The Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) on Wednesday demanded the implementation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its incorporation in domestic legislation and policies.
The demand was made by participants of a consultation on Pakistan’s Response towards Commitments around Disability Issues at a community centre.
The consultation was held to identify gaps in domestic legislation and facilitate dialogue on the subject. The discussion included a debate on how to implement international commitments to promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities in Pakistan.
Naseem Anthony, the AWAM executive secretary, said, “While globally governments are paying attention to the rights of people with disabilities, our government and policymakers rarely consider disability issues when formulating their policies.”
“The social inclusion of people with disabilities (PWDs) is required to create an inclusive society,” he said.
Shazia George, AWAM director, said PWDs are often discriminated against and it was important to build their capacity to advocate for themselves.
Malik Mohammad Aslam, director general of the Social Welfare department, Punjab said the government is devoted to empowering people with disabilities and creating a friendly atmosphere for them.
“The government is making an effort to address hurdles to registering PWDs and apply the 2 per cent employment quota in all government offices,” he said.
The participants mentioned that around a billion people, 15 per cent of the population of the world, have some disability, according to the World Bank and World Health Organisation.
“This includes around 10 per cent of Pakistanis,” they said.
The participants included Mohammad Jawwad Afzal, the NCRDP deputy director, Shafiqueur Rehman, president of the Milestone Society of Disabled People, Imtiaz Fatima, Voice Society of Disabled People and Advocate Omer Pervaiz.
The consultation involved around 30 government official and civil society members from Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Kasur and Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.
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