Part Nine (IX)

Enabling human rights and policy: international politics

Chapter 29: 

Implementation of CRPD in the post-Soviet region: between imitation and authenticity

Egle Sumskiene

Associate Professor

Egle Sumskiene is Associate Professor, Head of the Social Work and Social Welfare De-partment, Faculty of Philosophy, Vilnius University. She is a social worker, sociologist and expert on disability, mental health and human rights issues. As an expert she was involved in various international and national projects focusing on such areas as human rights and disability, discrimination, mental health care, policy, social integration of people with psy-chosocial disabilities. She is editor of one monograph and author of over 20 scientific publi-cations covering issues of human rights, disability and mental health.

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To learn more about Egle Sumskiene read:

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Watch a video (in Lithuanian):

Violeta Gevorgianiene

Associate Professor

Violeta Gevorgianiene  is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and Social Welfare, Faculty of Philosophy, Vilnius University since 2000. She has a background of educational sciences and social work and is an expert on disability issues. In 2009, she was elected as the member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Schools of Social Work and served in this position up to 2017. She has authored over 20  scientific publications and learning materials for persons with disabilities. Her research i nterests also include competences of social work, social work education, socio-cultural identity and migration.

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To read about Violeta Gevorgianiene’s work:

Access her academic work:

Read “P.S. for post-Soviet: A glimpse to a life of persons with intellectual disabilities”:

Rasa Geniene

Ph.D Candidate

Rasa Geniene  is a PhD Candidate of the Social Work and Social Welfare Department,  Faculty of Philosophy, Vilnius University, focusing on the deinstitutionalisation of  residential care and the development of community-based services for people with mental/intellectual disabilities. Before, she worked for a non-governmental organisation, which initiated  piloting and development of good practices of community service models. Currently, Rasa is working in the Ministry of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania, where she explores and operates the issues of transition from institutional care to family and community services for people with disabilities which has a direct link with her dissertation.

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Visit Rasa Geniene’s website:

Read about the reform of institutional care in Lithuania:

Read about the latest work Rasa has been involved with:

Chapter 30: 

Swedish disability activism: from welfare to human rights?

Marie Sépulchre


Marie Sépulchre is a researcher at the Department of Sociology of Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests centre on citizenship, disability, activism and structural inequalities. Marie’s work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as Alter – European Journal of Disability Research, the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, Disability and Rehabilitation, and Disability and Society. She recently completed her PhD at Uppsala University, with a dissertation entitled: This is not Citizenship: Analysing the Claims of Disability Activists in Sweden.

To learn more:

About Marie Sépulchre from her website 

Access her publications:

Read her PhD on disability activism in Sweden:

Read or listen to: “Tensions and unity in the struggle for citizenship: Swedish disability rights activists claim ‘Full Participation! Now!’:

Twitter: @SepulchreMarie

Lars Lindberg

Disability Activist

Lars Lindberg is an activist in the Swedish disability movement and Senior Adviser at Nordic Welfare Center. His work centres on human rights, disability policy and activism. 

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Read about Lars Lindberg’s work:

Listen to a podcast:

Read some of Lars’ columns (in Swedish):

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Twitter: @larslindberg

Chapter 31: 

Gendered disability advocacy: lessons from the Girl Power Programme in Sierra Leone

Emma Frobisher

Junior Researcher

Emma Frobisher  is a Junior Researcher and a doctoral fellow at the African Studies Centre at Leiden University. She holds a Master’s degree in Development, with a major in  Social Policy for Development, from the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, from where she graduated in December 2016. She has also worked in various NGO roles in the UK, Peru and Malaysia.

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To read about Emma Frobisher’s work:

About her work in Sierra Leone:

One Family People:

Willem Elbers

research Fellow

Willem Elbers is senior research fellow at the African Studies Centre at Leiden University (Netherlands) since 2015, where he heads two research projects on advocacy in the global South. While one of these projects examines advocacy strategies targeting the rights of children with disabilities in Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Zambia, the other focuses on the role of international agencies in enabling and constraining local advocacy on the ground. Willen is also the coordinator of the Advanced Master in International Development, a post- graduate programme seeking to enable excellent MA-graduates to pursue a career in the field of international development.

To learn more:

Read about Willem Elbers on his website:

Read “Advocacy for disability: Can participation enhance outcomes?”

Auma Okwany


Auma Okwany  teaches Social Policy for Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands (ISS-EUR). Her teaching and research interests centre on the relationship between policy, practice and theory for children, girlhood studies, youth and their families in contexts of risk and marginalisation. She is the Lead researcher for Tanzania on the Oak Foundation-funded two-year research project; ‘Adolescent Perceptions on Healthy Relationships in Tanzania and Bulgaria.’ She is also the Overall Director of the four-year Netherlands Government funded EUR-ISS project, ‘Strengthening Education and Training capacity in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Uganda.’

To learn more:

Read about Auma Okwany on her personal website:

ReadYouth as researchers: Navigating generational power issues in adolescent sexuality and reproductive health research.” 

Chapter 32: 

‘We need not remake the past’: rebuilding the disability movement in Toronto, Canada

Melissa Graham

Community ACTIVIST

Melissa Graham is the founder and one of the key organizers for the Toronto Disability Pride March. Melissa is a social worker and community activist involved in disability issues throughout Ontario, including her position as Vice-President of Citizens with Disabilities Ontario. She is also a recipient of an Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 2018. She has previously written about disability issues in national publications such as The Monitor and Our Times Magazine, as well as on her blog, ‘Sit Down, Fight Back’.

To learn more:

Read Melissa Graham’s blog:

Watch a video:

Toronto Disability Pride March:

Listen to Melissa talking about the Toronto Disability Pride March:

Twitter: @mel_graham