AGENDA holds consultation with disability sector

National 1 minute, 38 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ADVOCATES from nine disability rights groups met yesterday to give input for a ‘Regional Plan of Action’ (RPA) to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in the ASEAN community.

A total of 45 participants from both NGOs and key government agencies discussed on key points of the RPA draft with Tolhas Damanik from AGENDA, a regional consortium of disabled person’s organisations from across Southeast Asia.

AGENDA will present the RPA to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) during a meeting in Thailand next month, to advocate for a more inclusive ASEAN community.

Tolhas said the objective of the RPA is to provide focus to reduce barriers for persons with disabilities, and to make them an integral part of the ASEAN Community.

“What we are expecting is to take input from each ASEAN country to AICHR. They can develop the RPA in line with the needs of persons with disabilities in ASEAN,” he said yesterday.

“It’s always a challenge in each country, the negative stigma of viewing persons with disabilities. Most of the time society uses the charity perspective in dealing with persons with disabilities but after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is important to ensure the approach used by each ASEAN country is a rights-based approach where people with disabilities can speak about themselves and how their rights can be fulfilled by society.”

Brunei ratified the UN convention last month, the last ASEAN country to do so.

Yesterday’s interface was organised by the Council on Social Welfare to ensure all stakeholders in Brunei are involved in the process of the draft reviewing the RPA for persons with disabilities.

“We invited persons with disabilities and also parents who have family members with disabilities to join the discussion and provide their views and constructive ideas to the Regional Plan of Action,” said Nur Judy Abdullah, vice president of MKM.

The Brunei Times