Disability Rights International

aka Disability Rights International   |   Washington, DC   |  www.driadvocacy.org

Mission

Disability Rights International (DRI) is a human rights organization dedicated to the rights and full participation in society of children and adults with disabilities. DRI strengthens grassroots activists to support the growth of a worldwide advocacy movement by and for people with disabilities. DRI’s main strategic goal is to bring an end to the segregation of people with disabilities worldwide.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Mr. Eric Rosenthal

President

Mrs. Laurie Ahern

Main address

1825 K Street NW Suite 600

Washington, DC 20006 USA

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Formerly known as

Mental Disability Rights International

EIN

52-2035860

NTEE code info

International Human Rights (Q70)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children

After years of fighting abuses against children on a country-by-country basis, Disability Rights International has gathered much evidence that the institutionalization of children with disabilities is a worldwide problem. Over the past 20 years we have documented abuses against children in over 25 countries in the Americas, the United States, Eastern Europe and Russia, the Middle East and Asia. The dangers of institutionalizing children are pervasive and take place all over the world, including well-resourced, developed countries. Disability Rights International is calling for an end to the institutionalization and abuse of children.

The goal of the Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children, is to challenge underlying policies that lead to abuses against children on a global scale. One of the main drivers of institutionalization – particularly in developing countries – is the use of misdirected foreign assistance funding to build new institutions or rebuild old crumbling facilities, instead of providing assistance and access to services for families who want to keep their children at home. Disability Rights International will document the role of international funders in perpetuating the segregation of children with disabilities.

Locked away and forgotten

Children with disabilities around the world are locked away in institutions and forgotten – many from birth. We have seen children left permanently tied into cribs and beds where many die. Some die from intentional lack of medical care as their lives are not deemed worthy. Some die from lack of touch and love. Most in these conditions never make it to adolescence. And those who do are condemned to a lifetime inside the walls of an institution just for having a disability. Children with disabilities are rarely eligible for foster care in countries where it is available and parents who do want to keep their children with a disability almost never receive any help or support. And governments and international donors spend millions worldwide building and rebuilding these torture chambers for children with disabilities instead of supporting families, substitute families when necessary and community services and education.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

People to Watch in 2014 2014

Philanthropy.com

2013 Top Non-Profits 2013

Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar

The Charles Bronfman Prize 2013

Charles Bronfman

Charles D. Siegel President’s Award 2013

Disability Rights Legal Center

Henri Viscardi Achievement Award 2013

The Viscardi Center

Distinguished Service Award 2013

On Our Own of Maryland

Senator Paul and Mrs. Sheila Wellstone Mental Health Visionary Award 2009

Washington Psychiatric Society

Human Rights Award 2009

American Psychiatric Association

Henry B. Betts Award 2008

American Association for People with Disabilities

Thomas J. Dodd Award in International Justice and Human Rights 2007

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

DRI looks to shatter stereotypes of people with disabilities among policy-makers, service providers and even among disability activists who may not fully understand their potential for full community integration.

Disability Rights International works around the world to draw attention to human rights abuses of adults and children with disabilities. Disability Rights International trains and supports advocates seeking legal and service system reform and assists governments in developing laws and policies to promote community integration and human rights enforcement for people with mental disabilities.

Drawing on the skills and experience of attorneys, mental health professionals, human rights advocates, people with mental disabilities and their family members, Disability Rights International is forging new alliances throughout the world to challenge the discrimination and abuse faced by people with mental disabilities, as well as working with locally based advocates to create new advocacy projects and to promote citizen participation and human rights for children and adults.

DRI’s Executive Director, Eric Rosenthal is the recipient of the 2013 Charles Bronfman Prize, allowing the opportunity in 2013 to visit Israel, where he conducted visits to Israel’s institutions for children with disabilities, met with officials and activists, and conducted a training workshop for policy-makers and services provides.

DRI has gained world media attention to human right abuses against people with disabilities in 3 dozen countries, including in-depth stories and editorials in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Associated Press, CNN, ABC Morning News & Nightline, NBC Dateline, BBC, The Guardian, Univision, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Agence France Presse, El Pais, The Hindu Times, and other media throughout the world.

DRI has exposed and closed abusive institutions and fostered the creation of dignified services, allowing people with disabilities to live in the community; eradicated the use of cages in several countries where people with disabilities were imprisoned; created disability advocacy movements globally.

Stopped the use of unmodified ECT (shock treatment without anesthesia) in Turkey to which more than 15,000 children and adults were subject every year

Pressured the European Union (EU) to add disability rights to the EU’s human rights considerations for EU membership
Created disability advocacy movements in countries where there were none

Succeeded in including protection for children and adults with disabilities, warehoused and abused for a lifetime, under the United Nations Convention Against Torture

Helped to draft the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, recently signed by President Obama and ratified by more than 70 countries

Financials

Disability Rights International
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Disability Rights International

Board of directors
as of 01/21/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Heffernan

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

John Bradshaw

Enough Project

John Heffernan

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Ilene Cook

The Washington Post Newspaper

Stephanie Ortoleva

Women Enabled

Kathy Ryan

Chernobyl Children's Project