By: Lailuma Noori
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. Building on many decades of UN’s work in the field of disability, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, the New Urban Agenda, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.
The theme for 2019 is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership; taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda. This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as anticipated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs and specifically in parts related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs.
In Afghanistan, due to continued war, there are tens thousands of persons with disabilities facing with increasing challenges and problems of life in the country. The situation for persons with disabilities has not improved as the continued war is considered as one of the main reasons of increasing problems for persons with disabilities in the country.
Currently, 2.7 percent of Afghanistan population is persons with disabilities, meaning that 900,000 people are suffering with disabilities. For example, more than 70 percent of children with disabilities have no access to education, while more than 70 percent of the them have no access to public services that are provided by the government.
Persons with disabilities are asking the government to provide them opportunities of work and education so that they can do something in Afghan society. According to persons with disabilities, education or higher education scholarships that are allocated for persons with disabilities are given or granted to others due to increasing of corruption in some institutions.
They are asking for full transparency in issuing and granting education and higher education scholarships allocated to persons with disabilities so that they get education abroad and serve their country after they complete their higher education. It is worth mentioning that the law on rights of persons with disabilities was approved and ratified in 2009. On the other hand, Afghanistan has already joined the world treaty for persons with disabilities, but still no attention has been paid to persons with disabilities in the country as 90 percent of persons with disabilities are unemployed.