As the continent is set to mark the Day of the African Child tomorrow, June 16th in various ways, the Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD) has issued a statement ahead of the celebrations, drawing attention to among other things, the rights of the disabled persons, especially children.
The advocacy by GFD is inline with the 2012 theme of the Day of the African Child "The rights of children with disabilities, the duty to protect, respect, promote and fulfill". In a statement sent to the Daily Observer yesterday, the GFD emphasised that disability does not mean inability and that global thinking no longer views disability as a medical condition or individual shortcomings.
"The GFD's ongoing advocacy strategy places focus on society itself as responsible for maintaining what the African Union terms 'disabling environments'. The rights of the disabled are enshrined in the Gambian Constitution. They also form a key component of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Yet Gambia has yet to sign, ratify or domesticate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which 38 African Union member states have now signed and ratified.Gambia also needs to adopt a National Disability Policy. This is something that the GFD, with the support of its members and partners, are currently seeking to address," the statement concluded.