June 2018, marked the launching of a project implemented by Fe-Male in partnership with the European Union-EU and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-OHCHR in Lebanon and titled “Making UPR Process an Effective Mechanism to break barriers for ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. The launching began with a conference that gathered more than 70 people from different backgrounds; i.e. media, civil society institutions, activists and more.
The conference aimed at pressuring to enhance the accountability of the Lebanese State with regards to fulfilling commitments to the acceptance of international norms by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and especially women, through a nationwide media campaign. The conference discussed the content of the media campaign led by Fe-Male on its feminist website, Sharika Wa Laken, its impact, and effectiveness in shaping the opinions on this very topic. The conference incorporated interventions by experts on the situation of persons with disabilities in Lebanon and the importance of ratifying the convention and its optional protocol.
Mr. Mazen Chakoura, Deputy Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the CEO of the Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union, Ms. Sylvana Lakkis, were among the speakers. Reporters, journalists, activists and bloggers who attended the conference were informed about the action plan of the project and the media campaign, and the goal of creating an actual partnership among the different parties to produce related videos, documentaries, articles, news reports and infographics that will be broadcasted on Sharika Wa Laken feminist website and a platform created especially for this purpose on UPR’s website (https://crpd.upr-lebanon.org), to promote the project and produced content.
The conference concluded with a detailed action plan and a series of recommendations and the creation of a network of journalists interested in being part of the campaign and showed willingness to work on producing material for the websites like generating reports, articles, features, infographics, multi media reports, and databased journalism reports that targeted public and decision makers.