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International Human Rights Day and persons with disabilities

The National Council on Persons with Disability, the state agency for disability matters and stakeholders in the disability fraternity observe the International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2020. The Council endorses this year’s theme of “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”.

The international human rights day marks the root of all human rights observation adopted at the UN General Assembly on December 4, 1950. It marks the first time that a global document on human rights was outlined in response to the need to protect human dignity across the globe.

The theme of the International Human Rights Day resonates with the theme of Ghana’s Maiden Disability Summit; highlighting the formulation of policies to end discrimination of any kind, address inequalities, encourage participation and solidarity as well as promote sustainable development.

The Maiden Disability Inclusion Summit projected inherent dignity and fundamental rights of the different categories of persons with disabilities.

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The 8 international disability summit commitments and the seasoned panel discussions on “Building standards for disability-inclusive and sustainable post COVID-19 Ghana,” “Quality Rights in mental, intellectual and psychosocial disabilities,” “National Protocol for Inclusive Health Care” and “Assessing advocacy and strategies around disability work for a coordinated National Disability Inclusion Plan towards Ghana beyond aid” clearly revealed the key role of state actors including Ministries, Departments and Agencies in mainstreaming disability.

The outcome of the discussions disclosed extensively the role of state agencies in disability mainstreaming in respect of their core mandate to portray persons with disabilities positively in attitudinal, environmental and institutional perspectives.

Specifically, the Maiden Disability Inclusion Summit revealed a commitment by the state actors and stakeholders in the disability fraternity to adopt National Protocol for Inclusive Health Care and review the Council’s strategic plan to include the views and aspirations of organisations of persons with disabilities, organisations for persons with disabilities and civil societies that work to promote the interest of persons with disabilities.

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Disability inclusion is a matter of national interest and utmost importance in national development agenda, hence policy measures have been translated into sustainable development goals.

Post COVID-19 recovery focuses on creating equal opportunities for everyone including persons with disabilities and address the gaps exposed by COVID -19.

The international human rights day is an opportunity for persons with disabilities to reaffirm the importance of human rights so as to be able to engage the public and the partners of Human Rights as well as the UN Group to take transformative action and showcase inspirational practical examples that could contribute to adequate disability inclusion for equity and sustainable development; where no-one is left behind.

Esther Akua Gyamfi

(Executive Secretary

National Council on Persons with Disability)