People with special needs face challenges in Jordan — UN rapporteur

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AMMAN — Although Jordan was an instrumental part of a process that led to drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, there are challenges facing people with special needs in the Kingdom, the UN special rapporteur Gerard Quinn said.اضافة اعلان

In press conference at the conclusion of a 10-day visit to Jordan on Thursday, Quinn praised Jordan’s commitment and political will to include people with disabilities in all aspects of society.

“Jordan is one of the first countries to come to the table at the start of the process that resulted in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and was one of the first countries to ratify it,” he said.

“This commitment is reflected in the sophisticated body of law that protects the full range of rights of persons with disabilities, including the 2017 national disability legislation,” Quinn told reporters.

He said that strong legislation on disability was both necessary and important, “but, it must be accompanied by systematic efforts to combat stigma”.

He called on the government to consider developing a nationwide media campaign to sensitize and educate the general population on disability and the human rights-based approach to the issue.

“The campaign would encourage and empower families with individuals with disabilities to not see disability as a hindrance, but simply as a form of human diversity”, he pointed out.

He said the challenges that people with disabilities face in Jordan are namely in education, labor, health, transportation, and social protection.

He said that “79 percent of people with disabilities did not receive any type of education in 2015, this number is shocking and alarming.”

He emphasized the importance of inclusive employment and education and the many beneficial effects it has on both individuals and the country. He stressed the need to improve accessibility for students with disabilities in schools and universities.

“Jordan’s economic success depends on inclusive education and employment,” Quinn said.

He recommended that Jordan establishes an independent monitoring mechanism “to promote and monitor the implementation of the Disabilities Convention, pursuant to Article 33(2)”.

“Such a mechanism would efficiently complement the extraordinary work being undertaken by the Higher Council for Persons with Disabilities and help bridge the implementation gap in disability rights currently prevailing in Jordan,” he explained.

Quinn recognized the immense strain placed on Jordan by the number of refugees the country is hosting. “Leaving no one behind has to mean extending the benefits of inclusion to refugees with disabilities,” he said.

“That is a joint responsibility with the international community,” he concluded.

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