NATION

Persons With Disabilities Live In Poverty, Result Of Neglect: Vuniwaqa

“The fact that persons with dis­abilities are more likely to live in poverty is often the result of igno­rance and neglect that is reinforced in Government and development policies and programs that ignore, exclude, are not accessible to or do not support the rights of persons with disabilities to be included in the socio-economic life of the coun­try.”
27 Feb 2019 10:00
Persons With Disabilities Live In Poverty, Result Of Neglect: Vuniwaqa
The Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta (from right), sitting with participants during the 6th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi on February 26, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

The fact that persons with dis­abilities are more likely to live in poverty is often the result of ignorance and neglect.

This was highlighted yesterday by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, during the 6th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

The conference with the theme ‘From Recognition to Realisation of Rights: Furthering Effective Partnership for an Inclusive Pacific 2030 for Persons with Disabilities’ was attended by the various disabil­ity groups throughout the Pacific.

Ms Vuniwaqa said it was vital to learn that the rights of persons liv­ing with disabilities remained an important topic for the Pacific.

“Making our voices be heard as a region and taking steps concretely undertaken speaks louder than our archipelago compared to the rest of the regions in the world,” she said

“The fact that persons with dis­abilities are more likely to live in poverty is often the result of igno­rance and neglect that is reinforced in Government and development policies and programs that ignore, exclude, are not accessible to or do not support the rights of persons with disabilities to be included in the socio-economic life of the coun­try.”

She said persons with disabilities faced a wide-range of human rights abuses like institutionalisation, isolation, stigma and discrimina­tion, and lack of access to health, education and employment oppor­tunities.

“As per the most recent census data, it is confirmed that 13.7 per cent of our population aged three and above reported at least one functioning challenge,” she said.

“They have little hope of going to school, getting a job, having their own home, creating a family and raising their children, enjoying a social life or voting.

Ms Vuniwaqa wished the partici­pants well for the next three days of the conference.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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