Fiji’s recognition of rights of people with disabilities

FIJI has come a long way in recognising the rights of people living with disabilities, says Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said Fiji was now a proud signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) since 2017.

She said the country also had in place a domestic law in the form of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2018 which further clarified and mandated legal obligations pertaining to the rights of persons with disabilities in Fiji.

“With a strong legal mandate comes a collateral duty to initiate programs for the fulfilment of our legal obligation and this requires a whole of nation collaborative effort,” she said.

“In order to achieve the central mandate of the 2030 Agenda to ‘leave no one behind’, securing and protecting the rights of people with disabilities is an important step in the right direction.

“Today as we commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), a day that has been annually observed on December 3 around the world since 1992, we can say that we as a nation have surely taken some great strides in the direction that will move Fiji and all Fijians forward — together.

“I wish to thank all the stakeholder partners from the civil society in helping the ministry and the Fijian Government in implementing its vision for inclusive development for persons living with disabilities and we look forward to continue strengthening our partnerships and collaborative efforts in ensuring that the rights of Fijians living with disabilities is fully enjoyed by them in all aspects.”

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