Mar 28: The Human Rights Commission Council approved in its 11th session a plan to set up a Disabled Rights Unit. The plan is the brainchild of council member Ahmad Al-Saif.
The plan, according to Al-Saif, sees people with disabilities as a human being and treats his disability according to a comprehensive social model that focuses on the interaction between the disabled person, the environment he is in and the behavior strands that prevent him from fully participating in society on an equal footing with others.
Al-Saif also pointed out that a disability is nothing more than a form of natural difference between humans.
“The disabled face discrimination and exclusion with regard to their rights,” said Al-Saif.
He added that their rights should not be limited to the care and services provided to them, but should also involve equality and equal opportunities.
“It’s important to refrain from turning their disability into a pitiful social issue for the media to chew on,” said Al-Saif.
“Fulfilling their rights is not limited to providing care and allowances, but should also include equality, respect, independence and privacy for the disabled,” said Al-Saif, pointing out that achieving all this plus facilitating their participation in public life can be achieved through creating a financial and social environment that improves their chances of integration in society.
Al-Saif said the Disabled Rights Unit would play a critical role.
Its functions will include monitoring the conditions of people with disabilities and any violations they may face, monitoring regulations for people with disabilities, their application and their efficiency, providing consultancy and legal support, and building real partnerships with various institutes to motivate civil society organizations to support its cause.
Al-Saif also indicated that training people with disabilities, their families and those who defend their rights is also part of the unit's role. The unit will help organizations and initiatives campaigning for the rights of people with disabilities, as well as educating and raising awareness.
Al-Saif confirmed that building partnerships with the media is important to encourage the press to report on disabled issues in a positive way that eliminates negative stereotypes.