„Nothing About Us Without Us!” – Inclusion Is Essential to Ensuring the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities

Eliminate barriers to create an inclusive society accessible to all – is the topic addressed by around 100 persons, including nongovernmental organisations, development partners and persons with disabilities within a national conference dedicated to the rights of persons with disabilities. They addressed the physical and informational accessibility for the persons with disabilities in Moldova, presented the progress in promoting the rights of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities to living in the community and being employed.

“The main principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is – Nothing about us without us! This means that persons with disabilities should be involved in all processes and decisions made in the state. Following this principle, we have organised a national conference about, for and with the involvement of the persons with disabilities. Only by their direct involvement in all decision-making, real change will be brought about and the reforms in this field will be efficient and useful indeed”, Cornelia Adeola, consultant on the rights of the persons with disabilities at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Moldova said.

Aside from promoting the rights of the persons with disabilities, the event also aimed at spotlighting the companies that employ persons with disabilities and encourage other employers to change the existing practices, thus contributing to the fulfilment of the right to work and employment for persons with disabilities.

The winners of the 2017 “Remarkableness Gala” are 4 companies,  which received awards in the following categories: Outstanding employer who has reasonably adapted the workplace for the persons with disabilities; Outstanding employer who has employed persons with disabilities through assisted employment; Outstanding employer who has employed the biggest number of persons with disabilities, and Outstanding entrepreneur person with disabilities, who started a business and created jobs for other persons with disabilities.

“The state should secure to each person with disabilities acknowledgement of the legal capacity equally with the others, in all areas of life, including in the exercise of the right to work. In absence of financial incentives for economic entities to ensure employment of persons with disabilities, the Centre for Legal Assistance for Persons with Disabilities and its partners, through the Remarkableness Gala, aim at publicly acknowledging the companies that employ persons with disabilities. By this event, we aim to spotlight the economic entities who can see the ability of the persons with disabilities”, Vitalie Mester, executive director of the Centre for Legal Assistance for Persons with Disabilities said.   

We remind that Moldova reported to the UN, in Geneva, during March 21-22, about its observance of the rights of the persons with disabilities. The members of the UN Committee appreciated the progress made by our country in securing the rights of the persons with disabilities and showed interest in the level to which persons with disabilities get involved in the development of strategies and policies, the accessibility of services and infrastructure, the fighting discrimination and stereotypes, deinstitutionalisation of the children and the persons with disabilities, as well as the situation of the girls and women with disabilities. Issues related to the legal capacity of the persons with disabilities were also tackled.

Around 187.000 persons with disabilities live in Moldova. According to the estimates, around 5.000 persons with disabilities are deprived of their legal capacity and 600 of them were deprived during 2012-2017, following the ratification of the Convention. Only 186 of the more than 2000 persons with disabilities from the residential institutions have been deinstitutionalised.