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Campaigners announce 100 days for governments to commit to disability rights 

Irene in Uganda
Photo: Sightsavers

A new campaign and petition calling on governments to make lasting commitments to people with disabilities has been launched 100 days before the second Global Disability Summit.

The summit will be held in February 2022 in Norway to address the global needs of people with disabilities, and ensure they are integrated into policies and laws. It is the world’s biggest gathering of people with disabilities, governments, international agencies, charities and business leaders, and is a vital opportunity for governments and organisations everywhere to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The ‘Equal World’ campaign, run by Sightsavers international, is counting down to the pivotal event and appealing for governments and global organisations around the world, including the UK’s, to take advantage of the opportunity by attending and making strong commitments.

Sightsavers’ Global Advocacy Advisor for Social Inclusion and a member of the UN Committee of Experts to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, has said, “The Global Disability Summit is a huge opportunity for governments to address inequality and promote disability rights. Many people with disabilities around the world face the daily denial of their human rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased this inequality, particularly for women and girls with disabilities.”

She added, “We are calling on governments to attend the summit with high-level representation and to make

ambitious, properly financed commitments that will result in real change. To achieve this, ministers must engage with people with disabilities and their representative organisations ahead of and during the summit.”

The first Global Disability Summit in 2018 was a pivotal moment for disability rights globally, and a demonstration of political leadership, bringing attention to disability on the global stage.

Despite this progress, many of its commitments still need to be met and financed to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities, especially from marginalised groups, are protected and enforced worldwide.

John Muriuki, Sightsavers’ regional director for ECSA said, “Next year’s summit is an opportunity for governments to make their actions speak louder than their words and commit to securing disability rights. That is what our Equal World campaign is calling for. We look forward to working with governments to ensure the voices of people with disabilities are heard through consultations and workshops over the coming weeks and months ahead of the Summit.”

The Global Disability Summit will be held on February 15-17, 2022 and is hosted by the governments of Norway and Ghana, and the International Disability Alliance.

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