Finnish Government supports World Federation of the Deaf

Press release

The Finnish Parliament has included EUR 50.000 support for the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) for the 2013 budget. This support ensures that WFD can continue its work to contribute to the realisation of the human rights for the 70 million deaf people in the world, particularly focusing in developing countries.

World Federation of the Deaf is an international organisation, which has its legal base and secretariat in Helsinki, Finland. WFD is the only international organisation, which is registered in Finland and which has member organisations in 133 countries. Continuous and regular state support is pre-requirement for the fully functional secretariat and whole organisation’s sustainable advocacy work. The Finnish Parliament has seen WFD’s work valuable enough to continue its work through the year 2013. Some Finnish Members of Parliament announced that they were delighted for the support for WFD and demanded the Parliament to include the WFD support also in the Government’s budget proposal for 2014. This piece of news was very welcomed at the WFD’s small secretariat with two employees and by the President and its Board of 11 international members.

The WFD is financed by membership fees and additional support from member organisations. Recent support was received from Norway and Sweden, but the Finnish Government support is the only direct state support for this international organisation.

WFD coordinates and supports its 133 members’ organisations through training, communication and projects to enhance the advocacy efforts on ensuring the access to rights for the deaf people. WFD ensures that the deaf people’s needs are taken in consideration at the international human rights forums such as United Nations, its special agencies and funds as well as the good co-operation with other disability organisations. WFD’s main goal is to implementation of all human rights and that deaf people have access to those; particularly, linguistic rights, education, employment, information and participation in decision making.