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Persons with disabilities: achieving full inclusion requires strong political and financial commitments

“Persons with disabilities face discrimination, stigma and violence on a daily basis in Europe. They encounter countless difficulties when trying to access education, including higher education, and looking for a job. They are more affected by unemployment than the rest of the population and are more at risk of poverty. We cannot yet define our societies and decision-making systems as fully inclusive since they continue to leave aside persons with disabilities most of the time,” said Elena Centemero (Italy, EPP/CD), Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), dedicated this year to the theme “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”, Ms Centemero stressed that “the sustainable development goals present ambitious objectives for 2030, which will require strong political and financial commitments. They should not remain a wish-list but be considered a roadmap for the coming years. The implementation of these goals will lead to more inclusion, participation and equality for all and can help tackling specific challenges faced by persons with disabilities.”

Ms Centemero called on parliamentarians to “step up their efforts for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society, fiercely combat discrimination and violence against them and commit to the full implementation of the United Nations Convention for the rights of persons with disabilities and of the 17 sustainable development goals.” “We have the responsibility to ensure persons with disabilities are fully included and can participate at every level,” she concluded.