Two Ghanaian non-governmental organizations, Ghana Federation of Disability in conjunction with Sightsavers have launched a petition soliciting signatures from Ghanaians to compel the Government to ratify the Africa Disability Protocol Treaty.
The petition also sought to draw the United Nation (UN) to uphold the rights of persons with disability in all UN member states.
According to the disability-friendly NGOs, the ratification of the disability protocol as well as the implementation of the rights of persons with ability would go a long way to ensure the equal rights of people with disabilities are respected in Ghana and beyond.
In a joined press statement signed by the respective Executive Directors, the two organizations said, an estimated15 per cent of the world’s population has some form of disability and therefore it was right and proper their fundamental human rights and treatment to the protocol are observed and respected.
The signatures for Equal World campaigns which is expected to be launch on June 26, this year is aimed drawing the UN attention that in many countries people with disabilities experience high levels of discrimination in one form or the other that prevent them from taking part actively in societal activities.
Full Statement below:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12th June 2019 PETITION URGING UNITED NATIONS MEMBERS TO PUT DISABILITY LAWS INTO ACTION
Sightsavers and her global partners including the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) on Monday 10th June launched a petition at the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, held at UN headquarters in New York, calling for disability rights to be upheld by the UN and its member States.
Specifically, the petition also includes a call to the government of Ghana, as a member of UN, to ratify the African disability protocol and adopt an employment equity policy to promote equal and accessible employment for persons with disabilities.
Sightsavers and the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations argue that this is vital to ensure the equal rights of people with disabilities are respected in Ghana and around the world. The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations and Sightsavers will jointly launch this national campaign in Ghana on the 26th of June 2019. It is estimated that 15 per cent of the world’s population has some form of disability. The Equal World campaign aims to change the fact that in many countries people with disabilities experience high levels of discrimination that prevent them from taking part in society.
Sightsavers’ Spokesperson on Social Inclusion, Madam Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, said: “In Ghana and around the world, people with disabilities are denied the rights to go to school, find a job, access health care and take part in political processes. This discrimination is an injustice on a mass scale”. “Our petition for disability rights has two goals. At a global level, it calls on the United Nations to make sure that its recently published disability strategy is implemented effectively. At a national level, we are calling on our own governments to ratify or implement disability laws and meet commitments they have made on disability inclusion, including the ratification of the African Disability Protocol."
The campaign is ambitious in its scale and is working with local disability groups and individuals around the world to get as many signatures as possible. The President of Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, Madam Mayo Yarko-Dagobah said: “We want all Ghanaians and the world community to show support towards disability rights and inclusion. Support our campaign by signing the petition and adding your voices to our call to the UN.
Together, let us call for the Change we want at the UN for full inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities in our societies.” As well as its global call to the UN, the Equal World petition has specific calls to action targeting the governments of Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Petition signatures will be collected between June and September, and the petition will be handed into the UN and relevant member State governments in September.
To sign the Equal World petition visit www.sightsavers.org/equalworld For further details, interviews, photos and case studies contact: •
Grace Antwi-Atsu, Global Advocacy Advisor, Sightsavers on [email protected] • David Agyemang, Programme Manager at Sightsavers on [email protected]/+233 233 555 984. • Adam Abdul Wahab, Communications Officer, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, [email protected] / +233 244 436 259
Global Advocacy Advisor
Rita Kusi Kyeremaa
Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations