s lives

Adriana Tontsch, the president of the Romanian Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ARSBH), advocates for children’s lives. The Association has invested in training doctors and collected contributions from small donors to buy shunts which can prevent the accumulation of fluid in the child’s head. They have now saved over six hundred children with spina bifida who otherwise would have died. She says: “This is a human rights issue – an issue of access to healthcare.”
Adriana’s life story appeared on the United Nations Human Rights website. Click here to read the full article.
Adriana says: “Many children died who could easily have been saved."


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