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The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) have called on government to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to ensure an all-inclusive society for all.
The Federation said government, should in particular, implement Article 33 of the Convention that requires States Parties to designate one or more focal points within government for matters relating to the implementation of the present Convention and give due consideration to the establishment of a coordination mechanism, which would facilitate related action in different sectors and at different levels.
At a media briefing on Friday in Accra, addressed by Ms Rita Kyeremaa Kusi, Executive Director of GFD, Mr Alexander Bankole Williams, Member of Commutation Team of the Federation and Mr Moses Fordjour, Monitoring and Evaluations Officer of GFD, the Federation called on government to initiate strategic policy dialogue on carrying forward the provisions of the UNCRPD.
Ms Kusi explained that though Ghana signed the convention in 2007 and ratified it in 2012 with the expectation tot starts implementing the tenets within two years after the ratification; the country is yet to do so.
By the ratification of the Convention, government was expected to send a state report on the implementation processes of the convention but it has failed to do so because it has not been able to implement it.
“We had wished that the implementation will have been fast and given the priority that it deserves but that has not been possible.
“We therefore started a campaign last year to advocate the implementation of the Convention and calling on government to show commitment towards its implementation,” Ms Kusi said.
She said what government is expected to do by virtue of signing and ratifying the Convention, is to set up the Committee and a focal point to implement the Convention.
“If government is so committed, it could set that up only within a week”.
She expressed the hope that government would put in place the monitoring mechanism that would work to ensure the implementation of the convention to better the lot of persons with disability.
Mr Williams said the delay in the implementation of the convention is an act of discrimination and that the rights of persons with disabilities need to be respected.
He called on government to design and publish a comprehensive disability monitoring and evaluation framework for persons with disabilities to be established with clarity on reporting lines.
Government should also take immediate steps to harmonise existing domestic legislations to conform to the UNCRPD as well as expedite action on proposals submitted by the disability movement for Amendment of the Disability Act 715.
The GFD also asked government to introduce realistic measures to support the advocacy and sustainability of organisation of persons with disabilities in Ghana and to ensure and monitor the participation of persons with disabilities in the planning, designing and delivering of key national policies and programmes related to disabilities.
It said government should consider building capacities of key officials such as the ministries, departments and agencies and other stakeholders for effective implementation of the CRPD and mainstreaming of disability issues in national policies and programmes.