Ministry Decries Continued Stigma On PWDs

2928 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development has regretted the continued negative beliefs on persons with disabilities in the country which hampers government interventions of poverty eradication and in integration of individuals with debilities in society.Wandera also criticized the limited access to social services by a number of PWDs like in public buildings which is utter deprivation and violation of their rights despite the enactment of Works and Housing Act 2014.

The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development has regretted the continued negative beliefs on persons with disabilities (PWD) in the country.

This was revealed by Martin Wandera, the Ministry's Director for Labour Employment, Occupational Safety and Health, while addressing journalists on Friday at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala ahead of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) tomorrow.

Citing lack of translators for instance in most televisual programs in the media for persons with hearing impairment, Wandera pointed out that such is a prejudice practice which infringes on the rights to information access and violation of fundamental human rights of PWDs.

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Uganda has over the years developed necessary legal instruments such as the Disability Act 2006, The National Council for Disability Act 2013, The Disability Policy 2006 and the Mental Health which Wandera argue needs massive sensitization and operationalization.

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Wandera also criticized the limited access to social services by a number of PWDs like in public buildings which is utter deprivation and violation of the rights of PWDs despite the enactment of Works and Housing Act 2014.

Agnes Napeera, the Ministry's Senior Rehabilitation Officer in charge of disability said the Ministry is engaging media houses especially television stations to provide sign language interpreted news to provide accessible news to PWDs with hearing impairment.   

She said building owners in the country are required by law and UN standards to have rums in their building to provide ease accessibility by PWDs.

The 2014 National Population and Housing Census by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics projected PWDs at 12.5% of meaning that there are 12 PWDs in every 100 Ugandans in the country. Currently Uganda's population is over 36 million.

PWDs have also enjoyed the benefits of some statutory directives like the Local Government Act 2006 and the Parliamentary Elections Act 1998 which established councils as planning authorities to afford them decision making representations.

This year, the celebration which is premised under the theme, "Skilling PWDs-a tool for Poverty Alleviation," will be hosted by Adjumani district. The International Day of PWDs was declared by the United Nations Assembly in 1991 and celebrated annually every December 3rd.