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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Magistrate urges gov’t, authorities to establish space for people with disabilities

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By Olimatou Coker

Magistrate Muhammed Krubally has urged everyone to join forces with the government, authorities, and other parties in this endeavor to establish space for people with disabilities.

Magistrate Krubally made these remarks recently during a conclusion of a day’s regional learning forum with stakeholders in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in The Gambia.

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The engagement is organized by the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) in collaboration with the NHRC, GFD and  UNICEF for funding under the UNPRPD project held at the Gambia Pastoral Institute.

The theme of the 6 days regional  engagement focuses on “Empowering Diversity: A Collective Journey To Creating Inclusive Space For Disability Rights”.

The engagement aimed to promote the full realization of rights and inclusivity for persons with disabilities by actively engaging relevant stakeholders to raise awareness about the specific obligations and responsibilities in mainstreaming disabilities across all sectors and services.

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The primary objectives of the activity are to establish platforms for key stakeholders in disability rights, particularly organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and decision-makers, to convene and address issues affecting PWDs. The focus will be on identifying timely solutions to challenges such as the participation of PWDs, with a particular emphasis on children, women, and those residing in rural communities.

The  activity involves both the 6 administrative  regions namely,  Upper River Region (URR), Central River Region (CRR) Lower River Region (LRR), North Bank Region (NBR), West Coast Region (WCR) & Kanifing Municipal Council and Banjul (KMC/BJL).

Yusupha Bojang, Chief Civic Education Officer at NCCE, said it is a need for regular convergence of stakeholders, particularly PWDs, to discuss issues affecting them to identify timely solutions to address them. As evidenced by the recent national conference on disability rights, providing forums for PWDs to engage with decision-makers is useful as it can include them in national development initiatives.

“As we embark on this journey, let us remember that inclusion is not just a goal to be achieved, but a fundamental human right that demands our unwavering dedication and collective action. Through dialogue, collaboration, and tireless advocacy, we have the power to transform perceptions, dismantle barriers, and pave the way for a more equitable and accessible future for all. Although we have come a long way in our journey to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities, we all know we still have a long way to go”.

Bojang added that as the leading civic education institution in The Gambia, they  attach great significance to the participation of PwDs in our governance processes. Together, let us ignite the flame of change and ensure that the voices and aspirations of Persons with Disabilities are not only heard but valued and embraced.

He expressed NCCE’s continuious commitment in facilitating dialogues of this nature to raise awareness of this new PWD Act and to promote the respect for the rights of persons with disabilities.

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