GFD: Campaigners call on government for action on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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Story Reported by Gideon Kotey 

Mawunyo Yakor-Dagbah, National President, GFD


A new campaign and petition calling on the government to make lasting commitments at the Global Disability Summit has been launched on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3).

The Summit will be co-hosted in February 2022 by Norway, International Disability Alliance (IDA) and Ghana to address the global needs of people with disabilities, and ensure they are integrated into policies and laws. It is the world's biggest gathering of people with disabilities, governments, international agencies, charities and business leaders. It is a vital opportunity for governments and organisations everywhere to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).


The 'Equal World' campaign, run by Sightsavers, along with the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), is counting down to the pivotal event. They are appealing for the government of Ghana to show leadership as co-host and to take advantage of the opportunity by making strong commitments backed by political will and relevant budgets. 
Specifically, they are calling on the government of Ghana to take immediate steps to meet the numerous unfulfilled commitments made during the 2018 summit. These include commitment to:

1. Ensure the speedy passing of the amendments to Ghana's Persons with Disability Act 2006 (Act 715).

2. Improve accessibility by ensuring the full implementation of the Ghana Accessibility Standards to the Built Environment.

3. Put the needed structures in place for the implementation of meaningful inclusive education. 

They are further calling on the government of Ghana to review and adopt the Employment Equity Bill and take practical steps to ensure meaningful employment of persons with disabilities.


As a co-host of the 2022 summit, they are also calling on the government of Ghana to show leadership on the continent by ratifying the African Disability Protocol and to call on other member states of the African Union to do the same.


Mawunyo Yakor-Dagbah, National President, GFD addressed the media and  said, "The Global Disability Summit is a huge opportunity for the government of Ghana to address inequality and promote disability rights. 
Many people with disabilities around the world face the daily denial of their human rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased this inequality, particularly for women and girls with disabilities". 

She added, "We are calling on the government to attend the summit with high-level representation and to make ambitious, properly financed commitments that will result in real change. To achieve this, the presidency and ministers must engage with people with disabilities and their representative organisations ahead of and during the summit'. 

The first Global Disability Summit in 2018 was a pivotal moment for disability rights globally, and a demonstration of political leadership, bringing attention to disability on the global stage. Despite this progress, many of its commitments still need to be met and financed to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities, especially from marginalised groups, are protected and enforced worldwide. 

Sightsavers, Global Advocacy Advisor for Social Inclusion and member of the United Nations Committee of Experts to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame said, "Next year" summit is an opportunity for the government of Ghana to make their actions speak louder than their words and commit to securing disability rights. That is what our Equal World campaign is calling for.

"We look forward to working with the government to ensure the voices of people with disabilities are heard through consultations and workshops over the coming weeks and months ahead of the Summit.” 

The Global Disability Summit will be held on February 15-17, 2022 and is hosted by the governments of Norway and Ghana, and the International Disability Alliance.


Source: www.truthtvnews.com

Edited:  Nii Amon
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