Members of the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation with the Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana during the closing of their annual general meeting at the Salvation Army hall yesterday.
Fiji needs to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons Living with Disability (CRPD), says Pacific Disability Forum chief executive Setareki Macanawai.
He said the announcement by Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar during the opening of the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation (FDPF) Training of the Trainers Programme at the Salvation Army hall in Suva on Friday about the Government’s intention of ratify the convention was most welcome.
Mr Macanawai was part of the Fiji National Disability Federation annual general meeting yesterday at the Salvation Army hall with Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana as well as Fiji Disabled Federation’s president Rakesh Chand.
“Once ratified Fiji is bound by that treaty to implement the provisions of the articles of the convention on everything about us,” Mr Macanawai said.
“That will ensure not only our rights are protected, but people with disabilities enjoy those rights as well.”
He said there was a need to do more for disabled people in the community but the policies and legislations in place had not been implemented so far.
“What we want to see is how those policies and legislations are implemented to change lives of people with disabilities,” Mr Macanawai said.
President Rakesh Chand acknowledged the Government’s initiative in trying to make Fiji a disabled-inclusive society.
He said disabled people wanted to be treated equally and not treated with special treatment.
“We want to be treated the same as any normal person and not given special treatment. We want to be part of the community and we would like to travel on the same bus and go to same school,” Mr Chand said.
“CRPD is the best form of convention for people with disabilities so that we are not given special treatment and are treated as equals.”