The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission welcomes the draft National Policy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2024 - 2033, which aims to improve the lives of persons with disabilities, promoting equality and inclusion.
Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Chairperson Pravesh Sharma says the rights of persons with disabilities are guaranteed in section 42 of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji and in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2018.
He says despite having laws promoting disability rights in Fiji, disability-based discrimination is still prevalent in persons with disabilities accessing public spaces and services, public transportation, employment, education, healthcare facilities, and resources such as technology to be able to communicate and work.
Sharma says therefore the review of the national policy on the rights of persons with disabilities is critical in the context of building a more inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for persons with disabilities, particularly in the context of global health emergencies, existential threats of climate change, the digital revolution and unprecedented economic and social challenges in getting gainful employment, having access to housing, water, food, health care, education, and justice without discrimination.
The chairperson says we need an equal and inclusive society to further strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities.
Sharma says one of its priorities in its Strategic Plan, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission intends to hold a National Inquiry to understand the human rights violations faced by persons with disabilities and especially children with disabilities, to identify the actions required to address such violations as rights of persons with disabilities must be recognized and complied with at all times.
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