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FOCUS: New Horizons For Disabled Fijians

The Fiji Disabled People’s Federation (FDPF) has applauded the commitment of the Bainimarama Government to recognise persons living with disabilities. FDPF President Rakesh Chand said ratification of the Convention on
09 Apr 2015 08:47
FOCUS: New Horizons For Disabled Fijians
Fiji Disabled People’s Federation president Rakesh Chand (left), with the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar during the Federation’s annual general meeting in Suva.

The Fiji Disabled People’s Federation (FDPF) has applauded the commitment of the Bainimarama Government to recognise persons living with disabilities.

FDPF President Rakesh Chand said ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons Living with Disabilities (CRPD) and Fiji’s National Disability Decree would boost the socio-economic opportunities for persons living with disabilities.

Mr Chand has welcomed the recent commitment made by the Social Welfare Minister to increase the budget allocation for disability programmes in Fiji.

“The Bainimarama Government’s commitment to ensure inclusivity for persons living with disabilities is evident in the new Constitution, which enshrines the central principle of common and equal citizenry.  As outlined in Section 42 (1) (a), A person with any disability has the right to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information,” he said.

“During the Federation’s recent discussions with the minister, Rosy Akbar, it was encouraging to hear that she would push for an increase in next year’s budget to advance the rights of persons living with disabilities.

“We are grateful to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for advocating inclusivity and empowerment of persons living with disabilities. As a leader of this nation, he ensures that everyone is given equal opportunities to progress in their lives and that those who have disabilities are NOT left behind.

“People with disability have great abilities to positively change their lives and those around them. The Federation through its partnership with the ministry will work towards removing stigma and discriminatory practices against persons living with disabilities,” Mr Chand emphasised.

Minister Akbar reiterated that the ministry would take appropriate measures to empower women and men living with disabilities.

“As your minister, I will push for larger sum of financial contribution to empower the persons living with disabilities in Fiji.

“And come next year, I will see to it that a greater share of the government finances are allocated to assist the federation in lifting the lives of individuals with disabilities. You can have that as a promise from me and as you know that Bainimarama Government works to turn promises into reality,” she said.

“The ministry in partnership with Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons has put together a National Disability Decree. Once endorsed, this Decree will give more powers to persons living with disabilities to exercise their right to live dignified and productive lives.”

The ministry provides financial assistance to Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons in providing training opportunities particularly in areas of technical, vocational skills, sewing and income-generating programmes.

FDPF is a non-government organisation that represents the Disabled People’s International network ad it aims to promote human rights of disabled people through full participation, equalisation of opportunity and development.

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