PNG PM Launches National Disability Policy

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Plan to remove barriers that hinder the disabled

By Grace Auka Salmang

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 28, 2015) – Persons with disabilities will get more government attention through the national policy on disability 2015-25, which Prime Minister Peter O’Neill launched in Port Moresby yesterday.

The policy promotes responsible and co-ordinated action to remove barriers that hinder the disabled – PWLDs – from enjoying the same rights as others.

This was the assurance Mr O’Neill gave the PLWDs at the launch.

"This is a big step taken and defines the rights of PLWDs who have been taken for granted for a very long time," he said.

"This is a policy that is real and must be implemented to the fullest to bring down barriers and enhance persons with disabilities participation in economic and social life, with a shared responsibility to making rights real," he said.

The policy is the national strategic plan for the disability sector with the vision: "Remove Barriers, Make Rights Real," focusing PNG on addressing the overarching challenge where many people view PLWDs as needing to overcome obstacles on their own, without realising the need for society as a whole to also actively break down barriers to improve participation and enable equal rights for PLWDs.

Mr O’Neill challenged all government, private agencies and organisations to ensure such long-term plans for a conducive environment for people with disabilities were carried out as directed in the same NEC decision.

This law would help the type of buildings built and public utilities and instruments in public places that could give access to people with disabilities

He said PNG was a signatory to both the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, thus was committed to pursue the conventions objectives which focused on protecting the rights of PLWDs and providing access to services and support to improve the quality of their lives.

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