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Do Not Discriminate Against Children With Disability – Josephine Oppong-Yeboah

Media personality and gender advocate, Josephine Oppong-Yeboah, has urged parents not to discriminate against their children with disabilities but give them equal opportunities to enable them to realise their goals in life.

She expressed the concern that some parents discriminate against their children with disabilities, hence denying them the right to education and other essential training opportunities which they accord their able-bodied children. 

She said the Children’s Act 560 of Ghana gives every child the right to education no matter the situations the child finds himself or herself, either living with disability or not. 

Ms Oppong-Yeboah, who participated at the just ended 17th Conference of States Parties (COSP17) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at United Nations Headquarters in New York made the remarks in a media interview. 

The conference, which took place from June 11–13, 2024 was on the theme: “Rethinking disability inclusion in the current international juncture and ahead of the Summit of the Future”.

The CRPD is the first comprehensive human rights treaty – with a clear social development dimension, advancing disability rights worldwide.

Over the years, this Conference of States Parties has become the most important forum to promote and protect these rights.

For Ms Oppong-Yeboah, instead of disability being viewed as a short coming on the part of the individual, the focus rather should be on the environment that would enable such a person to thrive.

She expressed the concern that children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable populations – enduring disproportionate levels of poverty, marginalisation and discrimination.

For her, women and girls with disabilities are even particularly vulnerable.

Ms Oppong-Yeboah stressed the need for people to acknowledge the many positive examples of acts by persons with disabilities, who continue to inspire us with their courage and determination – reminding us of what can be achieved when they are empowered and supported to reach their ultimate potential.

“We must ensure that persons with disabilities are actively involved in all aspects of life – and on an equal basis with others,” she noted. 

Ms Oppong-Yeboah also called on the government to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities, incorporating their views in all policy design and implementation.

Source: graphic.com.gh

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