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Sunday, 6 April 2008

No flame for disability rights in China

The freedom of Tibet is in the headlines today & rightly so, but Human Rights abuses by the Chinese regime (I'm not blanketing that it is all it's people, there are Chinese people trying to change things too) is not just isolated to just the Tibetan issue. Human Rights abuses against disabled people in China often go unmentioned, in particular abuses against disabled women and those with learning difficulties. I'm not an expert but have read & studied a few reports, hard evidence is difficult to get at as the abuses are often impacted upon the most vulnerable with the least loudest voice. Much evidence is anecdotal but never the less terrible and needs acting upon.

There has been much debate this weekend as the Olympic "flame of shame" goes through London that sport and politics should be separated, but I feel that is very naive. Sport doesn't happen in isolation or a vacuum. The Olympic ideals are spot on, but they get used for all sorts of agenda's, some ok, some not. If sport has nothing to do with politics why have a minister for sport?

I have a Tibetan friend who now lives in Nepal, we studied together and became friends and he promised that if I ever get out there, he'd get me up the mountains no problem! so I know a little about whats been happening, I've frantically been reading up to try and become more informed, I don't like the feeling of just jumping on a bandwagon, at least without a bit more information from more than one source. I think that it's unfortunate that the flames/olympics are getting it, but I think until there is some freedoms respected then China are asking for it. That's not to say China should adopt what we believe is a right form of democracy, but they should end human rights oppressive behaviors, as should the hundreds of other countries getting away with it.

The Tibetan struggle will be effecting disabled people in Tibet & China and so I did want to jump on a bandwagon if it is to create awareness that may one day do something to contribute to change for the better.

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