I wish to express my interest to stand as candidate to Board of European Network on Independent Living in the upcoming elections to be held at Freedom Drive in September 2017.
As an advocate and researcher in the field of disability rights for over 6 years I would like to contribute further to independent living of disabled persons worldwide and use my knowledge and skills in human rights law, grant writing, program development and policy analysis for these purposes. After serving for ENIL’s Youth Network Board since 2015 my aim is to retain permanent link between 2 Boards and to ensure that voices of young disabled persons are represented and heard in main decision- making processes within ENIL. Since 2014 I have been engaged primarily with ENIL through Youth Network Board but also other activities of ENIL (inviting and including ENIL’s members to DRPI events and trainings, representing ENIL at EDF GA in 2016), grant writing, partner search, facilitation of youth study sessions, outreach of young disabled people, attendance of FD and facilitation of program session at FD.
As a person with living experience of disability, I have devoted my professional career to work towards the equal enjoyment of human rights for all minority groups with the special focus on persons with disabilities in my role as Regional Officer for Europe at Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) – global collaborative project led by York University, Toronto, aimed to monitor disability rights using holistic participatory human rights monitoring methodology.
Within my recent placement at DRPI I had the opportunity to collect data on human rights violations of disabled people in Eastern Europe and across the globe, draft policy recommendations for governments and to report on human rights violations to regional and international human rights bodies and mechanisms and to build capacities of local actors to monitor their rights and engage with international human rights mechanisms (facilitating and supervising the process of drafting CRPD Parallel reports for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Macedonia and UPR DPOs’ submission for Bosnia and Herzegovina). My special research interest is related to reform of social protection policies, transition from residential to community-based care for persons with disabilities, development of social services and model of its financing, financial benefits in the system of social protection on the basis of disability to support independent living and disability assessment models.
My work assignments ranged from research related to disability rights violations, country disability rights monitoring projects using DRPI monitoring methodology, data collection including the interviewing the persons with disabilities on human rights violations, design and delivery of capacity building programs for civil society and government actors (facilitated above 50 capacity building programs in Serbia and more then 30 abroad and other public events including side-events at the UNCRPD Committee
session in Geneva), reporting on human rights violations and submissions to NHRIs, regional and international human rights mechanisms; to fundraising and grant writing and building partnerships and collaboration with relevant stakeholders (including inter alia UNCRPD Committee, UN Special Rapporteur on Disability, OHCHR, UNDP, ILO, UNAIDS, European Association of Service Providers for PWDs, European Network on Independent Living, International Disability Alliance, International Disability & Development Consortium, Council of Europe – Committee for Prevention of Torture, NDI, NHRIs).
As a recipient of master scholarship of Central European University (CEU) in Budapest and CEU Alumni Scholarship, currently I’m about to complete MA Human Rights program (academic year finishes in June but master thesis is due in November 2017) at CEU working on the research related to the role of EU (sources of EU law and EU funding mechanisms such as Structural Funds and IPA) in advancing the IL and the process of deinstitutionalization of people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in its member states and accession countries.
Characterized by high personal integrity, strong interpersonal skills and commitment for professional responsibilities with solid experience in policy analysis and advocacy I firmly believe I could successfully contribute to functioning of ENIL’s Board.