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The full implementation of the UN Convention still remains the pressing need for persons with disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

For yet another year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities finds our country facing an undeniable realization: the full enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities as defined in the relevant UN Convention is still a dream and not a reality.

The UN has made dozens of negative remarks to Cyprus on the progress of the implementation of the Convention. In addition, Cyprus is bottom of the table in Europe in terms of spending on people with disabilities. At the same time, our country has neither specialised legislation, nor any comprehensive strategic planning for people with disabilities, while the positions and concerns of people with disabilities themselves and the organised disability movement are systematically ignored.

The absence of coherent and comprehensive planning and support measures based on their needs plunges the disabled to impoverishment and the violation of their human rights and dignity.

The full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the creation of separate legislation based on the needs that each disability creates are at long last imperative.

Strategic planning and the implementation of programmes to ensure access to employment, education, therapeutic and pedagogical support services is demanded, with the ultimate aim of integrating disabled people into society and ensuring their quality of life. We stress that the specific needs of people with disabilities cannot be addressed only by a flattening of the Minimum Guaranteed Income. We consider a comprehensive planning for the implementation of social protection programmes and a targeted benefit policy for people with disabilities as imperative.

AKEL will continue to demand social protection and policies promoting inclusion, dignity for all, in order for Cyprus to stop lagging far behind regarding the rights of people with disabilities. We remain supporters of the disability movement and of people with disabilities in general in their daily struggle for a life with dignity, securing their rights and eliminating all forms of discrimination.






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