The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations have entreated the government to address the gaps in the Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715 ) to conform to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
It mentioned the gaps to include inclusive education, reasonable accommodation and independent living, employment policy, equity, equality for women and girls, access to public spaces and infrastructure, participation in political activities and empowerment.
The President of the Ghana Federation of Disability, Joseph Atsu Homadzi, who made the call, said a strong and effective policy regime was needed to protect the rights of persons with disabilities to promote their inclusion and effective participation in society.
In line with that, he also entreated the Minister of Roads and Highways to fulfil his promise of reassigning and paying of salaries of former tollbooth workers across the country until they were redeployed.
He was speaking during the commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disability 2023 in Accra yesterday on the theme: ”United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs with and by persons with disabilities.”
Among activities to mark the day was a mass procession in Accra to increase public knowledge about the issues of disability inclusion in the country.
The Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Ghana, Charles Abani, urged government to work side-by-side with persons with disabilities to design and deliver solutions based on equal rights.
He also called for sensitisation and empowerment of PWDs.
Mr Abani further said there was the need to create market spaces and linkages to accommodate persons with disabilities and also leverage on digital tools to take advantage of AfCFTA.
“The Ghana we want should be disability inclusive, tackle injustice and discrimination, provide accessible infrastructure and create opportunities that increase access to technology that results in strengthening institutions and creating sustainable jobs and access to markets for persons with disabilities as well,” he added.
Mr Abani also urged the private sector to create more jobs for persons with disability, saying “together we can achieve more for persons with disabilities to attain sustainable development goals.”
The Senior Programme Manager of Sightsavers, David Agyemang, said in the coming years, the organisation would support the promotion of rights and the well-being of persons with disabilities in areas such as employment, promotion of health equity, capacity building and financial inclusion among other areas.
He advised persons with disabilities to put their talents and abilities into action, while advising citizens against stigmatisation and discrimination against persons with disabilities.
The Deputy Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mawuli Avutor, said persons with disabilities had the same rights and freedoms as everyone else, hence respecting their inalienable rights would enable them to develop their full potentials and speed up the process of their integration and reintegration.
He gave the assurance that the commission would continue to deliver on its mandate to promote and protect the rights of all citizens.
For her part, the National Coordinator of CSOs Platform on SDGs, Levlyn Konadu Asiedu, said the organisation was committed to work towards ensuring the passage of the law.