Continuing efforts to improve services provided to people with disabilities in Syria
Damascus, SANA � Countries around the world celebrate the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) on December 3rd each year. The main aim is to encourage a better understanding of people affected by a disability, together with helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity and welfare of disabled people.
Several activities, symposiums and events are held to raise awareness about the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural.
In 2007, Syria signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol adopted on 13 December 2006. And since then, the Central Council for Disability Affairs has spared no effort to set up plans, develop the national strategy and the operational programs for persons with disabilities and follow up their implementation.
The Council’s General Secretary, Khawla Hanna, said the main focus is to improve the national classification of disability due to the increase in the number of disability cases as a result of the five-year terrorist war waged on Syria.
The work agenda includes amending the national plan for improving life for persons with disabilities issued in 2009 and a number of relevant legislations and laws, especially law no.34 for 2004, in order to provide better services and establish a national registry to keep records of people with disabilities as a database, in cooperation with the Health Ministry.
The Council, established in 2009, is composed of representatives of seven ministries headed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, several civil associations and a number of individuals with physical disability, hearing loss and visual impairment.
Hanna noted that discussions are underway to increase the number of beneficiaries from the financial support provided by the council or the families who look after a person with cerebral palsy and university students with disabilities and rehabilitate state institutions according to the Syrian engineering code to fit this category.
On the role of the Social Affairs and Labor Ministry, Head of the Disability Department at the Ministry, Lubna al-Aqabani said that there are 38 institutes in different Syrian provinces, 9 of which are located in Damascus and its countryside, but some of them went out of service due to current circumstances taking place in the country while others have been moved to safe areas.
She added that several agreements have been signed with civil association to improve health and educational services provided to the persons with disabilities and enable them to be active members in Society.
In order to protect the persons with disabilities’ right to work, al-Aqabani said the Syrian law stipulates for that public institutions must employ persons with disabilities at a rate not exceeding 4% of total employees.
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD) has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world with the aim of showing non-disabled people that a person with a disability can be a vibrant member of society.
Source: Syrian Arab News Agencyhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/continuing-efforts-to-improve-services-provided-to-people-with-disabilities-in-syria/General