Asia Pacific Network of IL (APNIL) is the first support agency of its kind in Asia for information about IL centers which have already been established and are growing in several countries like Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. It was founded on January 20, 2007 by participants of the IL Management Training at the Asia Pacific Center for Disabled (APCD). Over the last 5 years, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and the Thai government have actively collaborated and shared their resources with APCD and have successfully trained potential PWD leaders with the technical assistance and expertise of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Most PWD trainees at APCD are now working at the forefront of PWD movements in their own countries. APCD has had successful results especially in the training of Peer Counselors and Management Staff.
To recall, during the past 50 years many Asian countries have implemented only welfare policies for PWDâ€™s who they relegated to residential institutions. Over time, PWD rights to take control of their lives and decide on their own have been accepted gradually, thanks to the emergence of the IL Movement in the 1970â€™s and the establishment of IL Centers thereafter. On December 13, 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with particular emphasis on the need for each member state to support a PWD in his life in the community. This makes it imperative for Asian national governments to build a system of support and services for their PWD population. Such a situation highlights the significance of the establishment of IL centers whose support and services are designed to empower each and every PWD to seek and work for accessibility and auxiliary services. APNIL has a crucial role as an information center for its member IL Centers. We envision APNIL membership to grow and expand, beyond the present 150, all over Asia-Pacific, to include those who finished APCD IL seminars and those from existing IL centers in the region.
APNIL has following objectives:
- To establish network of APNIL members
- To disseminate activity reports, exchange and provide information, and conduct linkages and related activities through the APNIL website
- To develop leaders for IL centers
- To create a comprehensive database on IL in Asia
- To promote the IL program, peer-counseling and empowerment of PWDâ€™s