“Too often, persons with disabilities face difficulties in accessing employment, education or participating in public life. They are treated as second-class citizens and not fully included in policy-making,” said Gülsün Bilgehan (Turkey, SOC), Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.
“Our societies cannot be fully democratic if we do not provide the means to all its citizens to participate at every level. Our commitment to full inclusion for persons with disabilities needs to be translated into concrete actions promoting access and empowerment in all spheres of life. Persons with disabilities hold the same rights as anyone else and it is our responsibility as politicians to ensure our governments fund enough programmes accompanying their empowerment”, she continued.
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), dedicated this year to the theme “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment of people of all abilities”, Ms Bilgehan called on political leaders to “engage for the full realisation of all rights of persons with disabilities and make the principle nothing about us without us a reality”.