The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) transformative principle of LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND, requires of member countries to ensure that equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of sustainable development, but the disability community in Ghana says, it is yet to experience it in practical terms.
Persons with disabilities in the country are complaining of being left behind in almost everything, with issues about them always becoming afterthoughts of the Government.
They cite among others, the Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-19 vaccination exercise, and the Ghana card/sim registration exercises.
They say their needs and concerns were not considered in the planning of the programs, which resulted in either a total exclusion or inconvenience in accessing those programs and interventions.
They also complain that there was no consultation by the Government to ascertain the possible impact of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) on persons with disabilities before sending the bill to Parliament.
The PWDs again are accusing the Government of not intervening for them when the toll booth private operator laid off the PWD employees without any tangible reason.
The disability community says this attitude of the Government does not depict one that is committed to leaving no one behind.
The Executive Director of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organization (GFD), Mrs. Rita Kusi Kyeremaa told DisabilityNewsGH that, the disability community in Ghana was yet to experience the principle of leave no one behind.
“we’re yet to experience that whole principle of leaving no one behind. We’re yet to have or see the impact on our lives”, she complained.
According to her, the concerns of persons with disabilities were not considered in the development planning of the country; they were not consulted or engaged in national conversations, and the national budget provided very little to support persons with disabilities.
Mrs. Kusi Kyeremaa said, matters of disability always being afterthoughts of the Government would not promote the ‘leave no one behind’ agenda.
Leave no one behind (LNOB) is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It represents the unequivocal commitment of all UN Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination, and exclusion, reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind and undermine the potential of individuals and humanity as a whole. LNOB not only entails reaching the poorest of the poor, but also requires combating discrimination and rising inequalities within and amongst countries, and their root
causes. A major cause of people being left behind is persistent forms of discrimination, including gender discrimination, which leaves individuals, families, and whole communities marginalized and excluded.
It is grounded in the UN’s normative standards that are foundational principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international human rights laws, and national legal systems across the world.