Nothing About Us Without Us

Nothing About Us Without Us

"Nothing About Us Without Us!" (Latin: "Nihil de nobis, sine nobis") is a slogan used to communicate the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members the group(s) affected by that policy. This involves national, ethnic, disability-based, or other groups that are often thought to be marginalized from political, social, and economic opportunities.

The saying in its Latin form has its origins in Central European foreign relations, and is cited as a long standing principle of Hungarian law and foreign policy, and a cornerstone of the foreign policy of interwar Poland.

The term in its English form came into use in disability activism during the 1990s. James Charlton relates that he first heard the term used in talks by South African disability activists Michael Masutha and William Rowland, who had in turn heard the phrase used by an unnamed East European activist at an earlier international disability rights conference. In 1998, Charlton used the saying as title for a book on disability rights.

The saying has since moved from the disability rights movement to other interest group, identity politics, and populist movements.

In 1991, Edis Bevan (who at that time was working on a disability movement research project for the Open University in the United Kingdom) added this phrase as the tagline of the BALT-L listserv messages. BALT-L@UBVM was an electronic resource intended to facilitate practical projects and social networking among scholars and other individuals interested in peace and security in the newly independent republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

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Famous quotes containing the words without and/or nothing:

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    For to know nothing is nothing, not to want to know anything likewise, but to be beyond knowing anything, to know you are beyond knowing anything, that is when peace enters in, to the soul of the incurious seeker.
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