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Political and financial commitments to increase political participation of persons with disabilities

Guaranteeing observance of the political rights of people with disabilities is a democratic issue, “raising questions with regard to the inclusiveness and efficiency of democratic systems,” said the PACE Standing Committee, meeting today in Madrid.

In adopting a resolution based on the report prepared by Mechthild Rawert (Germany, SOC), parliamentarians affirmed that when trying to exercise their political rights, persons with disabilities face multiple challenges related to accessibility, inadequate support for the diversity of disabilities, an unjustified link between legal capacity and the right to vote and the frequent reluctance of political parties.

The Assembly believes that the participation of persons with disabilities in political life “can contribute to breaking down stereotypes, changing mindsets and combating overall discrimination”. To this end, parliamentarians identified a series of concrete measures that could be taken to facilitate access to voting and participation in elections, while pointing out that such measures “require political and financial commitments”.

Political parties can play an essential role “in tackling the lack of rights awareness and encouraging active participation of persons with disabilities,” said the parliamentarians.