February 8th Movement focusses on persons with disabilties

February 8th Movement focusses on persons with disabilties

By Tharushan Fernando

04 Dec, 2016 | 9:37 pm

The world on Saturday,  marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Where is Sri Lanka in terms of ensuring the rights of disabled persons here at home?

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been celebrated annually on December 3, around the world.

The theme for this year’s International Day is Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want.

This year’s objectives include assessing the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

When taking a look at our own country, according to a survey carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics in the year 2012, there are approximately 1.7 million persons with disabilities who are above five years of age.

There are approximately 80,000 children who are disabled between the ages of 5 and 19. Forty five percent of these children do not have access to education.

On  February 8,  2016 Sri Lanka also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

However, in this backdrop, the February 8th  Movement which is one of the leading organisations for disabled Persons charge that the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare is trying to subvert civil society efforts at setting up new coordination and monitoring mechanisms for disability rights.

Media Coordinator for the February 8th Movement, Ishan Jalil called for disability to be dealt not only under the ministry of social empowerment and social welfare but to be taken under a cross-ministerial purview under the supervision of the highest possible government authority.