NEWS

Akbar Eyes Increasing Opportunities For Older Persons With Disability

“They are often denied their autonomy, and their role in the community is dismissed as irrelevant and burdensome,” she revealed.
21 Jun 2022 16:31
Akbar Eyes Increasing Opportunities For Older Persons With Disability
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar (Sitting, fifth from left) officiates at the opening of the Older Persons with Disabilities in Fiji Consultation workshop at the Pearl Resort on June 20, 2022.

Older persons with disabilities are far more marginalized due to lack of access to services including affordable health services, social protection and support services, says Minister for Women Rosy Akbar.

She made the comment while opening the Older Persons with Disabilities in Fiji Consultation workshop at the Pearl Resort yesterday.

“They are often denied their autonomy, and their role in the community is dismissed as irrelevant and burdensome,” she revealed.

“Older persons with disabilities are vulnerable to disasters and when proper structures are not in place they are further marginalized and become victims of violence and abuse.”

Ms Akbar said the consultation workshop was the first ever activity organised by Pacific Disability Forum to target older persons with disabilities.

The two-day workshop’s theme is “persons with disabilities ageing with dignity” and is said to be the first of its kind in the Pacific.

“Being old and with a disability often results in discrimination and specific human rights violations,” Ms Akbar said.

“Our ultimate goal is to advance a replica of this consultation across the Pacific and also explore targeted public and private services that responds to the needs of older persons with disabilities.

“We also aim to connect national initiatives of older persons with disabilities to regional and international frameworks.”

She said there are 10,069 persons living with disability who currently receive $96 assistance per month from the government.

“The ageing and disability agenda must be a priority for us and we need an effective integration and co-ordination between the service sectors for older people and people with disabilities,” she said.

Ms Akbar added the workshop would pave the way for policy makers to respond effectively to discrimination through policy reforms, budgetary allocation, awareness raising and capacity building.

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