National, News

Stakeholders sensitized on PWDs’ rights

By William Madouk


Child Rights Civil Society Coalition (CRC), with Save the Children, has sensitized stakeholders on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and its optional protocol.

The 1-day sensitization workshop was attended by civil society organizations (CSOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), members of the Union of Persons with Disabilities, women-led organizations, and the media.

It aimed to draw action points on how to engage the line ministries and partners to develop a national strategic action plan for persons with disabilities.

Mr. Samuel Chor, who works for CRC as coordinator, said the workshop was vital to help ease some of the challenges facing people with impairments across the country.

“We are here to sensitize the stakeholders to understand the content of the Convention and to draw action to engage and understand the steps the government has taken toward the implementation of the ratified Convention,” said Chor.

“[The workshop] is very important because civil society organizations, CBOs, and the organization of persons with disabilities are crucial monitors in the implementation of conventions for PWDs,” he continued.

He added that the lack of a legal framework to legislate the needs of people with disabilities had amounted to numerous challenges for disabled people.

“We only have the Bill of Rights in the Constitution; we have the Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights that provide civil and political rights to all persons,” he explained.

“But the ratification of the UN convention on the rights of PWDs will help address the problem facing PWDs, issues to do with the discrimination the convention provides in principle that all PWDs shouldn’t be discriminated against,” he noted.

Mr. Chor emphasized that the pact would clear out all discrimination against people with disabilities.

He stressed that some advertisements from organizations that talk about equality sometimes saw requirements of ‘physically fit’ for you to be considered a candidate for a job.

“They are also facing the challenge of the inaccessibility of infrastructure that is already in place, i.e., schools, hospitals, and private sectors such as hotels; there are no accessibility points in all of these, including public transport,” Chor expressed.

He hinted that with the ratification, ‘the government will come up with policies and programs to ensure that the convention translate into action and issues affecting PWDs are addressed.

The Education and Child Protection Officer in the Union of Physical Disabilities in Central Equatoria State, Mr. Laku Bonaparte, stated that they attended the workshop to push for the implementation of the convention.

Although he believed that ratification of the UN convention would be a relief to PWDs, Bonaparte lamented the challenges that many people with disabilities still face.

“There are a lot of challenges facing PWDs; the first thing was the UN convention of the PWDs itself; last year, it was one of the challenges,” said Bonaparte, who is physically impaired.

“Another thing is that the road is not accessible in South Sudan; education, policies, and employment are the challenges that face PWDs,” he highlighted.

He hinted that the government must enact a law that punishes any institution that violates persons with disability rights.

Ms. Nyariak Thuc, representative of the Empowerment of Women and Girls Organization, appreciated the sensitization training.

She advised the family and government to shun all forms of discrimination against PWDs.

“I urge all the organizations and governments to give a chance to PWDs to make them shine because disability is not inability; they can do better things that we able people cannot do,” said Ms. Thuc.

She appealed to the family not to abandon PWDs by overlooking or allowing them to bag in the markets but instead to give them supporting hands.






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