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IOM calls for inclusion of persons with disabilities

By Charles K Mark

International Organization for Migration (IOM) calls for implementation of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The organization, in a press statement issued on Monday, August 14, 2023, made the appeal for unconditional inclusion of citizens with disabilities.

IOM praised President Salva Kiir for February 24, 2023, ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Describing the move as a great step towards the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities in South Sudan, IOM said it was after a long-time advocacy.

“This is a result of a series of advocacy campaigns by persons with disabilities and their allies, which started over a decade ago,” the state reads in part.

The ratification of the Convention has been much celebrated by South Sudanese citizens with disabilities, with expectations for full inclusion and effective participation in society.

IOM stated that evidence shows that persons with disabilities who are educated and employed become financially independent and are able to support their families and help with the country’s overall economic growth.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on December 13, 2006.

According to the UN, increasing spat of discrimination and marginalization of people with disabilities was the reason for adopting the law.

“The CRPD aims to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” IOM continued in a statement.

The UN agency emphasized that persons with disabilities and their representative organizations should be fully involved in all processes of implementation and monitoring of the Convention as active stakeholders, following the global disability principle of “Nothing about Us without Us.”

Some members of the above-mentioned group recommended that the government prioritize awareness-raising.

They cite Article 8 of the CRPD which says States Parties are required to conduct massive awareness campaigns to reduce negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities in society and promote positive perceptions about disability.

The group also recommended accessibility, saying Article 9 of the CRPD requires States Parties to take measures on accessibility for persons with disabilities to the physical environment, transportation, buildings, and communication, including information and communications technologies.

It added that implementing the provision would make a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities in South Sudan, as children and adults with various impairments in the country struggle to access services and participate in society due to barriers related to accessibility.

Through the press release, the people with disabilities called for protection against discrimination, as the CRPD urges States Parties to guarantee equal protection to persons with disabilities from discrimination, exploitation, violence, and abuse.

The group recommended a review of existing laws and policies, recalling Article 4, which says the CRPD requires States Parties to modify or abolish laws and policies that are not consistent with the provisions therein.


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