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GFD asks Government to expedite passage of amended Disability Act


The Ghana Federation of Disability (GFD) has asked the Government to expedite passage of the amended Disability Act to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Mr Joseph Atsu Homadzi, National President of GFD, said there had been gaps in the Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715), hence the need for it to be reviewed and amended.

Mr Homadzi made the call at the commemoration of the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Accra.

This year’s celebration is under the theme: ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs for, with, and by persons with disabilities’.

It is celebrated annually on December 3rd to raise awareness about the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in society and the need for concrete concerted actions by all social,

developmental, and policy actors to promote their development needs and meaningful participation in society.

Ghana passed the Disability law in 2006 and subsequently ratified CRPD in 2012
, and obligated under the CPRD to review existing laws that are not in line with it to fully promote their rights and to promote their inclusion, representation, and participation in society.

The National President said: ‘Our concern is that the eighth Parliament is going to rise next year and if you do not fast track the activity and the passage, it may happen that the Parliament will rise and this law will not be amended.’

He urged Government to strengthen legislation and policies to address issues facing PWDs and protect their human rights and inform the implementation of the law.

Mr Homadzi encencouraged Government and employers to create and open more job opportunities for PWDs to earn a living as well as human recognition and respect.

The National Chairman appealed to the Ministry of Roads and Highways to fulfill its promises of reassigning people with disabilities who were working at the toll booths and to pay them their salaries until the reassignment.

Mr Charles Abani, Resident Coordinator, Unit
ed Nations in Ghana, said truly sustainable development for PWDs required a laser-like focus on their needs and rights, not only as beneficiaries, but as active contributors across social, economic and political life.

He said, however, at the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda, PWDs continued facing systemic discrimination and barriers that restricted their meaningful inclusion in all areas of society.

Mr Abani said: ‘The commitment to realising the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment…’

The Resident Coordinator called for a whole-of-society approach and for strong partnerships to be forged and leverage collective expertise and resources to generate meaningful impact to drive systemic change, and truly leave no one behind.

Mr Mawuli Avutor, Deputy Director for Public Education, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said PWDs had the same rights and freedoms as everyone else, hence they must be treated with dignity and respect.

Mad
am Levlyn Konadu Asiedu, National Coordinator, Ghana Civil Society Organisations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), bemoaned the low funding and support that the disability fraternity received as compared to others.

She said all persons were vulnerable and could be disabled at any time, therefore, PWDs must not discriminated against.

Mr David Agyemang, Senior Programme Manager, Sightsavers, a Non-Governmental Organisation, encouraged PWDs to be confident in themselves and put their talents and abilities into action.

‘May I speak to mothers who have children with disabilities and encourage you not to hide your children with disabilities from the world. Send them to school and support them to thrive like all your other children. Children with disabilities deserve love and care like all other children,’ he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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