MyRight celebrates 40 years!

For 40 years, MyRight has worked to give people with disabilities increased access to their rights.

members from SRF and TAS stand together and look into the camera
Picture from Tanzania, SRF visits Tanzania albinism society 1997. Photo: Birgitta Andersson

MyRight was founded in 1981, then under the name SHIA. SHIA stood for Solidarity, Human Rights, Inclusion, Accessibility and we called ourselves the Swedish Disability Organizations' international development cooperation.

During these 40 years, many decisive steps have been taken towards a more inclusive and more humane world. The goal of our business has always been the same - equality and full participation for people with disabilities.

The methods for achieving change have developed over the years. One of the most important methods throughout the years has been to strengthen organizations of people with disabilities so that they can fight for their rights themselves.

From the very beginning, organizational support was supplemented with initiatives that will contribute to the development of individuals' self-esteem, competence, livelihood opportunities, health and aids. In older policy documents, we can read that "without strong individuals, organizations cannot grow strong". A person who has the conditions to influence his own life and is aware of his rights can better participate in society and organize himself.

But big and lasting changes must emerge through the responsibility of authorities and through involvement in the local community. Therefore, MyRight has worked to influence authorities, financiers and other actors to pay attention to the rights and needs of people with disabilities. The disability perspective must be an obvious part of poverty reduction and of human rights efforts.  

From charity to equality

During our 40 years, we have experienced a shift in perspective, not least among actors in international development cooperation, from charity and rehabilitation to a focus on rights. From being regarded as weak and passive recipients of charity, people with disabilities are now seen as the capable individuals we are and with an understanding that accessibility is crucial for full inclusion.

picture from a field trip in Tanzania in the 90s, happy children standing with a young woman from myright and smiling into the camera, the picture shows a wheelchair and a child with crutches
Tanzania 1994

Nothing about us without us

The strength of our work and the reason for our success is that it is people with disabilities themselves who are active and work with development cooperation. From the start, our basic view has been that our development cooperation should be based on those affected, people with disabilities' perspectives and needs where they are. We learn from our partners and those from us. Our shared experiences of living with a disability provide a commitment that is visible in our results.

Important years

MyRight was founded during the UN's International Year of People with Disabilities

The UN decade for people with disabilities begins.

Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities are assumed.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is established.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is adopted.

Agenda 2030 with its Global Goals and the principle of Leave No One Behind adopted.

Freedom Drive, Brussels 2018

Do you want to join in and celebrate? Swisha SEK 40 to 123 900 11 08
Together we change lives!

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