ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
An expert meeting kicked off
Tuesday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to deliberate on
ways of improving support services for people with
disabilities in Africa.
meeting hosted by Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, UN Special
Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities,
discusses measures being taken by states and initiatives
emerging at grassroots level on how to support inclusion
and equal participation of persons with disabilities.
In her opening
remarks, Devandas-Aguilar emphasized the need to have
approach that promotes rights, participation and active
“Whether it is
targeted or mainstream services, for most persons with
disabilities, effective access to support represents an
essential condition for the realization of their human
rights, while preserving their inherent dignity, autonomy
and independence,” Devandas-Aguilar said.
employment, political participation, decision-making,
mobility, communication and leisure are just a few areas
to mention where support is crucial.”
provides a platform to learn from each other and work in
collaboration on how the African community can support the
rights of persons with disabilities, according to the
“I am very
interested in exploring the roles of social networks and
communities in the delivery of support services for
persons with disabilities,” said Devandas-Aguilar.
provided at the community level and delivered with the
involvement of organizations of persons with disabilities
is the best way to ensure their active participation in
society,” she added.
the opening session, Shuaib Chalken, Chairperson of the
African Disability Forum, called for collaborated efforts
to eradicate poverty at national level to improve the
lives of persons with disabilities on the African
that African governments could build the necessary
capacities and allocate resources to achieve poverty
eradication at the national level.
meeting held at UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa has
brought together experts, policy makers and advocates from
a dozen African countries, including the board members of
the African Disability Forum, human rights specialists
from the African Union, the United Nations and those from
the academia and civil society.
of the meeting are expected to inform the Special
Rapporteur’s next report to the Human Rights Council, to
be presented in March 2017.
will focus on the provision of support services that are
sustainable, qualitative, affordable and accessible to
persons with disabilities.