Action 2030 Blog

Leading by example and championing disability rights with UNDP in Viet Nam

Banner shows Huong Dao Thu speaking into a microphone at a table with two women beside her.
Caption: Huong Dao Thu serves as a national UN Volunteer Disability Rights Officer with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam. Here, she takes the floor to contribute her perspective during a training.
Photo: © UNV, 2019

As a UN Volunteer Disability Rights Officer with the Governance and Participation Unit of UNDP, I champion the rights of people with disabilities and act as a passionate voice for their support and inclusion.

In my assignment, I have brought together government partners and DPO representatives in workshops that offer a practical toolkit and cohesive outlook for the inclusion of disabled people in the workplace. By being there and leading these workshops myself, I demonstrate that just because a person has a disability, it does not mean that they are any less capable of delivering high quality outcomes in a professional environment.

I am committed to building the right support systems around people with disabilities and ensuring they are visible and engaged in society. In doing that, we can challenge perceptions and change mindsets about what it means to be disabled.

-- Huong Dao Thu, UN Volunteer Disability Rights Officer, UNDP Viet Nam

As a person with a disability, I often find people do not know how to approach and interact with me and children can be particularly uncertain. Recently, I ran an employment booth at an event marking International Youth Day. There were a lot of children present and while early on they appeared awkward and hesitant, we quickly became comfortable with each other.

To read the full story visit:

Originally published by UNV on 02 December 2019. 

BY Huong Dao Thu who serves as a UN Volunteer Disability Rights Officer with the United Nations Development Programme in her home country, Viet Nam. She was deployed in May 2019 under a special partnership initiative of UNDP and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme: the Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities. This offered 15 youth opportunities to acquire experience and contribute to the United Nations as UN Volunteers during 2018-2019. Another 16 UN Volunteers and several online volunteers with disabilities served across the UN family. On the occasion of International Volunteer Day 2019, Huong shares her experience.